Jürgen Klopp believes Wayne Rooney, who was photographed at a wedding looking the worse for wear whilst on international duty last weekend, is being judged too harshly.
The Liverpool manager described the current generation of footballers as the most professional the game has ever seen and reminded journalists that many previous football legends were often renowned for their unhealthy lifestyles.
“All the legends we love and admire drank like devils and smoked like crazy,” the Liverpool manager claimed.
Klopp sympathised with the England captain after he was forced to apologise “unreservedly” to the Football Association for his conduct.
“What I can say is I feel really for the players,” said Klopp. “I know we’re all on the sunny side of life, we earn a lot of money and do the job we love, but at the end maybe it comes as a surprise that we are also human beings too. Sometimes we’re invited to weddings, birthdays or whatever and we can play the professional role still – ‘No, we don’t drink,’ or ‘If you smoke please stand 20 yards away because I don’t want to be a passive smoker’. That is not how life works.
“This generation is the most professional generation of footballers not only in England, but England too has ever had. All the guys, all the legends we love and admire drank like devils and smoked like crazy but they were still good players. No one does it any more. I don’t know anyone now.
“We had a Christmas party [after losing to Watford last December] and I had to fill people’s glasses. It’s about timing – when you are in the wrong time at the wrong place and it’s not good as a professional. I have no idea where Wayne was but I’m pretty sure it’s not really serious. It is the not the nice part of our life. Our life sounds like a big catastrophe when things are not perfect. But it’s not like that. Sometimes it is good to have a situation like this – you can fine the player and do something good with the money.
“From my point of view I don’t know much about it but I am pretty sure it is nothing. The German national team were in Rome and I saw some pics of them in a restaurant. They had no glass in their hand but do you say they didn’t drink? That’s how it is.
“We live life under a glass. We know it most of the time and we function, but sometimes not. In one, two, three weeks no-one will remember what happened so why make a big thing of it?”