Liverpool Legend Ian Rush on Jurgen Klopp, Champions League Glory (Exclusive)

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Liverpool legend Ian Rush, the club’s all-time leading scorer by a very wide margin, granted us an exclusive interview this past week, and the conversation included a multitude of topics. The former Wales international was in town to promote Liverpool’s preseason match against Borussia Dortmund July 19 at Notre Dame Stadium.

Rush even threw out the first ball at the Chicago Cubs’ win over the White Sox on Wednesday night. In part one we touched upon Liverpool’s summer transfer window. In the second and final portion of this interview here, we cover the Reds’ history of UCL glory and their larger than life manager Jurgen Klopp. 

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Liverpool won their sixth Champions League/European Cup on the first of this month. This moved them up to third place by themselves all-time, as only Real Madrid and AC Milan have claimed more.

“It’s special,” Rush said “I think the supporters make a big difference, we’ve always done well in Europe since the first win in 1997.”

The St. Asaph native believes that European cup competitions favor the way that Liverpool plays. Rush said that having three strikers brings a swiftness to the counterattack, and that this kind of counterattack suits them well in the European way of play.

Next month’s friendly in South Bend will certainly be the Jurgen Klopp Cup, as the Liverpool/former BVB manager is a very colorful character, and his presence, more than any other individual, adds further intrigue to this preseason.

“He brings every one together,” Rush responded when we asked him why Klopp is considered one of the best managers in the game today.

“To be successful at any level, you need a good team spirit. Jurgen Klopp, when you meet him he gives a you good positive energy. He has a big smile on his face, he gives you a big hug, the next thing you want to give someone else a big hug.”

It took five tries, but the win over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid for the UCL title was Klopp’s first victory in a cup final clash. This piece of trophy complements all the silverware he won at Dortmund.

“He produces that positive energy to everyone, and that’s why the supporters and players love him,” Rush continued.

“He’s also good at tactics and he knows when to bring a player on to the pitch and everything.”

Rush was the all-time leading scorer for Wales, until 2018, when Gareth Bale surpassed the total of 28 that he accumulated between 1980 and 1996. Bale did it by scoring a hat trick at China, and Ian Rush gave him a celebratory phone call afterward.

“Everyone loves records, but records are there to be broken,” Rush said of his scoring benchmarks.

“I’m very proud of that,” he said of the LFC mark.

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“And it’s one of those records that (will stand), till I die anyway.”

“It’s a lot of things (that made it possible). I played for Liverpool for 15 years; I also didn’t have many bad injuries.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No,  I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation

Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, also contributes to Chicago NowFollow him on Twitter and Instagram. The content of his cat’s Instagram account is unquestionably superior to his.

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