Ten Hag backs Klopp to win FIFA Best Men's Coach award

Jurgen Klopp would be a worthy winner of FIFA's prize for the best coach in men's football, fellow nominee Erik ten Hag says.

Jurgen Klopp with the Champions League trophy.   -  Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp deserves to win the Best FIFA Men's Coach award for winning the Champions League with Liverpool, Ajax boss Erik ten Hag has said.

Klopp won his first trophy in nearly four years in charge at Anfield when the Reds became champions of Europe for the sixth time by beating Tottenham 2-0 in Madrid on June 1. The German is one of 10 nominees for FIFA's prize for the top coach in men's football, alongside the likes of Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola, Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino, Portugal's Fernando Santos and Brazil's Copa America-winning coach Tite.

'Good list'

Ten Hag is also on the shortlist, having guided a thrilling Ajax side to domestic double glory and the Champions League semifinals last season. However, he believes Klopp would be the worthy recipient, telling Algemeen Dagblad: "It's a good list.

"With managers, we see the same thing as counts for the players. It's obvious [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi belong in the top 10, but if you focus on last season, you can't overlook Liverpool. In my opinion, Jurgen Klopp would be a more-than-justified coach of the year. What he achieved with Liverpool, and the way he achieved it, is very impressive."

 

FIFA's awards for men's and women's coaches and players contains six Dutch nominees for 2019. Alongside Ten Hag, Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong are included after sterling seasons for Ajax prior to their respective transfers to Juventus and Barcelona.

Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk is also included, as is Netherlands Women's star Vivianne Miedema and head coach Sarina Wiegman, who steered her side to the World Cup final. "We've achieved something very special with Ajax and there's a lot of international appreciation for that," said Ten Hag.

"There are six nominees in total from the Netherlands. That suggests we are on the right track. It's a nice compliment for Dutch football."