Klopp is like a father, says Pathum star

Klopp is like a father, says Pathum star

Japanese star Mitsuru Maruoka.
Japanese star Mitsuru Maruoka.

Mitsuru Maruoka, the man who engineered BG Pathum United's match-winning goal against big-spending Port in his debut last weekend, says Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp is like a father to him.

The 24-year-old Maruoka, who joined Pathum United recently, delivered the assist which enabled Chenrop Samphaodi to net the only goal of their Thai League 1 clash with Port.

Before joining BG Pathum United, Maruoka had a stint in Bundesliga with Borussia Dortmund during the 2014-2015 season.

At the time, Maruoka was only 17 years old and had been loaned to Borussia Dortmund by Cerezo Osaka.

While he was handed only one game by the German giants in Bundesliga, he played 26 matches for Borussia Dortmund's reserve squad in the season, an experience Maruoka cherishes to this day.

"It was really a great experience for me to play in Germany with a team like Borussia Dortmund," said the talented Japanese.

"I tried to learn everything from the world-class players in the team and from every coach, especially Juergen Klopp when he was in charge of Borussia Dortmund before becoming the Liverpool manager.

"Klopp always told me to play and enjoy football when on the pitch.

"At training, Klopp is serious and strict and, most importantly, he always gives advice to all players and that included me as well.

"He is like a second father to me because he helped me progress."

Maruoka added that he wasn't happy with his current form.

"When coach Dusit Chalermsaen gave me the chance to play against Port, I gave it my 100 percent. I just wanted to impress the coach and the Pathum United fans."

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