Juergen Klopp, one of Liverpool’s most successful managers, is leaving the Merseyside club at the end of the season saying he is running out of energy.
“I love absolutely everything about this club, I love everything about the city, I love everything about our supporters, I love the team, I love the staff,” Klopp said in an extended interview on the team’s website. “I love everything.
“But that I still take this decision shows you that I am convinced it is the one I have to take. It is that I am… running out of energy. I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.”
The 56-year-old’s shock announcement comes on the heels of Liverpool reaching the League Cup final on Wednesday and amid a season that has his team in the running for four trophies and sitting atop the Premier League standings.
“After the years we had together and after all the time we spent together and after all the things we went through together, the respect grew for you, the love grew for you and the least I owe you is the truth – and that is the truth,” he said.
The German joined Liverpool in October 2015 and has won the Champions League, Premier League, Club World Cup, FA Cup, League Cup and Super Cup, as well as the Community Shield during his time in charge.
Klopp has the highest win rate of any manager in Liverpool’s history in all competitions at 60.7% and is the only manager to win each of the Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup.
He led Liverpool to the Champions League in 2019, and the league title a year later, their first in 30 years and first of the Premier League era.
NO HEALTH CONCERNS
Asked whether he was leaving for health reasons, Klopp said: “I am healthy, as much as you can (be) at my age. Little bits and bobs, stuff like that, but nothing anybody has to be concerned about, so that’s absolutely fine.”
Klopp said he was struck by the idea to leave in November while meeting with the club about potential signings and next summer’s camp.
“The thought came up, ‘I am not sure I am here then anymore’ and I was surprised myself by that,” he said. “Of course last season was a super-difficult season and there were moments when at other clubs probably the decision would have been, ‘Come on, thank you very much for everything but probably we should split here, or end it here.’
“For me it was super, super, super-important that I can help to bring this team back onto the rails. It was all I was thinking about. When I realised pretty early that happened, it’s a really good team with massive potential and a super age group, super characters and all that, then I could start thinking about myself again and that was the outcome.
“It is not what I want to (do), it is just what I think is 100 per cent right. That’s it.”
Klopp said in an ideal world he would have waited until the end of the season to announce his departure, but that it is not possible to “keep things like this secret”. He said after a “few sad faces for a few days” he hopes the team can return to business as usual.
When asked about the club’s reaction, he said “They didn’t smash a party!”
“We developed a really good relationship over the years, but I explained it and they know me now for so long that they know I don’t say these kind of things and leave a little bit of the door open, ‘Come on, try to convince me’… They just accepted it. Nobody was really happy,” he added.