Jurgen Klopp is the best football coach in the world because of the connection he establishes with players on an emotional level, according to Steffen Freund.
Klopp won The Best FIFA Men's Coach award for 2019 after leading Liverpool to Champions League glory and a club-record Premier League points tally of 97 last season.
The 52-year-old has helped the Reds build up a sizeable early advantage in this season's title race, too, with last Sunday's 1-1 draw at Manchester United ending an eight-game winning streak this term that has seen them move six points clear of City at the top of the table.
Former Borussia Dortmund star Freund watched Klopp work magic at his old club between 2008 and 2015, winning back-to-back Bundesliga titles, the 2012 DFB-Pokal and reaching the 2013 Champions League final.
While he admires BVB boss Lucien Favre, who ran Bayern Munich close in last term's title tussle, Freund would always prefer to see Klopp in charge at Signal Iduna Park.
"That is, of course, the wonderful thing when you compare the coaches: Lucien Favre and Jurgen Klopp," Freund told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, driven by the new Nissan Juke.
"Favre is calm and well-balanced, with a good tactical instinct. But I would always prefer Jurgen Klopp, because he is the coach who can also reach players emotionally because he himself is like that, and because he knows that the day has come when he will sweep the players along with special moments, through his emotions.
"And that's why Jurgen is the best in the world right now."
Freund thinks the "passion" Klopp has helped to instil within his Liverpool squad will serve them well in the title race - particularly when their form deserts them.
"If you look at the Premier League so far, everything is playing for Liverpool," said Freund. "Even their own games are won late. It's not always good football, but they have played with a lot of passion. Jurgen Klopp also exemplifies this passion.
"They also have the necessary luck at the moment, but because I also played in the Premier League for five years and I also worked there as an assistant coach [with Tottenham], there will come a phase where Liverpool will lose.
"It looks so safe and clear at the moment, but that's not how they play. And then the question is how quickly they get back into the corner. Along with Manchester City, Liverpool are favourites for the title."