Virgil van Dijk has revealed how Jurgen Klopp convinced him to snub Manchester City and Chelsea to join Liverpool.
Van Dijk, who became the world’s most expensive defender when he moved to Anfield from Southampton for £75million in January 2018, has admitted that both Pep Guardiola and Antonio Conte offered him the chance to wear a blue shirt.
But the 28-year-old Dutchman chose Liverpool – after being seduced by Klopp’s charm offensive.
Van Dijk, who has now won the Champions League and Premier League in successive seasons, said: “I had the chance to go to Chelsea and Man City.
“When you compare the clubs, you look at the history, the town, the current squad, their plans for the near future.
“But the most important thing you look at is the manager – and Jurgen Klopp is an important reason why I chose for Liverpool.
“Klopp has something special. Is it his energy? Is it his overall image?
“I sometimes sit and think about what he does and what he has more than others.
“I think it is his man-management. These days that is more important than anything in football.
“Klopp gives you this great feeling. He is genuinely happy when you walk into the club in the morning.
“It may sound daft, but that really inspires you as a player.”
But while Van Dijk certainly feels the love from his manager, he has also revealed that the German is not afraid to read the riot act when required.
He added: “He gives every player a hug after the game. It might be a really small detail, yet it feels good for every player.
“And the next day, he can hammer you in front of the squad in training.
“But then you accept that too. Because you know it is not personal. That way he can demand a lot from us.”