Klopp endorses Alonso as a new generation 'standout' coach

AFP / Kirill Kudryavtsev

Xabi Alonso is an incredible talent from the new generation of managers, given his impressive run at Bayer Leverkusen, soon-to-depart Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said.

The former Liverpool and Real Madrid midfielder has been linked to the upcoming opening at Anfield after Klopp announced last month that he would step down at the end of the season.

Alonso guided Leverkusen from near the bottom of the Bundesliga to a five-point lead at the top within 16 months. The 42-year-old coach secured a spot in the German Cup semi-finals and notably defeated serial champions Bayern Munich 3-0 last weekend.

"Xabi is doing an incredible job," Klopp said on Friday.

"If you would have asked me eight weeks ago about Xabi Alonso, I would have gone 'Oh my God!' Always what I said, the dinosaurs if you want, Ancelotti (Carlo), Mourinho (Jose), Guardiola (Pep), maybe me, we will not do it – okay, maybe Mourinho - but all the rest will not do it for the next 20 years.

"The next generation is already there, and I would say Xabi is a standout in that department... Former world-class player, from a coaching family as well which helps a little, he was like a coach already when he was playing. The football he is playing, the teams he sets up, the transfers he did, it is absolutely exceptional."

Klopp added that he is not involved in the search for his successor as that is to be decided by the owners of the Merseyside club.

The 56-year-old, who has had his fair share of achievements in the German league from his time at Borussia Dortmund, praised Alonso's immediate but potent implementation of strategies despite only taking on the role in October 2022.

"How quick his team is that well tuned, for the time it's taken, he's put his proper stamp on it," Klopp added.

More from Sports