Liverpool manager used Maori haka to fire up his footballers
LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp was transported back to the early days of his management career when the Kiwis rugby league team honoured him with a haka.
Two incongruous sporting cultures collided at one of the world’s most famous soccer clubs after Liverpool FC invited the tourists to use their facilities at Melwood ahead of this weekend’s second Test against England at Anfield.
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Kiwis perform Haka for Liverpool FC0:00
Football: New Zealand’s Rugby League squad have performed a Haka for Liverpool as they prepare to face England in a Test match at Anfield on Sunday.
After mingling with some of the English Premier League’s biggest names, the Kiwis performed an Adam Blair-led haka to thank their hosts.
What was more surprising was the response of Klopp, whose association with the haka goes back 15 years.
The 51-year-old revealed the Maori war dance was a staple part of game preparation in his first managerial role, at German club Mainz 05, who he helped promote to the Bundesliga in 2005.
He would play a rendition of the haka on the team bus speakers as they arrived at match venues, to get the blood racing.
“I loved the intensity. It helped us a lot and put us in a pretty special mood. We used it for two or three years,” Klopp said.
“I am always happy when I can hear it and especially live, it is a very interesting experience.”
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It was the third time the Kiwis have been invited to Liverpool and Klopp wryly noted to coaching counterpart Michael Maguire that it had been under three different coaches.
That drew a laugh from the players, who had enjoyed mingling with luminaries such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves revealed Egyptian superstar Salah was eventually forced to beat a hasty retreat.
“Apparently his income is quite impressive, He was like a magnet, we all flocked to him,” Waerea-Hargreaves said.
“He came up to have some lunch but he back-doored it as soon as he’s seen all the boys running for him.”
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Originally published as Liverpool manager used Maori haka to fire up his footballers
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