Jurgen Klopp: 'All the legends you love drank like devils'

The Liverpool boss defended Wayne Rooney and claimed that footballers now are the most professional they've ever been

Jurgen Klopp

Image: Dave Howarth / PA Wire/PA Images

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp has expressed sympathy for Wayne Rooney after the England striker was photographed celebrating following their World Cup qualifying game against Scotland last Friday.

The Manchester United forward was forced to "unreservedly apologise" to the FA, who criticised him for drinking whilst on international duty.

"England personnel have a responsibility to behave appropriately at all times," said an FA statement yesterday afternoon. "We will be reviewing our policy around free time while on international duty."

Speaking at a press conference ahead of Liverpool's trip to Southampton, Klopp said he didn't really see much wrong with Rooney's actions.

"I feel for the players," he said. "We are all on the sunny side of life, earn a lot of money, do the job we love, but in the end there is a human being behind the kid.

"Sometimes we are invited to something - a wedding, a birthday - we can still play the professional role and say 'no, we don't drink' and 'if you smoke, please, 20 yards between me and you'. That's not how life works.

"This generation is the most professional generation of footballers we've ever had. All the legends you still love, all the guys you still admire drank like devils and smoked like crazy and were still good players. Nobody does it anymore.

"It's all about timing. When you are in the wrong moment at the wrong place it's not good, but I'm pretty sure it was not really serious.

"The not-so-nice part of our life is that all we do sounds like a big catastrophe when it's not perfect. And it isn't."