Klopp says he was a fan of Martin Odegaard’s football when he was a kid, and tried to sign the Norwegian young star for his club, but ultimately Odegaard decided on going to Real Madrid instead.
“I really like Odegaard,” Klopp said. “It’s easy to do that these days. It was a bit more difficult at the beginning of his career when he was at Real Madrid. Then it seemed like he might not find his way. That disappointed me a lot, because we wanted him at Dortmund when he was very young.
“We had a long conversation when Martin Odegaard was still a child, along with his father (Hans Erik Odegaard). In the end he decided on Real Madrid, and that’s fine, but that’s why I’ve always followed him.”
Klopp says that his own ‘honesty’ may have played a factor in Odegaard’s decision.
“I told him that he was still a child, that he was still going to school, all those things,” Klopp explained. “We wanted to create an environment in which he could grow and develop.
“If you compare the city of Dortmund and the city of Madrid, maybe I would make the same decision”
Klopp says Odegaard stood out to him among other young talents.
“You can’t imagine how many talents, great talents, I have seen over the course of many years in this business,” Klopp said. “At that time, Martin was 15 years old and already playing in the Norwegian League. The whole world went crazy”