May 17, 2024

‘We had a great time’, Klopp prepares for Anfield farewell



Jurgen Klopp said Friday he has experienced the “most intense” week of his life as he prepares to bring down the curtain on his trophy-filled Liverpool reign.

Wolves are the visitors for what will be an intensely emotional occasion at Anfield on Sunday as the home support say goodbye to a manager who has transformed the club’s fortunes over the past decade.

“Most intense week of my life definitely. I said so often ‘goodbye’ this week. We don’t have to pretend it’s a normal week because it’s not,” Klopp said at his pre-match press conference.

“Saying goodbye I don’t think is ever nice but saying goodbye without feeling sad or hurt, that would just mean the time we spent together was not great, and we had a great time.

“So it’s clear, it will be tough and I know it will be tough.”

Klopp, who arrived at the club in October 2015, won seven major trophies at Liverpool, including the club’s first league title for 30 years and the 2019 Champions League.

But he came agonisingly close to many more significant triumphs.

Twice Liverpool missed out on the Premier League by one point to Manchester City, while they lost two Champions League finals to Real Madrid, in 2018 and 2022.

Earlier this season, the Reds were on course for a quadruple after lifting the League Cup in February but they stumbled in the final weeks of Klopp’s reign.

They will finish third in the Premier League regardless of the result against Wolves on Sunday, also suffering exits from the FA Cup and Europa League.

“I know we could have won more but I cannot change that so I am absolutely fine,” said Klopp.

“Not becoming champions for a point is not a good experience but it is an experience. All the nearly wins will not be in the history books, that is life. I could not have done anything different.”

Klopp’s time on Merseyside, though, will be remembered as much for the bond he forged with the club’s passionate supporters as for the silverware he won.

The German’s face features on murals across the city and there was a collective sense of mourning when he announced his decision to leave at the end of the season in January.

“We are ambassadors of the people. We have to try to fulfil their dreams. Here these thoughts fitted like a glove to the people’s thoughts and that’s why it was pretty special,” he said.

“It’s nearly a decade in my life and super-influential in so many ways. I love everything about this place, I take memories with me, fantastic memories, I take friendships, relationships with me forever.

“A decade in your life is a massive one and I will not forget a day in that time because I met the best people I ever met and I did it for the best club I could’ve imagined in a wonderful, very special city.”