'Your personality runs right through the whole club': Alex Ferguson hails Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp for winning LMA Manager of the Year
The German led the Reds to an emphatic Premier League title win, finishing 18 points clear of Manchester City
Jurgen Klopp was on Monday voted the League Managers' Association Manager of the Year after ending Liverpool's 30-year wait to win the Premier League.
The German led the Reds to an emphatic title win, finishing 18 points clear of last season's champions Manchester City, as well as picking up the Fifa Club World Cup trophy in December.
Klopp's award was announced by former Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, after whom the trophy is now named.
"Jurgen, fantastic," Ferguson said on Sky Sports. "We speak about Leeds spending 16 years in the Championship, but Liverpool 30 years since winning that league, incredible.
"You thoroughly deserved it. The performance level of your team was outstanding. Your personality runs right throughout the whole club. It was a marvellous performance.
"I'll forgive you for waking me up at 3.30am to tell me you have won the league! Thank you, but anyway, you thoroughly deserved it. Well done."
The title was sealed when Chelsea beat Manchester City 2-1 on a Thursday night in June, but Klopp clearly waited a few hours before getting in touch with the sometimes gruff Scot.
"I will forgive you for waking me up in the morning at half-past three to tell me you won the league! Thank you," a jovial Ferguson added.
Liverpool sealed the title with seven games to spare, eclipsing Manchester United (2000-01) and Manchester City (2017-18) who sealed their respective titles with five games left.
Former Borussia Dortmund boss Klopp said of Ferguson: "I know it's not 100 per cent appropriate as a Liverpool manager but I admire him. I remember he was the first British manager I met.
"We had breakfast. I'm not sure how much he remembers but I remember because for me this moment was like meeting the Pope. It was absolutely great and from that first season we clicked.
"I didn't think at this moment I would have a trophy in my hands named after him."
Chris Wilder, last year's winner of the award, settled for the runner-up spot this time after Sheffield United's impressive first season back in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Klopp wants to retain a lean squad to ensure Liverpool remain competitive next season.
The Reds boss used 24 players in the Premier League this term.
"The solution cannot be to have a much bigger squad for the specific moment and then realise you cannot use all the players," Klopp said.
"These players can only play the football they play because they know they are needed ... The size of the squad is not that important to me, the quality of the squad is very much so."
Two players Klopp will be without next season are midfielder Adam Lallana and defender Dejan Lovren.
The out-of-contract Lallana, who has won 34 England caps, joins Premier League rivals Brighton & Hove Albion, after finding himself increasingly on the fringes at Anfield during their title run.
The 32-year-old midfielder joined Liverpool in 2014 after making his name with Southampton.
Lallana has agreed a three-year contract with the Seagulls and his signing is something of a coup for the south-coast club who finished 15th in the standings this season.
Lovren, meanwhile, has completed a move to Russian side Zenit St Petersburg for a reported £10.9 million (Dh52m) after slipping down the pecking order at Anfield.
The Croatian, 31, who like Lallana moved to Anfield from Southampton in 2014, made just 15 appearances this season, falling to fourth-choice centre-back behind Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez and Joel Matip.
The Croatian has been troubled with niggling injuries over the past two years.
"Another Liverpool legend who leaves the club, because he was absolutely a very, very important part of this team from the first day since I was in," Klopp told the official Liverpool website.
Updated: July 29, 2020 08:44 AM