Jurgen Klopp: ‘A brilliant heart-on-sleeve boss who has taken Liverpool on thrill ride’

There is a famous clip to be found on YouTube of a television reporter roaming the streets of Liverpool informing disbelieving fans that Bill Shankly had announced his retirement.

It was 12 July 1974 when the father of the modern Liverpool took his leave, and while the media moves in vastly different ways almost half a century later, those same emotions will have washed over every Liverpool supporter when manager Jurgen Klopp announced on Friday that he was leaving Anfield at the end of the season.

This was the rarest of beasts in this age, an announcement of huge significance made without the slightest hint in advance, one which stunned the football world to send shockwaves way beyond Anfield.

The bewildered and heartbroken reaction from Liverpool’s followers is an accurate measure of the bond Klopp has formed with them since he walked into Anfield in October 2015, labelling himself “the normal one” as the antithesis of Jose Mourinho’s “special one.”

What has followed has been anything but normal, a thrill ride during which the 56-year-old German has claimed almost all the major honours, including Liverpool’s sixth Champions League in 2019 and the club’s first English title in 30 years 12 months later.

Liverpool have also won the Uefa Super Cup, the Fifa Club World Cup and a domestic double of the League Cup and FA Cup in 2021-22, also losing the Champions League final – Klopp’s third at the club – to Real Madrid in that season.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp guided Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2019

Klopp has meant, if this is possible, even more than just those glorious successes to Liverpool’s global fanbase.

As he did at Mainz and Borussia Dortmund, he instantly tapped into the heartbeat of this most emotional of clubs.

Klopp’s heart-on-sleeve approach, his touchline animation, as well as a sure touch concerning what Liverpool’s fans felt and desired from their football team, places him alongside the likes of Shankly, Bob Paisley, Joe Fagan and Sir Kenny Dalglish, who also announced a shock departure in 1991, as one of the most significant figures in the club’s rich history.

Klopp’s departure will leave a huge void, such has been his force of personality and the manner in which everything at the club is viewed through the prism of his brilliant management.

When Klopp left his two previous clubs, there were tears on the terraces and from the manager. It is a safe bet those scenes will be re-enacted when he takes his final Anfield curtain call.

Liverpool were on the decline and had sacked Brendan Rodgers when a call from Anfield persuaded Klopp to interrupt a battery-recharging sabbatical after Dortmund, with the manager admitting he was “on fire” from the moment he was contacted.

Klopp’s success in Germany, with Dortmund winning the Bundesliga twice and reaching the Champions League final in 2013, only to lose Bayern Munich, https://merupakan.com/ meant he was welcomed with open arms.

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