Jurgen Klopp says Kenny Dalglish’s diagnosis with coronavirus brought home the reality of the pandemic to his Liverpool players.
The Reds icon was discharged from hospital on Sunday in order to recover in self-isolation at home, having tested positive for Covid-19 despite showing no symptoms.
Klopp was already well aware of the severity of the coronavirus situation, but says Dalglish’s diagnosis was the first time it had affected somebody close to some of his players.
“It was a real shock three days ago when I heard about it first,” Klopp told Liverpool’s official website. “The boys were sent a message in our WhatsApp group and everybody was like, ‘Wow’.
“What you feel in that moment is a massive difference if you know somebody who got the virus, or if you don’t know. In this moment, it was like, ‘Wow, one of us has it’ and it was really crazy.
“We all know this terrible disease is causing heartache all over the world, but this was the first time for many of us someone we have such a personal connection to was affected to this extent.”
Klopp knows the high regard in which Dalglish is held at the club, and says he got in touch with the former Scotland international’s family to offer his support.
“I had the opportunity to text immediately with one of his daughters and we spoke about it,” he said. “She was quite, not relaxed, but she was fine and said it looked all well – and two days later we heard he was released from hospital.
“It’s good news – very good news – and I hope he is doing well still. We all know Kenny and we love him. We just sent him all our thoughts and prayers in that moment, but maybe he didn’t need it, which is even better.”
Dalglish had earlier penned a message in the Sunday Post thanking the National Health Service staff who had looked after him.
“People may think my name got me the best of care but every patient in the NHS gets the best of care,” he wrote. “As a nation, we are lucky to have them and I wish them all well as they work tirelessly to help the country through this pandemic.”