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Jürgen Klopp has a smile on his lips. © APA/afp / PAUL ELLIS

Klopp era in Liverpool ends with a lot of emotions: “So happy”

The last matchday in the English Premier League took place on Sunday. At the same time as Manchester City won the championship title, many fans looked to Liverpool, where successful coach Jürgen Klopp gave his emotional farewell.

Jürgen Klopp clapped his right hand on his heart and sent a kiss to the stands. There, his wife Ulla shed a few tears, which Klopp himself was initially able to suppress successfully. After several hugs, the German coach disappeared into the dressing room after his very last competitive game for Liverpool FC, only to say goodbye to the fans half an hour later with emotional words and gestures. Not wistful, but proud, grateful and optimistic about the future.

“I'm so happy, I can't believe it. I'm so happy about the atmosphere, about the game, about being part of this family and about us celebrating this day," Klopp said into the stadium microphone after the 2-0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Sunday.

He wore a red hoodie with the inscription “I'll never walk alone again” based on the club anthem “You'll never walk alone”. “It doesn’t feel like the end, but like a start,” added Klopp, whose speech was repeatedly interrupted by fan chants. He himself sang a song for his Dutch successor Arne Slot - and the audience sang along enthusiastically: "Arne Slot, na, na, na, na...".

Jürgen lives forever. © APA/afp / PAUL ELLIS

Later in the evening, Liverpool FC released a video of Klopp's last locker room speech, in which the 56-year-old said to the players: “I love you.” Previously, he was through a trellis after his 491st and final game for the Reds , which his players had formed. He took off his black cap, hugged captain Virgil van Dijk - and then ran through the trellis a second time with a mischievous grin.

Standing ovation for Klopp

Hardly any spectators had left Anfield Road after the final whistle, they all wanted to give Klopp the well-deserved farewell applause. In the final minutes there was hardly anyone left in their seats and Klopp was paid homage with an ovation. He looked at the goings-on in the stands on his red coaching bench almost in disbelief. At times he even looked down in shame with the black cap on his head. “I’m in game mode,” Klopp said on Sky immediately before kick-off: “People called it “The last dance” – so let’s dance.”

According to fans, the German joined a series of legendary managers. © ANSA / ADAM VAUGHAN

But the people around him didn't necessarily make it easy for him to maintain professionalism on the final day of the Premier League. On one side of the stands his first name was presented with red banners in large letters, on the other a huge heart in the colors black, red and gold could be seen. Chants like “I'm so glad that Jürgen is a Red” echoed through the arena. The club icon is also honored in the official stadium brochure - and even in German on the front page: “Thank you Jürgen.”

Family, friends, companions – they also came and all wanted a hug with Klopp. He wasn't happy with all the attention. “I don’t think I would wish this situation on anyone. It's very difficult to process that as a human being. "Everyone sings my name - I'm not sure we're made for that," said the 56-year-old: "I try to keep as much distance as I can." But that was difficult for him. When there were no spectators in the stadium, Klopp stood alone at the center of the pitch in an almost spiritual moment.

Of a love affair

A day before his farewell game, Klopp had already addressed the fans with emotional words on social media. “We really met for the first time on October 8, 2015. I would call it a love affair,” said the coach in a two-minute video on his new Instagram account called “Kloppo” – Jürgen Klopp, The Normal One. “From day one it was an absolutely incredible time. I enjoyed it so much and I want to thank you so much for all the support and strength you have given us over the years.”

In the video, which also shows the most emotional moments of his eight and a half years as coach at the Reds, Klopp sits in his office. One last time. He said it was very difficult for him to leave this “incredible place.” This is also why he wants to “stay in touch” with the fans. And even though I'm not a social media person, people have told me that social media helps with that. So, let's go. See you.” A day later, the video already had more than 26 million likes and 1,6 million people had already followed Klopp’s account.

Klopp is a hero in Liverpool. © APA/afp / PAUL ELLIS

But it's not just the fans who don't want to forget Klopp so quickly. “We will stay in touch forever, throughout our lives. It’s not just a working relationship,” said Liverpool offensive star Mohamed Salah on Sky. “We helped each other a lot and we gave everything for the club to win trophies, everyone can see that.”

The former Mainz and Dortmund Bundesliga coach led Liverpool to, among other things, the championship in England and triumph in the Champions League. But his work at Anfield also included dramatic defeats. “I know we could have won more,” Klopp admitted, “but that’s okay with me.” He spent his “best time” at the “best club I could have imagined.”

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