OPINION: Jurgen Klopp turned every single Liverpool fan from a doubter into a believer


OPINION: Jurgen Klopp turned every single Liverpool fan from a doubter into a believer

Jurgen Klopp's first trophy with Liverpool was the Champions League in 2018/19
Jurgen Klopp's first trophy with Liverpool was the Champions League in 2018/19AFP
When Jurgen Klopp (56) was appointed Liverpool manager back in October 2015, his message to the supporters was simple. He wanted to bring success, and more importantly a shift in mindset - from doubters to believers. It’s fair to say the German delivered on his promise. And then some.

Liverpool fans across the world felt numb when the announcement was made on Friday - the day would always eventually come, but nothing could prepare them for it happening so soon. 

Even with Klopp’s current contract ending in 2026, those same fans all hoped he would be swayed by the new-found positivity around the club to extend it further. 

But unfortunately not. On Friday, he made the decision to step down as Liverpool manager at the end of the season after nearly eight-and-a-half hugely successful years with the club. 

During his time at the helm, he led the club to its 19th top-flight title, a sixth Champions League trophy and several other pieces of domestic and European silverware. 

The trophy-laden stint as Liverpool boss puts him alongside some of the greats. Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley, Kenny Dalglish, and now Jurgen Klopp. 

However, for all the honours and records he amassed at the club, Klopp was more than just a manager at Liverpool. He represented the city and its people, the club and its supporters. His presence and influence was immense.

When he arrived a little over eight years ago, the club was in desperate need of a lift. Brendan Rodgers provided the club with a little bit of hope in 2013/14, but that was swiftly lost after a dreadful 2014/15 season. 

Tasked with turning Liverpool’s fortunes around, Klopp immediately re-energised the fanbase. Results might have been patchy at times, but the signs were definitely there. 

A superb 4-1 win at Manchester City, a memorable run to the Europa League final, and the improvement of players such as Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana and Roberto Firmino

After securing Champions League qualification in 2016/17, it was clear Klopp had Liverpool on the right path. The loss of Philippe Coutinho was a blow, but in came Virgil van Dijk and Alisson Becker, and the team looked better than ever. 

Loris Karius’ horror show in the 2017/18 Champions League final was quickly forgotten after a stunning 97-point campaign in the Premier League and a sixth European title the following season. 

Jurgen Klopp celebrating Liverpool's 2019/20 Premier League title win.
Jurgen Klopp celebrating Liverpool's 2019/20 Premier League title win.AFP

A 19th league title was duly delivered in 2019/20 as well as the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup. 

Klopp had built a formidable side. A team of mentality monsters. From Alisson and Van Dijk at the back to Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Firmino up front. Liverpool were the best in Europe for 18 months. 

Despite the star names on the pitch, the most important part of the jigsaw remained Klopp. His charisma in interviews and press conferences, his elite man management for both youth players and experienced pros, the first pumps after a big win at Anfield.  All of these grew his aura.

Having enjoyed so much success in his first five years at the club, Klopp guided Liverpool through a tricky period during the Covid-19 pandemic, and had them challenging on all fronts once again in a memorable quadruple-chasing 2021/22. 

The Premier League and Champions League ultimately proved a step too far, but Klopp completed his full set of trophies with the FA Cup and Carabao Cup. 

Liverpool find themselves in a similar position at the halfway point of this season, with reinforcements in midfield providing Klopp and his side with a much-needed spark after a sub-par showing last campaign. 

The news of his planned departure is a bitter pill to swallow as Liverpool 2.0 continues to go from strength to strength at the Premier League summit, but his decision to step down when at the very top has to be admired. 

The hope now is that Liverpool can give Klopp the perfect send-off with a successful end to the season and a few extra trophies to add to his already impressive haul. It would be a fitting farewell to such a special period in the club's history.  

Regarless of what happens, he has and always will be a revered figure for Liverpool supporters all over the world.


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