Jurgen Klopp has revealed how he once wore a Father Christmas mask in order to enjoy a night out and go unnoticed.
The Liverpool manager has sympathised with Wayne Rooney after the Manchester United forward was photographed allegedly drinking alcohol late into the night after England had beaten Scotland 3-0 in a World Cup qualifier on Friday.
While manager of German side Mainz, who were struggling at the time, Klopp recalled how he headed into the city for drinks during the winter break.
“I had a story with myself when we had 11 points and we were last in the Bundesliga table,” Klopp told the Liverpool Echo. “We had a Christmas break and friends of ours wanted to have a party in the city.
“Nobody saw me because I had a mask. It was Santa Claus. I didn’t feel too good, but I needed a little bit of help and I went out. I did it.
“Then at the end there was one point when you are a little bit drunk, so I lifted the mask and then the next thing there is a picture.
“The next day [German newspaper] Bild said: ‘That’s how Klopp celebrates being 18th.’ It is not actually like I celebrated but it was the picture. This happens and you go on.”
At his news conference at Melwood, Klopp also went on to hail the professionalism of footballers in the modern era. He insists he has no concerns about his players drinking, after Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger also said he has no worries over alcohol, but says there are financial punishments in place should anyone step out of line at his club.
“If they ask me six times a week ‘can we go out, can we go out?’, I’d say seven times no,” Klopp added. “By the way they didn’t ask but if they did we would say no.
“We all know a few of them are doing it. Not going out but maybe having a party at home. They are young and sometimes if they don’t celebrate now it would be silly.
“I’ve no sympathy with it but when something happens, if it happens once then fine him, take his money and do something good with it for the team, for the kitman or whoever.
“If then he thinks about the next drink then think ‘really?’ I never had these problems actually but it can happen.
“It is not that serious. Talk to the person, talk to the guy and convince him about the way to go. It is not really big but make it as big as you want.”
Culled from ESPNFC