Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel says he has never felt as though he is in the shadow of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and insists that they are “not half as close as everybody thinks”.
The German duo have often been compared, having both managed Mainz and Borussia Dortmund before leaving the Bundesliga for high-profile European jobs, but have never been at the same club at the same time.
While Klopp has secured Champions League and Premier League triumphs with Liverpool, Tuchel won two Ligue 1 titles with Paris Saint-Germain and reached a Champions League final, before replacing Frank Lampard at Chelsea in January.
The German coaches will go head-to-head in the Premier League for the first time when Liverpool host Chelsea on Thursday, live on Sky Sports, with just one point separating the teams in the race for a top-four finish.
“It’s nice to be compared because he’s one of the best coaches in Europe,” Tuchel told Sky Sports News. “On one hand it’s nice because it tells you you’ve reached a certain level, and then at some point, it’s not nice because it does not tell the truth.
“I like him a lot and I am full of respect and we have good times when we meet in coaches’ meetings, there is no doubt about it, but we are not half as close as everybody thinks.
“And we also do not have the years in clubs where we are in exchange, or where I can really learn from him, from his coaching methods, because I was never there when he was there.”