On Wednesday, German football manager Jurgen Klopp, who has led Dortmund-based Borussia Dortmund since 2008, held a press conference to announce his July resignation from the team. Live-blogging the event was The Telegraph 's Ben Bloom, who sat down to live-blog and swiftly learned the press conference was taking place entirely in German. "Right, we have a slight issue," Bloom tweeted three minutes after Klopp sat down and promptly began chattering in German. "Why can't I speak German???????" Bloom added, two minutes later.
Look: This is a mistake that could happen to anyone. (Well, I can imagine it happening to me, which isn't quite the same thing.)
Rather than run from the problem, Bloom bravely continued to live-blog the event.
12.41: I'd love to tell you what Klopp is saying. He is saying a lot. But I can understand precisely none of it. So here's a photo of him pouring some water instead.
12.46 I am going to email my old German teacher Dr Plow after this and apologise.
12.49: Klopp has finished speaking and we have just heard from a chap with a lovely slicked back hairstyle. Although most hairstyles look lovely to me.
12.53 So, in lieu of someone with any semblance of knowledge of the German language, I shall now consider what we know:
- Klopp has not planned a sabatical.- Klopp is not tired.- Klopp has not had contact with any other club.
If that's not insightful then I don't know what is.
For the record, Klopp is leaving Dortmund at the end of the season. He has no plans to take a year off, the BBC reports. "It's not that I'm tired, I've not had contact with another club but don't plan to take a sabbatical," he said, according to a BBC translation.
This is about all you need to know about Klopp. Back to Bloom:
12.56: WHY DON'T WE HAVE A UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE ACROSS THE GLOBE???
12.58: I am genuinely sorry about this. I realise this is highly unprofessional. Don't tell my boss I can't speak German. He thinks I'm translating this press conference word for word.
1.02: The big man is still answering questions. I managed to catch the following words: "Extreme", "Sport" and "And". Make of that what you will. In my mind he's considering a new career as a skydiver.
1.03: Klopp just cracked a gag and the entire press conference audience laughed. A joker to the end. Or almost the end. Remember he's staying in the job until July 1.
(Thanks to the person who tweeted me a "How to learn German in 60 seconds" video. It didn't work I'm afraid.)
1.05: It's finished! What? I didn't expect that. They said thank you, got up and left. What on Earth do I do now??? I haven't enlightened one reader and they've already left!!! Erm...
1.14: So it turns out the bloke almost in tears earlier was Dortmund's sporting director Michael Zorc and these were some of the words he managed to get out before breaking down completely (N.B. He didn't actually break down).
"We have written football history with you, Jurgen. You have given the club much energy and optimism."
Can you feel the love in the room?
1.16: Oh what?? Sky Sports News have just played a snippet from the press conference and they had a bloke translating Klopp's words. How did they find a German speaker and the Telegraph was lumbered with me? I fear I have damaged the reputation of this once great institution considerably.
2.00: And with that I bid you farewell. Again, many apologies for a hopeless lack of German knowledge. You'd think it would have been a prerequisite to live blog a Borussia Dortmund press conference but perhaps not. Only time will tell if the person who tweeted me suggesting I am getting "sacked in the morning" is correct.
I also apologise for this live blog becoming far too much about me. I can assure you it will not happen again. Let us end on what we came here for: Jurgen Klopp. It isn't often that one of the world's leading managers becomes available so expect the speculation to run, run and run some more until he gets another job. It'll be interesting.
Thanks for joining me. Cheerio.
And, an hour and 20 minutes later:
3.20: Sadly, Ben Bloom has now gone home to start his German lessons. But he appears to have become something of a web sensation in the meantime, so here are some of the funniest tweets about his ridiculous press conference coverage.
(PS. We haven't fired him. Yet.)
Ben Bloom, you're my hero.