Sometimes, life can make you feel cursed when everything you seem to lay your hands on turn out to fall like a pack of cards. Its normal when you fail once in a while but when it happens repeatedly, it’s easy to conclude that winning is not in your DNA. At this point, you become scared to even attempt anything after all you’ve been destined to fail.
I know someone who could have felt so. His name is Jurgen Klopp, the current Liverpool FC manager. After losing 6 finals in a row, the German coach was tagged the unluckiest manager in the world of football as he made a record with his back to back losses. He even lost two finals in one single season. As a result, Klopp’s cup final win percentage stands at just 16.7%. How woeful!
The following record speaks for itself….
2013 Champions League: Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Bayern Munich – LOST
2014 German Cup: Dortmund 0-2 Bayern. M (aet) – LOST
2015 German Cup: Dortmund 1-3 Wolfsburg – LOST
2016 Capital One Cup: Liverpool 1-1 Man City – LOST 3-1 on penalties
2016 Europa League: Liverpool 1-3 Sevilla – LOST
2018 Champions League: Liverpool 1-3 Real Madrid – LOST
On the contrary, if there was anything Klopp had a fantastic success rate at, it was Excuses! He never ran out of them as he always had a reason for not winning each time he failed. His excuses included factors such as the pitch, the wind, injured players, etc.
Personally, I felt he needed deliverance or he should perhaps take a sabbatical. What made it so frustrating was that Klopp is such a fine coach who transforms no-names into world stars and his playing style is fantastic. But the problem is that he wins his battles convincingly but when it reaches the time to win the war, he loses. Still, you couldn’t question his competency; rather it is safe to say he had offended the gods of football.
For instance, recently in the Premier league season 2018/2019, Liverpool did exceptionally well such that they lost only one game in the 38 games played and thus, ended up with a total of 97 points which would have won the League in 25 of the 27 seasons since the competition started but unfortunately, Manchester City raised the bar to clinch the title with only a point higher. How painful!
Notwithstanding, Jurgen, an epitome of the word, “Resilient” did not throw in the towel. His hopes remained alive. One could easily see this in the fighting spirit his team exhibits. Despite the losses, he hugs and encourages his team to fight back.
So it happened that after his final loss in last season’s match against Real Madrid in the Champions League final, he bounced back to reach the final for a 2nd consecutive season and had to battle Tottenham Hotspur FC that had beaten all odds to appear in the final for the first time in history and were no doubt determined to win.
Thus, the Champions League became his only hope for redemption. Here was a League where they had knocked out Bayern Munich FC, one of the favorites for the title and they also had a dramatic run to the final, turning around a 3-0 first-leg deficit against Barcelona in the semi-final to win 4-0 in the second at Anfield (Liverpool’s stadium) despite being without key duo Roberto Firmino and Mo Salah.
Imagine how these he would have been. Would luck go against him again? Were two title going to slip off his hand on the verge of victory? The entire world was patiently waiting. What excuse had he prepared just in case he lost again?
Nevertheless, the dogged Jurgen Klopp eventually did taste victory as Liverpool overcame Spurs in a scrappy Champions League final of the 2018/2019 season. The world was elated. For Liverpool, it was compensation for a disappointing slip up in the Premier League; a glory they hadn’t tasted in 29 years. But for Klopp, it was the trophy his work has long warranted. More so, a statement to the world that success was indeed in his DNA.
It was Lao Tzu that said, “If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” But if you let the setbacks get into your head and make you quit, you will surely never get the breakthrough to change the narrative.
You know why? Because irrespective of your track record, there is something that is certain: failure cannot cope with persistence. And just like Jurgen Klopp, you also have to prove that success is in your DNA.
Feel free to leave a comment and share to inspire someone…