Bosnian Zeljko Buvac worked successfully as an assistant to the Reds’ boss Jurgen Klopp for nearly two decades at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, but the partnership had an acrimonious ending.
Klopp’s former assistant manager has now come up front to mock the his former boss, claiming he did all the work during the pair’s 17-year partnership but the head coach with his charisma ended up taking all the credit.
To be fair to the Bosnian, Klopp did in the past acknowledge his assistant’s contribution during their tremendously successful working relationship at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool, and even actually dubbed Buvac as “The Brain” before his wingman left Anfield in April 2018.
Buvac has now surfaced and criticised Klopp for being little more than a mere media mouthpiece, claiming that he and the backroom staff were responsible for all the actual work in coaching and management of the players while the current Reds manager soaked in all the attention and credit.
In an interview on YouTube with Russian journalist, Nobel Arustamyan, Buvac made the disclosure:
“I did the coaching job, with the exception of the interviews.
“It felt like I’ve been the manager for all those 17 years. I had all the functions and tried to influence my team as much as I could to help them succeed, but I didn’t need that kind of attention.”
Buvac, currently the sporting director of Russian first division club Dynamo Moscow, admitted that he is contented to work in the background and was not interested in seeking a No.1 role at any club, despite claiming to have had many offers.
“At the moment I don’t want to be a coach. When Barcelona calls me I will think about it, otherwise not.
“You say I’m here just to stay occupied and wait for a better chance, but if you knew what kind of offers I had rejected during the pause in my career, you wouldn’t have said that. I won’t tell you which clubs.”
Buvac was replaced as Klopp’s assistant manager at Liverpool by Pep Lijnders, with the Dutchman seen as more popular with the players than the Bosnian.
Despite no official reason given by the club, Klopp or Buvac, the split was an acrimonious one, and the former Reds coach admitted he had not contacted anyone at the club following their Premier League title victory last season.
When asked if he had congratulated Klopp on winning the league title – Liverpool’s first for 30 years – in the summer, Buvac replied:
“I didn’t. I was happy for Liverpool, the fans and the players.”
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia