Huddersfield boss David Wagner praised Jurgen Klopp’s world-class tactical ability but believes one of the Liverpool manager’s best traits is being the “nectar” which draws everyone in.
Wagner is in Kiev to support his close friend in tonight’s Champions League final against holders Real Madrid.
He is better-placed than most to assess his fellow German following the time they spent working together at previous club Borussia Dortmund and he said it was the unquantifiable things which made his compatriot different.
“He is the nectar. He is exactly the human he seems to be and that is why everyone has such a good, warm relationship with him: backroom staff, players, supporters,” Wagner told Press Association Sport.
“He doesn’t play a role and he is honest and says what he thinks and I think this is what everyone likes to hear.
“But without world-class tactical ability you are not able to reach so many finals and he is in a Champions League final for the second time with two teams (Dortmund and Liverpool) which before the campaign no-one expected to be in the final.
“Now he has done it a second time and hopefully he will win this final.”
Klopp’s record of losing his last five finals will not matter in Ukraine, according to Wagner, who was the best man at Klopp’s wedding.
“For sure he is desperate to win this trophy tonight,” he added.
“The only thing that counts is this final, the finals he has played in the past are totally irrelevant.
“He will be prepared for sure and invest everything he has with his players and his backroom staff.
“We have to give big credit to him and his staff because I think the players are very well prepared mentally and physically, which is very difficult after such a long season.
“This is the last game of a very long season and they are able to perform in the big games as well and this is where he has his absolute strength.
“He is able to deliver an atmosphere where everyone is relaxed but focused enough and this is why I’m pretty confident they have a chance.”
Wagner will be cheering on from the stands in the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium.
“I wish Jurgen all the best from bottom of my heart that he can win this trophy,” he said.
“We have texted a few times in the last week, of course we did, but in the end he knows everything he has to do and I am sure his team will be on fire tonight.
“They deserve to win this trophy but they need a bit of luck.”