Former Borussia Dortmund goalkeeper Zlatan Alomerovic has praised the motivational prowess of Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager who was in charge of BVB as the shot-stopper threatened to make inroads in the first team.
Alomerovic signed on with BVB as a teenager in 2006 and spent nine years at the club, and although he would never featured for the first team, he was a regular with the reserves and spent time among the substitutes for the Bundesliga side.
Now 28 years old and on the books of Lechia Gdansk in Poland’s top flight, the Serbian-German has recalled what an inspiration Klopp, who was in charge at Signal Iduna Park from 2008 until 2015, was on his career.
“He is an exceptional trainer and person who can give you incredible self-confidence,” he told Goal and Spox. “From time to time, he would shout and could reprimand you. He is extremely good at saying the right things at the right time - and with that he grabs the players.
“I can still remember my first friendly game in a training camp. I came on at half-time. He didn't tell me to do this or that, just: 'You are so good, you have a lot of strengths. Go out and show them to people. '
“Then I went to the box and thought: ‘I'm the coolest!’”
While the plan was to develop into Dortmund’s second-choice goalkeeper as he signed fresh terms committing him to the club until 2016, he revealed that he was not rated by Thomas Tuchel, the man who replaced Klopp, nearly so highly.
“He immediately made it absolutely clear that he wanted a new goalkeeper,” he recalled. “That was Roman Burki, so it was obvious that two goalkeepers would be leaving. Roman Weidenfeller, Mitch Langerak and I still had a contract.
“That's why sports director Michael Zorc came up to me and said: ‘We respect your contract, but if an inquiry should come, we would not put any obstacles in your way.’
“At that time, I was one of the best goalkeepers in the 3rd league, so the move to Kaiserslautern was actually logical.”
The move to the second tier did not work out and after a year out of the game, Alomerovic found his way to Poland, where he is currently second choice with Lechia Gdansk.