Ahead of the Champions League quarterfinals clash between Benfica and Liverpool earlier this week, former Bayern Munich sporting director Matthias Sammer spoke about his rift with Jurgen Klopp while doing punditry work for Amazon Prime Video. He admitted that the two still have great respect for one another, but that, to date, they have “no relationship” whatsoever based off of what happened back in 2013.
For foreground of the beef between the two, ahead of the Champions League final in 2013, when Bayern and Borussia Dortmund squared off against one another in the Bundesliga just weeks before the final in Wembley the drew 1-1 having both fielded relatively weakened sides. At the time, Bayern had already secured the Meisterschale. An incident between Rafinha and Dortmund’s Jakub Błaszczykowski sparked tension between Sammer and Klopp on the touchline that got pretty heated quickly to the point where they got right up into each other’s faces.
“I can’t remember the last detail. It was about Rafinha. And finally I pointed out to him that Rafinha — because he had spoken to him — is not a Dortmund player, but a Bayern Munich player. And I discreetly pointed out to him that he should take care of his players and not ours. And the discretion went so far that I said I can’t back down a millimeter here,” Sammer explained when recalling the incident (Sport Bild).
Months later, during a press conference, Klopp had taken a verbal dig at Sammer, correlation his tenure as sporting director to a period in which Bayern had been dropping points in the Bundesliga. “As Matthias Sammer I would thank God every day that he was brought in. I don’t think Bayern Munich would lose a point if Matthias Sammer weren’t there,” he wisecracked.
Despite still not having a relationship with the current Liverpool manager, Sammer said there’s no respect lost between the pair of them, rivalries aside. He’s reconciled that beef between them and is principally fine that it happened given the heated nature of the rivalry between both clubs in Germany. “In the time of the great rivalry, it wasn’t always nice and sweet. But that was the same with Aki (Hans-Joachim Watzke) when we were fighting for dominance, for the titles and games, that’s clear. In principle, we have no relationship with each other, but he has my great respect. Jürgen Klopp is a great leader, and I’m glad that you can see and call it that,” Sammer explained.