By 90Min
August 15, 2018

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has jokingly explained why he is scared of Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, the Mirror reports.

The German manager claimed that, given his own height, he never finds himself afraid of other people. At 6ft 3in, Klopp says he doesn't feel physically intimidated and suggests his stature helps give him natural authority.

A centre-back in his playing days in Germany, Klopp believes managers must not be scared, even in difficult situations such as telling a player he is not wanted by the club anymore.

OLI SCARFF/GettyImages

When asked if he was ever afraid, Klopp reportedly told France Football: “No, never. Fear is never a good thing, even when you have to tell a player that you are not renewing his contract."

“I think I have a natural authority. I have a voice that carries and I am 6ft 3.6ins tall. Apart from Virgil van Dijk and perhaps Joel Matip, who are nice men, no-one is bigger than me.”

While obviously joking over his fear of van Dijk and Matip as taller men, it does offer an interesting and often unconsidered element to management, and how physical presence and appearance can have an impact.

Van Dijk has been a key part of Liverpool's defence since his record-breaking £75m move from Southampton - so much so that he even received praise from a former critic in Gary Neville.

The ex-Manchester United man admitted he was wrong about the Dutchman, hailing the Liverpool centre back as a "monster" and comparing his to former United teammate Jaap Stam.

At the time of van Dijk's move, Neville was vocal in his belief the player was not worth the money being spent by Liverpool.

He said on the Gary Neville Podcast: "I thought Van Dijk was a good player at Southampton, but I didn't think he was worth £75m.

"I didn't think he would have the impact on Liverpool's defence that he's had."

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