It can be tough to see your ex doing better than you are after you break up with them, and yet, that was the situation Jurgen Klopp found himself in when he returned to Dortmund for the first time since leaving them in seventh place at the end of last season.
Rejuvenated under Thomas Tuchel and just five points behind first-place Bayern Munich this season, Borussia Dortmund welcomed Klopp and his less impressive Liverpool side for the first leg of a Europa League quarterfinal. In the lead-up to the match, Klopp joked that it was “better to be here than, I don’t know, North Korea or something,” hinting at the inherent awkwardness of the situation, no matter how jovial everyone appeared on the surface.
“I can’t believe they haven’t come over to say hello yet. Over there smiling and laughing and playing well. If they expect me to go over to them, they’re crazy. I was the manager here for seven years. They come to me. I don’t go to them. They come to me.”
“Hahahaha you’re not going to be laughing when I start buying up Dortmund players like I’m Bayern Munich after two consecutive losses hahahahaha!”
“I won two Bundesliga titles here, big guy. You’re just a German Brendan Rodgers. With your two bottles of water. Who do you think you’re impressing with all that water? When you come to Liverpool, I’m gonna have so much water in my hands you’ll think I’m stocking up for the zombie apocalypse, you no trophy having loser.”
“Pfft. I gave Aubameyang such better advice. I bet he thinks Tuchel is so lame. He probably can’t even rap. And I bet he shops at the Gap. What a sap.”
“Better remind everyone what a good dancer I am.”
“YYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSS! 1–0! AWAY GOAL! I AM THE GREATEST MANAGER ALIVE! BEG ME TO RETURN! BEG!!!!!!!!!”
“Really? We let Mats Hummels score? Couldn’t you leave me with anyone who could defend, Brendan? Freaking British Thomas Tuchel…”
“Yeah, nice match, lame-o. You’re just lucky I like this club too much to beat you 10–0 in front of your own fans.”
“Look at me, Tuchel. I’m in your stadium, huggin’ your dudes.”
“Mats, please come to Liverpool this summer. Save me from Dejan Lovren. You have no idea how awful he is.”
“Shinji, come over to our hotel later, we’ll tell jokes about Man United all night.”
“Yep. They miss me.”