As the search for Jurgen Klopp’s successor is underway, a former Liverpool Champions League winner thinks he knows just the right man.
Dietmar Hamann believes he knows just the man who should be replacing Jurgen Klopp when he leaves Liverpool this summer – one of his old teammates from the club’s famous night in Istanbul.
German midfielder Hamann was part of Rafa Benitez’ team on May 25, 2005 when the Reds produced arguably the most famous night in the club’s history, coming from three goals down against Italian giants AC Milan in the Champions League final to draw 3-3 before going on to clinch their fifth European Cup after a penalty shoot-out.
The scorer of Liverpool’s equalising goal on the night was current Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso.
The Spanish midfielder initially saw his penalty saved by Milan keeper Dida before he rocketed home the rebound, sending the travelling Liverpool fans wild with delight.
Alonso went on to have a decorated career with Real Madrid and Bayern Munich as well has enjoying international success with Spain in the World Cup and twice at the European Championships before moving into management.
His rapid rise to success with Leverkusen that currently sees the club topping the German Bundesliga having not lost a game all season, has made Alonso the bookies’ favourite to replace Klopp this summer and fellow Champions League winner Hamann is convinced that his former teammate is the right man for the job.
Hamann told talkSPORT: “If anyone can do it, I think it’s Xabi because he is loved by the people, he’s been a brilliant player and what he does at Leverkusen is exceptional. But obviously there is a danger to going in after Klopp. The expectations, the pressure is going to be high.
“I think they will have a team, if it stays together, that more or less competes for the Premier League next season. But then again if you don’t get him the club has to get the best person for the job.
“People talk about [Roberto] De Zerbi or [Ange] Postecoglou, Liverpool is different. And obviously he knows what the club is like, as I said he is loved by the fans. For me I think he will be the ideal choice. If he sees it the same I’m not too sure.”
Alonso was a crowd favourite during his five season spell at Liverpool, during which he made 210 appearances in all competitions, scoring 19 goals, two of which were hit from inside his own half.
Alonso’s game intelligence and cool demeaner make him a natural fit for the club who find themselves now trying to fill the biggest of shoes as Klopp begins his long Anfield goodbye.