Just when you thought it wasn’t possible to admire Jurgen Klopp any more than he is already, the German’s humanity shone through again at a Liverpool training session.
With the coronavirus pandemic still fresh in everyone’s minds, a gesture as simple as the one that Klopp gave to his players is arguably what endears him to them, and why they will work so hard for him.
“It is the players’ choice (to train or not) and that is clear,” he said to Sky Sports.
“I said before the session, ‘you are here on free will. Usually you sign a contract and you have to be in when I tell you, but in this case if you don’t feel safe, you don’t have to be here.’
“There are no restrictions, no punishment, nothing. It’s their own decision and we respect that 100 per cent.
“The boys are all here, the first group of 10 players, then the next session will start, and another 10 players will be in, and then another five in the afternoon.
“The boys are fine. We would never put anybody in danger to do what we want to do. Yes, we love football, yes, it’s our job, but it’s not more important than our lives or the lives of other people.”
With only two wins needed from their final few games of the 2019/20 campaign to be absolutely sure of their first English top-flight title in the last 30 years, Klopp can perhaps afford to be a little relaxed.
That shouldn’t take away from his extraordinary knack of saying and doing exactly the right thing at the right moment, time and time again.
Behind the smile, there is a steely determination to win, but, just as importantly, it’s not win at all costs for Klopp, and that’s clearly appreciated.