Siya Kolisi: Jurgen Klopp meeting left Rugby World Cup winner speechless
Last Updated: 27/11/19 3:34pm
South Africa captain Siya Kolisi has revealed how a chance meeting with Jurgen Klopp caused the Rugby World Cup-winning captain to fall off his chair.
Kolisi has been inundated with well-wishers since leading the Springboks to their third World Cup, but the Liverpool fan was left speechless when Klopp approached to congratulate him on his success.
Kolisi told Sky Sports News: "This was one of the highlights. He is such an amazing human being and I understand why the boys play so hard for him.
"He came and greeted every single person at the table and spoke to me for over 40 minutes. When I saw him I fell off my chair!
"Everyone around me didn't understand but I've got huge respect for him.
"He said he knew who I was and that he watched the final."
Kolisi and his team-mates embarked on a nationwide trophy tour following their victory over England, including a parade through his hometown of Port Elizabeth. He says it was only then that he began to understand the enormity of their achievement.
"This made us realise why we did it and who we did it for," he said.
"To see people in South Africa so happy and united, that was really strong.
"We hope it is not just for this moment, that it carries on for years to come."
In the aftermath of South Africa's World Cup final victory, Kolisi was asked if he had ever dreamed of that moment when growing up. He replied: "When I was a kid all I was thinking about was getting my next meal."
It underlines the incredible journey he has taken and he believes the different backgrounds of the Springboks players makes their achievement all the more special.
"Kids can start dreaming about this moment because we've done it," he said.
"Guys like Makazole Mapimpi who comes from a rural area, Pieter-Steph du Toit comes from a farming area. All those kids can say: 'Do you know what? They did it. We can also do it.'
"Do I think we have helped change perceptions? I hope so but there is still a bit of work to do. We need a lot of work in infrastructure and hope people invest back in their communities.
"We are all celebrating this story and it's amazing, but kids shouldn't have to go through [what I did]. That's why I'm trying to work as hard as I can with some of my team-mates to give back and help as many as we can."