Jurgen Klopp on cusp of knocking Sir Alex Ferguson off perch after matching immense record
Jurgen Klopp has not only reached his fourth Champions League final of his managerial career but ensured Liverpool could surpass Manchester United’s famous treble-winning season should they achieve the quadruple this campaign.
When Sir Alex Ferguson took over at Old Trafford in 1986, he had one goal in his mind - to dislodge the Reds at the zenith of English football.
By his own admission, knocking Liverpool ‘right off their f****** perch’ was his greatest challenge as United boss
Yet he achieved that with aplomb by the time he departed in 2014.
Liverpool were usurped as the dominant force. Ferguson led United to 13 Premier League titles, with the Anfield outfit answerless after 1990.
There were also two Champions League triumphs during his tenure, as well as two runners-up medals in Europe's elite club competition.
Qualifying for four finals is indeed a remarkable achievement. Only Marcello Lippi and Carlo Ancelotti (five) can match such a feat,
Well, at least until Jurgen Klopp accomplished it on Tuesday night.
Liverpool marched into the 2022 Champions League final by triumphing 5-2 on aggregate against Villarreal.
Indeed, the second leg wasn't exactly straightforward in Spain. When the Reds found themselves 2-0 down at half-time and the tie finely poised, there were some concerns Liverpool would suffer a sobering reverse.
However, Klopp displayed his tactical acumen to not just book the Reds' spot in the final in Paris later this month but to ensure a 3-2 victory on the night was yielded.
As a result, the German is now preparing for his fourth Champions League final during his managerial career.
It's his third as Anfield chief, despite being at the helm for not even seven years.
There was a 3-1 loss to Real Madrid in Kyiv in 2018 before Liverpool atoned for that disappointment by beating Tottenham Hotspur the following season.
The other time Klopp was on the cusp on conquering Europe was in 2013 while Borussia Dortmund supremo. They were defeated 2-1 by Bundesliga rivals Bayern Munich at Wembley, though.
On the Champions League stage, Klopp now has a chance to match Ferguson's record when Liverpool face Ancelotti’s Real Madrid on 28 May.
And as one-off seasons go, he has the opportunity to eclipse the belligerent Scot.
Ferguson's greatest-ever achievement in a single campaign was when United completed the treble of the Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup in 1998-1999. At the time, it was - and remains - unprecedented on these shores.
However, Liverpool remain firmly in the hunt for a quadruple - something that's never been achieved in Europe.
The Carabao Cup is already in the trophy cabinet, while there’s an FA Cup against Chelsea in 10 days’ time.
And, of course, just a point separates the Reds and Man City in the Premier League with four games to go.
United, on the other hand, find themselves in a state of nonentity.
Klopp's already helped ensure Ferguson's outstanding work at Old Trafford has been diminished.
Now he has the chance to knock Ferguson off what appeared to be an insurmountable perch in terms of a single campaign.