jurgen klopp

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In this exclusive final interview, Jürgen Klopp sits down with Kelly Cates to discuss his incredible nine-year tenure at Liverpool. Jürgen Klopp, a name synonymous with passion, leadership, and success, delves into his journey filled with unforgettable moments. From his arrival in 2015, Jürgen Klopp has transformed the club, creating a deep bond with the fans and the city. This conversation with Jürgen Klopp reveals the emotions, triumphs, and the future as Jürgen Klopp prepares to bid farewell to the club he profoundly impacted.

Kelly Cates: How do you feel about the connection you have created with the club and the people here?

Jürgen Klopp:It’s super-special. We all felt at home, we all felt welcomed. That’s what we all felt from the start, that’s the special thing about the people in this area, Scousers, it’s really special. We felt supported, we felt loved, we felt everything. And yes, we delivered as well in moments and we always fought. That again is what the people expect. It was the biggest win-win situation I ever saw and experienced in my lifetime because nothing would have happened without the people here, and maybe not exactly the same would have happened if somebody else would have been in charge.

It fitted like a glove from the first day until today, and that’s why it’s so tricky and emotional to say goodbye, even knowing it’s 100 per cent the right thing to do. Probably meanwhile a lot more people see it the same way than in January when I announced it. And I’m really happy that we put this team on the rails and now somebody else will come in and help them to make the decisive yards.

Kelly Cates: What is it like to experience that rocking atmosphere at Anfield from the dugout, especially when there’s a big game or European night?

Jürgen Klopp: Outstanding, it’s just the best you can get. When you dream as a kid of playing on the highest level, or then when you’re an adult player and want to dream of coaching on the highest level, you dream of big occasions. But you cannot dream of something like that because it’s unreal. Then you arrive here and people make it real, that’s absolutely special.

It’s really difficult to describe. I’m not even sure the problem is that I’m not native, it’s just difficult to describe. You have to experience it. We all had it and we all know the influence and impact it has. We all know what the Kop can do to a game, we all know what Anfield can do to an opponent. But it has to be equal to the performance; Anfield without a good team is not exactly the same like Anfield with a really good football team.

For a long period we were maybe one of the best teams in Europe, between 2018 and 2020, maybe we were the best team in Europe. That felt exceptional. And only the last part was obviously without supporters, before that it was with supporters and there we really showed what togetherness can do to yourself. That was absolutely outstanding. I will never forget that, nobody will ever forget it.

It’s like, you walk out and they sing “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and it’s never the same, never ever is the same. I don’t know how many home games I had, 200-something, and it was not one time the same. It’s always special, and that’s only because of the people.

Kelly Cates: Your ability to respect history while at the same time writing your own pages in it – did you find that a difficult balance or was it something you set out to do?

Jürgen Klopp: Not at all. I don’t know exactly why nobody said it before, to be honest, but for me it’s completely common sense. I love football history, I’m a football romantic. I love players from that time but we cannot do what they did, for plenty of reasons. It’s just not possible.

History is wonderful to think about and if history can push you, use it. If history holds you back, keep it aside. That’s what I said on the first day: we cannot carry it in a backpack with us. The people cannot constantly compare this Liverpool team with better teams from the past, because how will [this] one make the next step? Again what I said on the first day: nobody likes the team, not even the team likes the team! That’s a really crazy situation.

I came in and I was the only guy in the room who loved the football team we had. It was one of the reasons why I signed for Liverpool, because I really liked a lot of players. I didn’t know all of them perfectly but I knew enough to say, “That’s a start.” That might have been the start for absolutely everything and I enjoyed all the steps we had to make.

We learned so much. How patient the people are in a really not-very-patient world when they see a development in the right direction, then they don’t ask for step three and four immediately, then they are ready to make all the necessary steps. And that’s what we learned and what I hope the people will keep, because the future is bright but there’s still work to do obviously.

Kelly Cates: Your ‘doubters to believers’ comment seemed to frame so much of those early days…

Jürgen Klopp: I had a few interviews in my life and this is the most difficult moment: “What kind of message do you have to the public?” And it came up in that moment, “We have to change from doubters to believers.” Next day was the press conference, I said it again there, and it was obviously the start for something special. I would love to say I planned it but I didn’t, it just came out.

Kelly Cates: But it was that framing that led to moments like the game against Dortmund with a late winner. There were so many incredible moments over your time…

Jürgen Klopp: We had to grow together again, that’s clear. Maybe [I] mixed up the games a little bit, it could have been the Crystal Palace game, stuff like this, not a great game, I think we drew it.

But when I turned around, people left the stadium like 15 minutes before the end of the game and I thought, “Eh, that’s strange.” So, the press conference after the game and obviously I’m not shy of saying what I think – that was always like that. I don’t want to offend anybody but if something is not right… in 15 minutes or even in five minutes you can score three or four goals, it’s possible.

But if we give the sign from the outside that we don’t believe in that anymore, how could the players – they are young people, they have 80 minutes in their legs, they breathe like old horses, it’s really intense – and then all of a sudden the people tell me, “I don’t think he will do that.” How will that work?

A few weeks later, or maybe two weeks later or one week later, West Brom, late equaliser, as far I saw it, the people were still there and we said thank you.

That was one of the biggest misunderstandings in public because I think Tony Pulis at that time said, “Well if Liverpool celebrates a draw against West Brom like that, what’s going wrong in the football world with the money they spend?” We only wanted to say thank you, not celebrating that we drew against West Brom. We wanted to say thank you. And again, that was another important step.

It was not the purpose in the sense of, “Come on, we have to do this and that to bring the people.” It was just the honest thing to do, what we felt – thank you for supporting us until the last whistle, thank you. Then step by step, we arrived there.

Of course, we all need these special moments like the Dortmund game where we turned it around late, incredible atmosphere and all these kind of things. In the early stages when we were 1-0 up, the people were with each pass we didn’t play forward, they were like, “We will concede.” So, we had to go through all the things. Then we had the year when we were always leading or winning and then we conceded equalisers because we couldn’t control the game well enough. So we started controlling the game, that cost us a little bit exciting, attacking football – but we came back to that.

So, we made all the necessary steps. But usually – and that’s the special thing in football – you don’t get the time for that. I don’t know exactly what the people thought at that time but I know what our owners thought, they were completely calm and didn’t get nervous. That gave us the time to create a really special football team – and, in my opinion, we did that again. How I said, steps to go, but again we have a pretty special squad here and they deserve a manager on the top of his own game and that’s what they will get.

Kelly Cates: Do you think that the emotional side of the game sometimes overshadows the technical improvements and the brilliance of what’s going on the pitch?

Jürgen Klopp: I have actually no clue how the outside world sees us. It’s not overshadowed for me and I learned now how that might be in the outside world. It’s a mix of everything. We don’t have to make football bigger than it is. This moment, I’m going, I’m leaving and it feels like it’s the most important subject in the world. But the world is still a pretty crazy place and me leaving Liverpool should not be in the eight o’clock news, let me say it like that. But I understand 100 per cent we have to do it properly and we do that.

But if football would not be emotional, we don’t have the right to exist really. If you want to watch something different then you have to watch something different, you cannot watch football then. But you should not play football if you are not ready to throw absolutely everything in.

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Conclusion: Jürgen Klopp’s Interview

In this final interview, Jürgen Klopp provided an insightful reflection on his remarkable nine-year journey with Liverpool. The profound connection Jürgen Klopp established with the club, its supporters, and the city is a testament to his unique leadership and passion. As Jürgen Klopp emphasized, the emotional bond and mutual respect between him and the fans were integral to their shared success. The unforgettable atmosphere at Anfield, fueled by Jürgen Klopp’s vision and the fervor of the supporters, created a formidable fortress that opponents dreaded.

Jürgen Klopp’s ability to respect the club’s rich history while simultaneously crafting new chapters has been pivotal. His philosophy of transforming doubters into believers set the tone for a series of extraordinary moments, from the dramatic victory against Dortmund to the triumphant Champions League final. Jürgen Klopp’s tenure has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence, culminating in historic achievements like the first Premier League title in 30 years.

Reflecting on the future, Jürgen Klopp remains optimistic about the club’s prospects. He acknowledges the talented, young squad poised for further success and the importance of new leadership to continue the momentum. Jürgen Klopp’s legacy at Liverpool extends beyond trophies; it’s about rekindling the club’s spirit and restoring its place among the elite.

As Jürgen Klopp steps down, his impact will be felt for years to come. The admiration and gratitude from players, staff, and fans alike highlight the indelible mark Jürgen Klopp leaves on Liverpool. While he bids farewell as the manager, Jürgen Klopp’s enduring presence as an ambassador for the club and the city ensures that his influence will persist. The journey with Jürgen Klopp has been nothing short of transformative, and his name will forever be synonymous with the resurgence of Liverpool Football Club.

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YNWA (You’ll Never Walk Alone)!
The Liverpool FC Times Team

By Abdulkadir Salim

Abdulkadir Salim Is content writer for Liverpool FC Times

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