The legendary Scot oversaw a period of Red Devils domination, leading the club to an astonishing 13 Premier League crowns before calling time on his managerial career in 2013. As United scooped title after title, things were far more bleak on Merseyside, where Liverpool endured a miserable wait for domestic glory.
It was not until 2020 that Liverpool reclaimed some honour and put an end to their 30-year drought by surging to the title with a mammoth tally of 99 points, 18 clear of their closest rival. Jurgen Klopp was, of course, the manager who masterminded the triumph nearly five years on from his appointment at Anfield.
The German has proved to be the perfect match for Liverpool having also guided them to the pinnacles of European and world football during his decorated reign. He is showing no signs of letting up, either, as the Reds are in hot pursuit of an unprecedented quadruple this season. While Liverpool have risen to the very top, United have endured a sharp decline since Ferguson’s departure and their trophy drought is on the verge of extending to five years.
Rubbing salt to their wounds – and adding to Liverpool’s delight – is the fact Ferguson himself may have played a key role in steering Klopp towards Anfield. The 80-year-old recalled meeting with the Liverpool boss while on the continent and advised him to “pick a team with expectation”. Speaking last year, Ferguson told Ladbible TV : “To my mind, the two exceptional managers are Klopp and [ Manchester City boss Pep] Guardiola, without a doubt.
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“I’ve watched them working and I’ve actually been partly responsible for their next moves. Klopp met me in Switzerland and asked me for advice on a move to England and I said ‘pick your best team, pick a team with expectation’.” By choosing a club who had been European champions on five occasions at the time of his appointment, Klopp did just as Ferguson had instructed.
More impressive is the way the 54-year-old has lived up to the “expectation” of the Kop, adding yet another trophy to his cabinet with Carabao Cup success this season. So, while Ferguson will always be viewed – and revered – as one of Liverpool’s ultimate nemeses, the Anfield faithful have him to thank for setting up their perfect marriage with Klopp.