The Mexico national team had Jurgen Klopp on its list of potential candidates for manager in 2015, with the German politely turning down the opportunity.
Klopp was at Borussia Dortmund when El Tri reached out, but he wasn’t interested, according to former Mexico sporting director Guillermo Cantu.
“I asked through a third party if he’d be interested in the Mexican national team and the message back was, ‘I appreciate it, many thanks, but I still have a lot to do in club football and I want to go to England,'” said Cantu in an interview with TUDN via Instagram Live.
Klopp went on to take the Liverpool job in October of 2015 and has brought the team close to the 2019-20 Premier League title, while Mexico confirmed the appointment of Colombian Juan Carlos Osorio to take over the national team just a few days later.
The hiring of Osorio is a decision Cantu doesn’t regret, even if Mexico crashed out of the World Cup in 2018 at the same round-of-16 stage as the team had on the last six occasions.
“If you told me, ‘you will choose a coach who will finish the three years with a 70 percent [win record],’ I’d sign off on it 40 times,” said Cantu.
Cantu also said Osorio was treated badly in Mexico, but that his legacy is positive, especially the 1-0 victory over Germany in the team’s opening game of the World Cup in Russia in 2018.
“He always played to win, I think we can appreciate that,” Cantu said. “They made fun of him when he said ‘we have to go out and beat Germany,’ we had six months to prepare.
“I was a child but I still remember when Germany scored six against us in 1978.”