MOSCOW — Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp has had problems on the pitch in Moscow — and at his news conferences.
Eccentric translators, leftfield questions and an unexpected gift all featured as Liverpool’s German manager met the news media while in Russia for Tuesday’s 1-1 Champions League draw with Spartak Moscow.
First there was a Russian translator at Monday’s pre-match news conference who interrupted Klopp, misunderstood his answers and was so unfamiliar with the players’ names that she had to ask him to spell them out.
Eventually, the German said there was simply no need to translate a quirky inquiry about whether he was “in love with” any of his players, saying it was “just an English thing.”
After Liverpool was held to a disappointing draw in Tuesday’s game, Klopp had another translator supplied by Spartak — but not quite as soon as he would have liked.
By the time the new interpreter arrived, Klopp had been chatting for two minutes with reporters in English only, baffling the many Russians in attendance.
The translator tried to make up for his late arrival with a highly detailed rendition of Klopp’s next answer, recited at such pace that Russian reporters burst out laughing.
Then one local reporter came up to the stage to hand Klopp a T-shirt, part of an initiative by the Russian soccer federation to welcome foreign teams and fans.
His patience tested, Klopp asked “are you from the funny channel in Moscow?”