The great smile of the leader | sports

The great smile of the leader | sports

Scottish Kenny Dalglish was the last coach to make Liverpool the champion of England. It was in 1990. That season he had the pleasure of putting on his boots for the last time in the unique role of coach-player that he exercised. He used to say that "the most important people in Liverpool are the people who want to be here." The message captures the formidable heritage of emblems such as Bill Shankly or Bob Paisley, and pierces the soul of several generations of players, technicians and fans who have built a fabulous sense of belonging based on the particular identity that is breathed in Anfield and the legendary club history.

These values ​​are what a German from Stuttgart adopted on the first day he stepped on the city, in 2015. Last year, Jürgen Klopp returned the most awarded English club in Europe to the international showcase in the final of the Champions League. Today he has Liverpool as leader in the Premier. After beating Boxing Day 4-0 at Newcastle, he has 51 points, seven more than Manchester City, who lost in Leicester (2-1). It is the second defeat followed by the team of Guardiola, which Tottenham (5-0 at Bournemouth) already exceeds in the table.

It is the bold style of play driven by its technician who has regained the atavistic feeling of pride net.

Klopp is pure passion. In September Liverpool visited Chelsea and Maurizio Sarri, coach of the London box, unveiled an anecdote that also illustrates the hedonistic character of his colleague. Chelsea won 1-0 with a few minutes remaining and Sarri scrutinized the game from his technical zone. Suddenly he turned around, noticing a nearby presence. It was Klopp's face, half a meter away, showing a smile from ear to ear even though his team was losing. "What are you laughing at?" The Italian asked surprised. "You're not having fun? I do! "Klopp replied. "Well, me too," Sarri concluded. Liverpool tied at the last minute and two technicians with a good football palate melted into a hug.

At Anfield, two months later, Liverpool won the Merseyside Derby at Everton in the 96th minute with a bizarre goal by Origi. The stands exploded as if celebrating a title. And Klopp invaded the turf in a breathtaking race to embrace the goalkeeper Alisson, The federation sanctioned him with a fine of 8,000 pounds (10,000 euros), but nobody in England reproached him for his emotional and spontaneous frenzy.

That stamp is what defines the emotional state of the current leader of the Premier and only team still undefeated. Klopp says that "in the summer I was aware of the team's potential, but I did not know how everything would work together. The club, the team, the size of the fans … are given the conditions to succeed. " In the most close league of recent years, Liverpool, Manchester City and Tottenham exceeded 40 points before Christmas. The City was more than ten to his pursuers at this time last year. "At this rate you need almost 105 points to be a champion," sighs Klopp, who on January 3 will pay a visit to Guardiola's. "But trophies are not everything. Liverpool needs a solid base. " The one that the German and the club are building together and that this season is based on a team with new nuances that have substantially increased their competitive capacity.

The key Van Dijk

In the last winter market the Liverpool revolutionized the customs paying 78 million euros to Southampton by the Van Dijk power station. The Dutch defender, an example of sufficiency and tranquility and endowed with an imposing physique, has been key to prop up a back that is now the least of the league, with only seven goals conceded.

The investment in reinforcements last summer rose to 188 million euros. The Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson has installed himself with great personality in the goal of Anfield, making forget the mistakes of Karius. His compatriot Fabinho, arrived from Monaco, is a versatile steering wheel that adds pause and precision to the traditional heavy metal style of the Klopp teams. Liverpool no longer only lives of the vertiginous transitions and the scoring strength of its fantastic and complementary trio of attackers, Salah, Mané and Firmino. And the suffocating and continuous forward pressure is now practiced more selectively. The team has learned to chew the game more. It has the tools to manage matches according to their interests and an improved wardrobe background for rotations. Also came the imaginative Shaqiri for the offensive positions and the Guinean midfielder Naby Keita, who is adapting the Premier its great potential.

And behind is the extraordinary work of the large middle class, embodied as anyone else by the surrendered captains Henderson and Milner. Gregarious of a vital team, full of energy and that communicates with the message of its brave leader with the fervor that the great deeds required in the legendary stands of Anfield require.

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