Gündogan learns lesson after Klopp blew a fuse at Dortmund
The Turkish player remembered an incident in training when he failed to notify medical staff of a problem with his hamstring. Klopp went berserk.
Manchester City midfielder İlkay Gündogan worked under Liverpool's Jürgen Klopp when they were both at Borussia Dortmund between 2011 and 2015. They enjoyed great success, winning the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal and reaching the final of the Champions League, but there was a few moments of tensions along the way.
Every member of the Dortmund squad was told that if they noticed any physical problem whatsoever, medical staff must be informed immediately by text message - even if it was just a slight twinge or minor problem. That way, they could keep on top of injuries.
Tight hamstring, "Why didn't you tell us?"
One day, Gündogan woke up experiencing slight pain to his hamstring but thought nothing of it, expecting it would clear itself up by the time he got to the training ground.
The player regaled the rest of the tale in an interview with The Players Tribune: "I woke up and felt my hamstring a bit. Did I have a muscle problem, or was I just tired? I couldn’t tell. I probably should have texted the doctor. But I thought, It’s probably gonna be alright. Like always, I came to the training ground an hour before the session started. And just to be sure, I asked the doctor to take a look at my hamstring. He said, “The muscle feels a bit tight. Why didn’t you text us?” I said, “Don’t worry, I can train. It’s not a problem.” He said, “I have to let the boss know. We can’t take any risks.” I waited a few minutes, and then Jürgen came in. He was not happy. He said, “What’s going on?” I said, “I just feel my hamstring a bit, but it’s O.K. I can train.” He said, “Why didn’t you text us? You know about the rule.” I said, “Yeah, but I’m fine, honestly.” I was trying to find a way out of it, even though I knew I was wrong. Jürgen kept saying that we couldn’t take any risks. I kept saying that I could train. And then he snapped. You know when he gets these intense eyes and grits his teeth? He gave me that look and shouted, “Do whatever the F*** you want to do!” Then slammed the door behind him".
The story didn't end there, as the player explains. "And I was also angry at that point!! I’m usually very nice and calm, but the whole argument had me fired up. I was like, “Why is he reacting like this? What’s his problem?” I told the doctor I would do the warmup and see how I felt. About half an hour later, I put my boots on and walked onto the pitch. Jürgen came up next to me. I was expecting a lecture, but he put his arm around me. He said, “My friend, do you know why I was so angry?” I said nothing... He said, “I just care about you. And I don’t want you to get injured.” Then he gave me a big hug.
"I was shocked. We had had this fight, and now he was talking to me the way a father might talk to his son. That showed me what kind of person he is: very emotional, of course, but also very open and honest. Jürgen taught me a lesson that day: Always try to be honest. Both with others and yourself".