Diogo Jota recalls Jurgen Klopp messages that have “surprised” him at Liverpool

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Liverpool forward Diogo Jota says one of Jurgen Klopp's "great assets" is messaging his players out of hours.

The Portugal international detailed how the contact surprised him in a good way because Klopp maintains great communication and in turn is close with his players.

Jota signed for the Reds in 2020 and added it was a "no brainier" as Klopp had been a manager he had admired for a long time.

He told FourFourTwo : "He’s exactly the manager that he appears to be – very communicative, and he enjoys being close to the players.

“He will send you a text out of nowhere when you’re relaxing on the sofa at home. It’s the sort of thing that had never happened to me, and that surprised me in the most positive way. It’s just one of his great assets.

Diogo Jota has loved getting to know Jurgen Klopp
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)

“Before signing the papers, I had a video call with him. I don’t think he was expecting to convince me, because I was already convinced.

"He’s a coach who I admire and had been following for a long time, so this was a unique opportunity in my career and I couldn’t afford to lose it. We usually say that we don’t have to think twice. In this case, I didn’t think once – it was a no-brainer.

“I was very well received by everyone at the club, which certainly helped me. I’m close to the Brazilians, especially Fabinho because of the language, but I also have a good relationship with Jordan Henderson, James Milner, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson.

" Liverpool play offensive football, which gives me more chances to score. It’s up to me to take advantage of that.”

Will Portugal retain the Euros? Comment below

The 23-year-old, who scored nine goals in 19 league appearances in the 20/21 campaign, was speaking ahead of Portugal's Euros opener against Hungary on Tuesday.

The team are among the favourites to win the competition after securing the trophy in 2016, with reigning world champions France also a bookies choice.

Despite the outside pressure from the media and fans, Jota insisted at a press conference that the team are not being weighed down by expectation.

He added: “It’s not an extra weight, it’s a huge pride for what happened in 2016. It made us all proud.

“The opponents look at us differently and they want to defeat us. Hungary will have even more motivation to play at home, with a packed stadium, which we are not used to in the last year.

“We know the difficulties that entails and it is very important to start with a victory.”

Portugal have a difficult group as they face Hungary, France and Germany, but captain Cristiano Ronaldo backs Jota's comments.

He said: "It’s important to start with a win.

“The fans will be on our side, but it’s nice to play in a full stadium: I’m ready.

“It’s always better to start with a win. But if you tell me that if we lose tomorrow, we would win the European Championship, then I would choose that option.

“However, we are ready, physically and emotionally. Our players are young, I’m convinced we will have a great European Championship and that all the players are ready.”

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Kai Havertz opens up on Cristiano Ronaldo pressure during first season at Chelsea

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Chelsea midfielder Kai Havertz felt pressure to be the new Cristiano Ronaldo when he joined the club last year.

The Blues bought the star for £71m making him Chelsea's most expensive player, and with a big price tag comes big expectations.

While his season was shaky,with Havertz managing just four goals in 27 Premier League appearances, he did score the winner in the Champions League final which almost instantly cemented him as a Chelsea icon.

The German international has now opened up about what the pressure was like to experience when he first joined.

He told Suddeutsche Zeitung : "People expect you to be the new Cristiano Ronaldo. But it won't be that fast, everything is new and I really didn't play my best football at the beginning.

Kai Havertz felt pressure when he joined Chelsea
(Image: Pool via REUTERS)

"I felt a completely different pressure than before in Leverkusen."

Havertz' goal meant Chelsea defeated Manchester City 1-0 in the Champions League final to raise the trophy for a second time in their history.

And the star said on the score: "I'm glad that I was able to end the season with this goal in the Champions League final.

"The goal was important for the history of the club, but it was important to me to have also done very well personally."

Will Germany be able to defeat France? Comment below

Havertz was speaking ahead of Germany's Euros opener against France on Tuesday in what is being deemed the 'Group of Death' as they will also face Portugal and Hungry.

And the 22-year-old added the Champions League crown will mean nothing if Germany crash out of the Euros.

He said: "We're with the national team, we have different processes and different goals here.

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"Of course, this title gives me tailwind and a lot of self-confidence, but there's no point in feeling like a Champions League winner if you screw up the European Championship afterwards."

France are favourites heading into the clash but in-fighting in their squad has grabbed the headlines rather than their potential to claim the win.

French striker Olivier Giroud complained to the press about not getting enough service in their 3-0 friendly win over Belgium.

And his teammate Kylian Mbappe hit back publicly saying Giroud shouldn't have told the media about the problem.

Despite the feud, keeper Hugo Lloris has said the team are fully focused on their clash with Havertz' Germany.

He said: “Mbappe and Giroud they had maybe a short discussion but that’s normal – it’s nothing unusual.

“There are different opinions in the locker room, this can happen.

“It didn’t harm the team at all. We’ve a great team spirit. I think we dealt with it very well.

“Kylian had to say something, but this is something he said in the past. We are focused now on our first match in this competition.”

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Scott Parker ‘to leave Fulham’ as he prepares to take over at Bournemouth

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Scott Parker is set to step down as Fulham boss amid links of him taking the reins at Championship rivals Bournemouth.

Parker was unable to steer the West Londoners away from relegation this season as the club dropped straight back down into the second tier.

A report in The Athletic now outlines that the former central midfielder’s exit from Craven Cottage will hasten his move to Bournemouth.

The Cherries missed out on an immediate return to the top-flight following their relegation last year, as they were defeated by Brentford – who eventually won promotion – in the semi-finals of the playoffs.

Scott Parker was unable to save Fulham from relegation down to the Championship this season

Parker has managed Fulham across 105 matches having been appointed in February 2019 – overseeing two relegations from the Premier League and last year’s promotion, via the playoffs, from the Championship.

Bournemouth are on the lookout for a permanent boss after sacking Jason Tindall in February, after Jonathan Woodgate took over on an interim basis until the end of the campaign.

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Woodgate’s contract at the Vitality Stadium is set to expire in the coming weeks and having failed to see the South Coast club promoted via the playoffs, it is unlikely that his deal will be extended.

The report adds that the Cottagers had expected Parker to remain at the club and were anticipating him returning to pre-season training with the players, but this will now not happen.

Did Scott Parker do an impressive job as Fulham boss? Comment below

Parker’s departure will add to the state of flux that Fulham find themselves in – having been either promoted or relegated for each of the past four seasons.

The club will now be on the lookout for a permanent replacement for the managerial role while they are also hiring a Director of Scouting to help oversee their player recruitment, in a new role which is claimed to be separate from that of chief scout Brian Talbot.

Parker began his coaching career by taking over at Tottenham ’s Under-18 squad – whilst also being instilled as club ambassador at the North London club – but would return to Craven Cottage, where he ended his playing career, as a first-team coach under Slavisa Jokanovic.

He retained that position in the coaching setup at Fulham under Jokanovic’s replacement Claudio Ranieri, whom he replaced in February 2019 – with relegation almost a formality – as boss.

Parker was then retained for the 2019/20 campaign which saw an immediate return to the Premier League after securing a fourth-place finish – missing out on automatic promotion by two points – but achieving promotion with victories over Cardiff City and Brentford in the playoffs.

However, Parker was unable to maintain the club’s status in the Premier League despite a series of encouraging displays in the middle of the campaign, with the club picking up just two points in their final 10 league matches.

Parker is the brother-in-law of midfielder Harry Arter, who spent a decade-long playing career at Bournemouth between 2010 and 2020.

Posted on Categories Sport