Matos: Working with Klopp at Liverpool is like having a masterclass - I'm learning from the best

Liverpool's elite development coach Vitor Matos has said that working with Jurgen Klopp is 'like having a masterclass' and that he feels he is learning from 'the best'.

Matos joined Liverpool from Porto in October and Pepijn 'Pep' Lijnders, Klopp's assistant manager, has described him as 'our best signing of the season'. 

Matos has taken over from Lijnders as development coach, with the Dutchman replacing Zeljko Buvac as Klopp's right-hand man in the dugout.

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Matos, meanwhile, has been tasked with co-ordinating the various departments at the club from the academy to the first team and everything in between. 

Though he is primarily in charge of developing youngsters, Lijnders has described him as 'the connector', who has been tasked with keeping things ticking over behind the scenes.

Now, Matos has opened up on his first month or so on Merseyside. "My biggest goal is to create development," he told Liverpool's official website. "You can create development in different ways but the most important thing is that you understand football as a collective game. 

"It's something that is built on the interactions between the players and these interactions are related to your way of playing, to your identity, so you can see: 'Okay, this is Liverpool's way of playing.'

"Development or individual development is also connected with this. These game ideas and this way of playing will force the individual development of the players. 

"My role is to say: 'Okay, we have these academy players. How can we help them learn the game ideas of the first team, and how can we use those game ideas to continue their individual development?'"

Harvey Elliott, Liverpool
Harvey Elliott, Liverpool

At 31, Matos is relatively young for a coach but has already had two spells working at Porto. He has also worked as technical coordinator and Under-16s coach for Shandong Luneng in China.

On news of his arrival last month, Klopp called him "an outstanding coach" and said: "Young and experienced, you don’t get that a lot." Matos, in turn, has high praise for Klopp, who has made quite the first impression on him.

"Working with Jurgen is like having a masterclass!" Matos said. "I am very pleased and happy for the opportunity to work with the best.

"Really, Jurgen is not only about understanding football, a player or a youth player, he is more than that: it is how he understands life and its values. For me, this fascinating way of seeing things is unbelievable, it's really unbelievable.

"Normally we say that the character of the team is the character of the coach, and we can see Jurgen's impact on everything in the club. The way he is as a person makes an influence on the training sessions, in the pre-match meetings, on the environment at Melwood.

"There is a famous doctor in Portugal who says: 'They who only know about medicine, don't know anything about medicine.' I say that a coach who only knows about football doesn't know anything about football.

"Jurgen is the perfect example of that. The way he fills all the game ideas, all the tactical principles, all the team organisation with passion and with love is amazing because that is what gives you the way of playing. It's been really amazing to work with him.

"For me, for a player to improve and to learn, we need to touch their heart, especially if he's a young player. With that, Jurgen is incredible.

"The way he talks with the young players, the way he understands the player, the way he understands the human being behind the player, it's absolutely massive. 

"For sure it makes my job easier because the environment that he and all the technical staff create here is amazing for the development of players. We can see the development of the first team in the last years and [along] with these first-team players we also have all the young players that are coming through, which is brilliant."

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