Long time Germany international captain Michael Ballack has expressed his deep admiration for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, and hopes the German coach will take charge of his national team at some point in the future.
Klopp has established himself as one of the world's leading managers at Anfield, having already arrived at the club with a strong reputation following back to back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 while coaching Borussia Dortmund.
He has enhanced that reputation with the Reds, winning the Champions League in 2019, then this season leading Liverpool to the Premier League to end their 30 year wait for an English top-flight league title.
This has impressed ex-Bayern Munich and Chelsea midfielder Ballack, who told German website Sportbuzzer: "It is impressive how Jurgen established Liverpool at the top, then led them to the Champions League triumph and now to the championship title.
"He breathed the new spirit into Reds, embodies the club, and is a brutal worker who gets the most out of his players. He is an absolutely exceptional trainer. For me he is one of the three best coaches in the world."
Ballack also backed Klopp to succeed Joachim Low as manager of the Germany senior men's international team.
Low has led Germany since 2006, and took them to World Cup glory in 2014. However they were dumped out in the group stages in 2018, and Ballack urged the national federation to look to the future in appointing their next coach by picking the most succesful German option available to them.
He said: "Why shouldn't one of the best coaches in the world be a candidate for the national coaching post? The question is not whether he has the qualities for it, but whether Klopp would even like to become a national coach.
"He is in a position where he can choose anything. Should he ever have enough as a club coach, the position of national coach would be a great story for him and German football. This connection would be perfect."
Ballack - who captained Germany at the 2002 World Cup but missed the final loss to Brazil due to suspension - is currently working on his own coaching badges. He earned the UEFA B licence last year, but his plans to take the tests for the A licence this year have been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However Ballack remains committed to working in the sport again: "One thing is clear: I love football and of course I can well imagine returning."