Klopp won't discuss why his longtime assistant has left
ABS-CBN Sports on May 02, 2018 09:02 AM
FILE - Liverpool's manager Jurgen Klopp celebrates after his team won the final match against Leicester City FC at the Premier League Asia Trophy soccer tournament in Hong Kong, Saturday, July 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
ROME (AP) — Liverpool coach Juergen Klopp won't discuss why his assistant of 17 years has left the club until the end of the season for personal reasons.
Speaking ahead of the second leg of the Champions League semifinals at Roma on Wednesday, Klopp said: "We gave a club statement to that and that's all we say at the moment. Nothing else."
Assistant coach Zeljko Buvac remains a Liverpool employee and his position will not be affected by his absence.
Liverpool leads the semifinal 5-2 from the first leg at Anfield last week.
Klopp and Buvac played together at Mainz in the early 1990s. They were reunited when Klopp made him his assistant after becoming Mainz coach in 2001 and were also together at Borussia Dortmund from 2008.
Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco didn't think Buvac's absence would be an issue.
"I think they're going to put forth a strong, determined squad. It's a club that has invested a lot to do well in both the league and the Champions League," Di Francesco said. "We're facing a squad that has real history in Europe. I don't think the absence of a staff member can be a factor."