But his time in charge helped bring through a generation of players who did reach the biggest global soccer tournament, including superstar Mohamed Salah.
The latest build-up video ahead of the Champions League final sees Jurgen Klopp, Mohamed Salah and Cristiano Ronaldo give their takes. Leo Messi and Ronaldo are outstanding, but the performance of Salah this season was also outstanding.
ALSO READ: FIFA World Cup rewind - Dogs' day out at the Wembley This has been a insane year for Salah. For a side which made history by winning three consecutive Africa Cup of Nations between 2006 and 2010, how could they always fall short and fail to qualify for six World Cups since Italia 1990?
Both Salah and Ronaldo will be confident of adding goal number 45 (if not higher) upon kick-off this weekend. The Pharoahs will play in Group A alongside the tournament hosts, Saudi Arabia and Uruguay, their first match coming on June 15.
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Get the latest World Cup news updates. "Isco or Asensio have a lot of quality and they're available too".
"There's a great example of me when I went to press him [Messi at the Nou Camp in 2015], got him by the touchline, he nicks it through my legs and he's gone, incredible".
There had been reports emanating from Salah's home country of Egypt that the Liverpool winger would continue to observe the religious routine of Ramadan by fasting until less than an hour before kick off on Saturday. There are genuine fears opponents may find it easy to neutralise Egypt's star man, and you have to wonder if there is enough in the tank to maintain his form during the summer. I think that Bale is the only one in danger because he arrives in the last stretch before the final.
"He is unbelievably good in the air, we never really saw that at Manchester United".