Taylor Swift Songs and Rolex Items: Jurgen Klopp’s Final Week at Liverpool

by Christina S. Brown
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What a momentous finish to the season for Liverpool.

An emotion-fuelled goodbye to Jurgen Klopp, two senior gamers additionally saying farewell and the daybreak of a brand new period with Monday’s announcement that Arne Slot has penned a three-year contract to be the pinnacle coach.

That is the within story of that closing week, that includes laughter, tears, dinner with Sir Alex Ferguson and a burst of Taylor Swift…

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As Liverpool legend John Barnes delighted the group with a word-perfect rendition of Rapper’s Delight by Sugar Hill Gang, Jurgen Klopp made his method as much as the stage.

They shaped an impromptu double act as Barnes sang and Klopp, sporting a black baseball cap again to entrance, confirmed off his dance strikes. The Titanic Lodge — near Liverpool’s iconic waterfront — was the setting for the lavish farewell social gathering on Sunday evening.

After all of the emotion of the Anfield send-off a number of hours earlier than, it was time to unwind. It was round 9.30pm when Klopp led the squad into the plush operate room to hitch household, mates and membership workers as One Kiss by Dua Lipa blared out.

The visitor listing included UFC fighter Paddy ‘The Baddy’ Pimblett, whereas Barnes was joined by fellow Anfield greats Sir Kenny Dalglish and Ian Rush because the celebrations continued previous 4am.

The Champagne flowed and an orchestral band performed earlier than the DJ, Twotone, took over. Each member of the squad was current, with Darwin Nunez among the many final of the gamers to go away.

A lot had been made from the Uruguay striker failing to applaud throughout the guard of honour for Klopp on the pitch earlier however he was in good spirits throughout the social gathering. At one stage, a South American trio of Nunez, Colombia’s Luis Diaz and Alexis Mac Allister from Argentina have been concerned in a dance-off.

Simply previous 10pm, Klopp, the gamers and the teaching workers have been invited as much as the stage.  The massive display confirmed a group of video messages from present and former stars thanking him for the affect Klopp has had on their careers.

Klopp, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson have been amongst these to take the microphone to say a number of phrases. In addition to the outgoing supervisor, there have been additionally tributes to Joel Matip and Thiago, who’re each leaving as free brokers this summer time.

The trophies received throughout the German’s close to nine-year reign have been on show, Klopp having been offered with miniature variations earlier on the Anfield pitch after the Wolves recreation. There was a youngsters’ play space arrange for the gamers’ households and a photograph sales space for visitors with prints popping out emblazoned with the caption ‘Danke Jurgen’.


Klopp’s parting reward from FSG’s govt workforce John W Henry Mike Gordon, Tom Werner and Billy Hogan (Paul Ellis/AFP through Getty Photos)

Rewind to final Tuesday and, with the gamers given the time without work following their 3-3 away draw with Aston Villa the evening earlier than, Klopp attended a particular occasion at Anfield for round 700 membership workers from the completely different departments. He stood on the steps of the Predominant Stand with the silverware beneath him for {a photograph} to be taken with all of them sitting to both aspect.

The in-house LFCTV crew then had 20 minutes to movie Klopp’s goodbye video to supporters – a drone was used to seize footage of him within the centre circle after which on the Kop with a membership scarf round his neck.

Stadium excursions had been halted within the hope of holding these moments non-public, however some French college students have been nonetheless within the higher tier and pictures they took quickly emerged on social media.

Klopp then made his option to the Carlsberg Dugout govt lounge within the Predominant Stand the place workers from throughout all sections of the membership have been handled to an hour-long Q&A. Klopp spoke candidly and obtained emotional at instances as he talked about being a part of the “LFC household”.

What recommendation would you give somebody about constructing a fantastic workforce? “Construct it round Bobby Firmino.”

Favorite movie? “Forrest Gump — and I can’t imagine Tom Hanks was just some yards away from me final evening (at Villa Park).”


Actor Hanks attended Liverpool’s recreation at Villa… however Klopp didn’t get an autograph (Clive Mason/Getty Photos)

Requested what music he listens to, Klopp revealed that his spouse Ulla had obtained them tickets to see Taylor Swift at Anfield subsequent month and he began singing her hit Shake It Off.

Regardless of spending one of the best a part of a decade dwelling in England, he conceded that cricket nonetheless baffles him. “I hear the scores introduced and I nonetheless do not know who has received.”

Klopp stated that his favorite Scouse phrase was ‘luv’ and that it took him years to know why the women within the canteen on the coaching floor would say to him each morning, “Do you wanna espresso, luv?”

It was Klopp’s concept to have ‘Thanks luv’ emblazoned on the entrance of the T-shirts and hoodies that departing workers placed on after Sunday’s closing recreation towards Wolves. On the again of them it learn, ‘I’ll By no means Stroll Alone Once more’.


Jurgen Klopp helped design his farewell hoodie (Clive Brunskill/Getty Photos)

On the finish of the Q&A, Liverpool CEO Billy Hogan offered Klopp with a e book filled with heartfelt messages written by workers members. Klopp defined that he couldn’t keep for the drinks portion of the occasion as he was going out for dinner with Sir Alex Ferguson, which he later described as “excellent”.

There’s a long-standing mutual respect between them. Klopp as soon as stated encountering Manchester United managerial legend Ferguson for the primary time was “like assembly the Pope”. In a message of congratulations to Klopp after Liverpool received the Premier League title in 2020, Ferguson stated: “The efficiency stage of the workforce was excellent. I’ll forgive you for waking me up at half previous three within the morning to inform me you’d received the league.”


The Actual Jurgen Klopp – an Athletic particular collection


A gaggle of Norwegian Liverpool supporters have been sitting within the Freshfield pub within the city of Formby chatting to former Liverpool striker David Fairclough final Wednesday night when, to their astonishment, Klopp strolled in.

He was there with assistant Peter Krawietz to have drinks with members of the membership’s media division, and fortunately posed for selfies and signed autographs.

The next day, there was a gamers’ barbecue on the membership’s Kirkby base after coaching the place captain Virgil van Dijk delivered a shifting tribute to Klopp and his backroom workers. They have been every given a Rolex watch as a leaving reward from the squad.


The Freshfield pub, Jurgen Klopp’s native (Simon Hughes/The Athletic)

From there, assistants Pep Lijnders and Krawietz, together with elite improvement coach Vitor Matos, goalkeeping coach John Achterberg, head of health Andreas Kornmayer, and head of restoration and efficiency Andreas Schlumberger drove to Lodge Anfield, close to the stadium, for a particular reception with supporters’ teams.

“These guys made us champions of the fu**ing world,” declared musician Jamie Webster, who carried out terrace anthems Allez Allez Allez and You’ll By no means Stroll Alone.

Every coach was offered with an LFC shirt with their title on the again and signed by a whole bunch of followers. The microphone was handed round for supporters to supply their favorite recollections and thanks.

“Think about being us,” stated Lijnders, a nod to the banner on the Kop. “Inform me one membership in world soccer that might organise one thing like this for the workers behind the scenes. It’s unbelievable.”


Saturday introduced the ultimate coaching session as Klopp cleared out his workplace and left the AXA Coaching Centre for the ultimate time. His open letter to the Liverpool Echo newspaper was revealed, through which he described his adopted residence as “town of open arms”.

With one eye on the longer term, a person who had beforehand warned in regards to the perils of social media, launched his personal Instagram account. Inside 48 hours, @Kloppo had gathered greater than two million followers.

Klopp, who had damaged down earlier within the week as he learn out a letter from a fan whereas filming with LFCTV, was determined for the temper to be celebratory reasonably than unhappy at Anfield on Sunday. He obtained his want.

His speech on the pitch post-match hit all the fitting notes as he informed followers, “from as we speak, I’m considered one of you”, after which again within the dressing room he informed his gamers: “I really like you, that’s all I can say.

“The soccer you’ll be able to play is totally ridiculous. I can’t wait, watching you creating, making the subsequent steps. Thanks for the journey. I’m so happy with you, and I’m so proud that I’ve been allowed to be a part of this. The sky is the restrict for you boys.”

When Klopp lastly walked in for his closing press convention shortly after 8pm, round two hours after the ultimate whistle, he obtained his telephone out and took a photograph of the media members sitting in entrance of him, which was quickly uploaded to his Instagram account. “In case I miss you,” he joked.

Klopp strengthened the truth that he intends to take at the least a yr off, and will not handle once more. He’ll attend the Champions League closing between Borussia Dortmund, his earlier membership, and Actual Madrid at Wembley in London on June 1, and in August he will probably be a spectator on the Paralympics in Paris.

There might not have been any silverware up for grabs at Anfield on Sunday however information from Blinkfire Analytics underlined the dimensions of the curiosity. The height UK TV viewers for the Wolves match was 1.2million and 70 per cent extra individuals watched Klopp’s post-match farewell than Manchester Metropolis’s title celebrations occurring on the similar time on one other of Sky Sports activities’ channels. On YouTube, the footage from Anfield obtained 44 per cent extra views than occasions on the Etihad Stadium.

By way of the variety of fan engagements on all content material revealed on membership social media platforms, Liverpool set a brand new finest throughout the Premier League in 2023-24 for a single matchday with 26million on Sunday, whereas Metropolis attracted 19.4m.

Linda Pizzuti, spouse of Liverpool’s principal proprietor John W Henry, took to Instagram to react to Metropolis’s put up on X celebrating their fourth successive title triumph which learn ‘This Means 4’ — a play on Liverpool’s previous advertising and marketing slogan of ‘This Means Extra’.

“A honest congratulations to Man Metropolis — Premier League champions. A lot respect for this large achievement. Thanks for considering of us in your big day,” she posted.

On Monday afternoon, there was lastly official affirmation of Slot’s appointment however Klopp had successfully already introduced it for Liverpool with the mantra he began from the centre circle on Sunday night.

“It’s actually not a simple determination to shut the door behind you at a membership the place you’ve got skilled so many great moments and labored efficiently with so many great individuals,” Slot informed Feyenoord’s web site as his departure from the Dutch aspect grew to become official. “However as a sportsman, a possibility to develop into a head coach within the Premier League, at one of many largest golf equipment on this planet, is tough to disregard.”

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Pre-season will start initially of July with a depleted squad as a result of European Championship and the Copa America being performed in Germany and america this summer time. Slot’s No 2, Sipke Hulshoff, will probably be there from the off after resigning from his position with the Dutch nationwide workforce forward of these Euros so he can concentrate on the job in hand on Merseyside.

What per week it proved to be. The baton has been handed on.

(Prime photographs: Getty Photos)

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