Zeljko Buvac, the ex-assistant of Klopp who mysteriously left Liverpool
Jurgen Klopp’s former No.2 Zeljko Buvac departed mysteriously from Liverpool nearly four years ago, where is he now?
Zeljko Buvac unexpectedly quit Liverpool in April 2018, just two days before a crucial semi-final clash against Roma in the Champions League. The pair had worked together since 2001 while at Mainz, Borussia Dortmund, and eventually Liverpool.
Often described by Klopp as ‘the brain’ of the trio which also included coach Peter Krawietz.
Both Klopp and Buvac, shared a special relationship for 17 years, as both first helped Mainz to Bundesliga promotion and then into Europe. Later, joining Borussia Dortmund winning two Bundesliga titles and reaching the Champions League final in 2013.
After Klopp moved to Liverpool, Buvac also made the pilgrimage to Merseyside, continuing their working relationship in the early part of his reign.
But on the eve of the Reds’ Champions League semi-final clash with Roma, Liverpool announced Buvac has left the club, stating it was for “Personal reasons” with no further information.
The shocking exit of Zeljko Buvac from Liverpool – The Reason
Even though Liverpool initially cited “personal reasons”, however, there have been only snippets of information regarding his exit.
Firstly, Buvac took issue with the increasing role of Pepijn Lijnders on his return from NEC Nijmegen, with the Dutchman eventually appointed as assistant manager following Buvac’s exit.
Secondly, and most interestingly, reports of Mirror Sport revealed the two had a row after Buvac had been approached by Arsenal. Then Arsenal sporting director Sven Mislintat was reportedly eyeing Buvac for the vacant manager’s job. Moreover, Klopp was said to be incensed that he was left in the dark regarding the talks.
Previously, both Klopp and Buvac worked together with Sven Mislintat at Borussia Dortmund and helped build the golden generation of Dortmund.
Where is he now?
Since leaving Liverpool, Buvac was not seen in football circles until February 1, 2020. He made his comeback, as he was named the new sporting director of the Russian side Dynamo Moscow.
When announcing the move, the Russian club said:
Two-time German champion and Champions League finalist with Borussia Dortmund, Champions League and European League finalist with Liverpool, Zeljko Buvac – new sports director of Dynamo Moscow! Welcome!
Buvac has an active role in the club’s transfer strategy. Moreover, he is seemingly enjoying the role, after signing a new contract until 2024 at the end of last year.
After returning to football Buvac gave a rare interview with Nobel, where he did admit how happy he was to see his former side lift the trophy, although admitted he never sent any formal congratulations to the Anfield club.
I didn’t,” he said when asked if he had congratulated the side.
I was happy for Liverpool, for the fans, for the players. But I didn’t.
Furthermore, he also added “he was practically a manager for 17 years,”
I did the coaching job, with the exception of the interviews,
It felt like I’ve been the manager for all those 17 years. I had all the functions and tried to influence my team as much as I could to help them succeed, but I didn’t need that kind of attention.
Although, things are going well right now after Pep Lijnders and Vitor Matos arrived to replace Buvac. Therefore, many Liverpool fans won’t be bothered.
However, for a 17-year-long partnership with all the success in their careers together to end so sourly, is very strange.