Jurgen Klopp: Liverpool fans prepare to say an emotional farewell to German manager

17 May 2024, 21:40 | Updated: 18 May 2024, 05:47

Liverpool fans are preparing to say an emotional goodbye to manager Jurgen Klopp this weekend.

The 56-year-old German will be in the dugout for the final time when the Merseyside club take on Wolves at Anfield on Sunday.

During his eight-and-a-half years in charge of the Reds, he led them to glory in the Champions League in 2019 and their first-ever Premier League title in 2020.

Ever since he announced in January he would be leaving the club there has been an outpouring of gratitude across the red half of the city.

"He was made for Liverpool and Liverpool was made for him," said George Sephton, known as the "voice of Anfield" after more than 50 years as stadium announcer.

Klopp's energy, charisma and humanity, he says, make his era unique in the club's long history.

"I described him once as a breath of fresh air. That's nonsense, he's a whirlwind, he's a hurricane. He's brought Liverpool back to the very top table of world football."

In announcing his departure, Klopp told fans he was "running out of energy" but he has already earned himself a permanent place in the club's history and many in the city see his impact as going beyond football.

"For Klopp and that connection with local residents it has resonated," said Harry Doyle, a Liverpool city councillor and cabinet member for health, wellbeing and culture.

"Things like his statements around supporting the welfare state and supporting the most vulnerable but also that feeling of 'he gave us hope again'."

Klopp's future in football remains unclear although there is a clamour in his native Germany for him to become the national team manager.

Dutch coach Arne Slot has confirmed he has signed a contract to replace Klopp as Liverpool manager.

It is undoubtedly the end of an era and across Liverpool the murals of Klopp, portraying his trademark toothy grin and emblematic fist pump celebration, adorn houses and businesses. They have become landmarks of the fans' adoration for what he has done for the club.

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Artist Abigal Rudkin presented Klopp with a painting of his greatest moments with the club in the days leading up to his departure. He told her it left him with tears in his eyes.

She said: "There's never been anyone that's understood the city in this way.

"He's solidified himself in the foundations of this city, not just this club, so it is devastating to think that he's going to go."