Legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson admitted that it was “absolute agony” to crown Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp as the LMA Manager of the Season.
Despite coming up short in the race for the Premier League title, the Reds chief pipped Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola to the award after Liverpool’s spectacular season. The Merseyside outfit have already clinched the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup and they could also claim a seventh European cup when they lock horns with Real Madrid in Saturday’s Champions League final.
Klopp was also named as the Premier League’s Manager of the Season at the prestigious awards ceremony on Tuesday night. He was named on a five-man shortlist that also included Guardiola, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe, Brentford chief Thomas Frank and Crystal Palace manager Patrick Vieira.
The 54-year-old has now picked up both of the individual awards twice – and Ferguson couldn’t hide his anguish as he handed over the LMA prize, which is named after himself. Upon announcing the winner, Ferguson – who won the famous LMA award five times during his managerial career – quipped: “This is agony, absolute agony!”
As well as landing a domestic double, Klopp came within a whisker of guiding Liverpool to what would have been a 20th domestic crown this term – a tally that would have matched the number of titles that their bitter rivals, Manchester United, reached under Ferguson’s guidance.
Although Liverpool’s dreams of an unprecedented quadruple are now over, they still have the chance to make it a hat-trick of trophies this weekend when they head of in pursuit of a seventh European crown.
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Speaking at the award ceremony on Tuesday night, Klopp admitted that the Reds were disappointed to come up short in their bid to overhaul Manchester City at the summit of the league, but that his side were “already over it”.
And he was quick to hail his Anfield support star for their role in his success; claiming that the Reds have the best coaching team in the world. “It was a bit nervy, it wasn’t the best outcome for us, but we are already over it,” said the German when asked about the climax of Liverpool’s domestic campaign at the lavish LMA bash.
“And when you win a prize like this you are either a genius, or you have the best coaching staff in the world. I am here with four of my coaching staff, and they know how much I appreciate them.”