Bundesliga Exclusive: "Klopp has found new purpose with Liverpool,"reveals Dortmund legend Patrick Owomoyela in an exclusive interview with Sportskeeda
Borussia Dortmund has become a common name in the football circuit in recent times, with a number of wonderfully gifted players having graced the hallowed turf of Signal Iduna Park.
Names such as Matthias Sammer, Michael Zorc, Robert Lewandowski, Marco Reus etc. have become famous throughout the football fraternity due to their contributions to Dortmund and German football, in general.
Speaking of legends, Patrick Owomoyela, fondly called 'Owo' is another famous name to be associated with Borussia Dortmund and it's rich heritage.
The German played as a defender and has travelled vast parts of Germany, playing for Luneberger SK, Vfl Osnabruck, SC Paderborn 07, Arminia Bielefeld, Werder Bremen, Borussia Dortmund and Hamburg SV II.
In his career spanning 15 years for seven clubs, Owomoyela's most notable achievements have been the two league titles he won with Borussia Dortmund. He has also represented the German National Team on 11 occasions, from 2004 to 2006. Owomoyela was recently in India to promote the German Bundesliga.
Sportskeeda caught up with the Dortmund legend, Patrick Owomoyela this weekend for a nice one on one where he spoke about his time at Borussia Dortmund, Jurgen Klopp and former teammates: Shinji Kagawa and Robert Lewandowski.
Here are the excerpts from the interview:
Welcome to India Patrick! How has India treated you till now?
"I love India. It is a great country. I love the food and all the things you can see and experience in India."
"It is my first time in India and I've really loved it. There have been a lot of extreme experiences, but so far, I really liked the country."
Speaking about your time at Dortmund, how was your experience playing for a club of that stature?
"It was a crazy ride. It was a fresh start in 2008 as the club underwent changes, having been shaken up after finding itself almost bankrupt three to four seasons ago."
"It was a fresh start for everybody and since then it was a roller coaster ride with a lot of ups and downs, predominantly ups. My stint at Dortmund was extreme and intense."
"In the end, we were very successful and I'm really happy and proud to be a part of Borussia Dortmund."
How was it like playing under Jurgen Klopp, given that it is dream of footballers across the world to play under him?
"Jurgen was a very funny guy. He was a great person and a very good coach, one from whom even players like me, who were at the peak of their playing career could learn from." Owomoyela played under Jurgen Klopp when he was 28 years of age.
"He made players better and had a very nice way of training. He lead the team from the front during the time I represented Dortmund."
"So, it was a great experience and I'm really thankful that I was able to play under Jurgen Klopp."
Do you find any change or similarity in Jurgen Klopp's approach when he was manager of Dortmund as compared to what he is doing now at Liverpool?
"Not so much actually. I think towards the end of his stint at Dortmund, he really lost his way in terms of what he was trying to do and where he was trying to go take his side."
"He has found a new purpose in his his challenge at Liverpool. He does the same kind of work (in terms of tactical approach to the game) and obvious,ly you learn as a person and become a better manager after committing mistakes during tougher times."
"He might have improved and developed even further as a coach and as a leader. Now he's the leader of the whole club, the manager too. There are different aspects to that."
"He (Jurgen) has the same kind of fire, the same kind of passion and I think he does the same kind of work on the pitch (speaking of his approach and tactics in games). Klopp didn't really change and I think he has adjusted a few things in terms of his tactical approach."
Sticking to Dortmund, how was it like playing alongside Robert Lewandowski and Shinji Kagawa, who was instrumental in Dortmund's title win in 2011?
"Shinji was instrumental in our (Dortmund's) title win in 2011. He was new to the place (German Bundesliga), but was kind of our championship hero."
Kagawa's immense performances for Dortmund saw the Japanese international earn a move to Manchester United in 2013.
"He scored twice in the derby (against Schalke), which is legendary for any newcomer to the German Bundesliga." Even though he didn't get the language, he was always trying to blend in and get involved in the jokes.
"Overall, he (Kagawa) was a great player and a funny guy to hang out with."
Owo proceds to say how he guided Lewandowski in training during the Polish International's initial day in training: "Lewandowski is one of the best strikers in the world. He could basically do everything and it was tough defending against him in training."
"Opposition defenders find it tough defending against him (Lewandowski), but he was a thorough professional player with a professional mindset and he does everything to help his team win games and trophies."
Talking about Robert (Lewandowski), Bayern always seem to attract the best players from Dortmund. For example, Lewandowski and Mario Gotze. What should Borussia Dortmund do to avoid players leaving the club and join arch-rivals Bayern?
"Firstly, Dortmund have to be successful (win silverware). When you are successful, players want to be at the club and play for the team."
"We (Borussia Dortmund) are trying that every year."
Admitting that Bayern have been the better team, Owo says, "Bayern performed better in the past couple of decades and that's why they are where they are at the moment." (able to attract not only the best players from arch rivals Dortmund, but also the best players around the world)
"Rightfully so, they did a great job but I think if we (Dortmund) are able to compete at the highest level, players will not want to go elsewhere."
"For Dortmund, its always the aim to be number one in Germany. When you achieve or work towards that, players will come to you instead of going elsewhere. It's always an aim for Borussia Dortmund to be as successful as possible."
Lastly, any message to our Sportskeeda fans?
"I'm just happy to meet you guys, we have a lot of fans in India. Stay bonded to the club and I can assure you there's more to come."
"I'm thankful to have this experience. Thank you India!"