Jürgen Klopp. Lord of Hearts


Jurgen was planning to leave even earlier. In 2019, the agent of the German coach Mark Kositzke asked Liverpool not to rush into extending the contract, because Klopp had not yet decided whether he wanted to continue working at the club.

The same Kositske said then that the main problem due to which Klopp is not very comfortable in England is the weather: “Ulla (Klopp’s wife) and Jurgen get up in the morning, and it’s still dark. When they meet again in the evening, it is again dark or gray and drizzling.”

Frau Ulla loves the sun very much.

Herr Jürgen also loves the sun. But at the same time, he truly fell in love with Britain. And not now, when he was the head coach of one of the most popular teams in the world, but much earlier. When Jurgen Klopp had nothing in his soul except youth and the desire to travel.

Then he really loved traveling around England by rail. Spent the night in cheap hostels. In order not to pay for an overnight stay – there was really nothing to pay with, the future apologist of “Gegenpressing” helped the servants clean the rooms. And with the money I saved – about ten pounds – I had breakfast.

Klopp liked this kind of life – cheerful, easy, sociable. He easily got along with people. It makes absolutely no difference to him who to talk to – the cleaner, the salesman or the policeman.

This amazing quality will come in handy a little later. When he becomes an icon of the modern coach. Such a modern icon – without retouching, without a business tuxedo, without smoothly shaved cheekbones, in funny glasses, with even more ridiculous false teeth, in the same tracksuit. It was as if he had just been pushed, half asleep, out of a train somewhere in the vicinity of Canterbury. But so close, recognizable. Ours.

And already then, three decades ago, Klopp admitted to himself that he would really like to work in England. And that I would even like to settle there. Although he never liked the English weather – this is the absolute truth.

He did not overcome this rain barrier even in adulthood, when he arrived at Anfield as boss.

However, at the end of 2019, Liverpool managed to agree with Klopp to extend the contract, which expired in 2022, for another four seasons.

However, Klopp was still unable to complete his contract with Liverpool. And this time the climatic nuances of Foggy Albion faded into the background. And maybe even further.

In any case, neither Kosicke, nor the club, nor Jurgen himself said anything about the weather now. Klopp admitted he had run out of steam. Burnt out. He doesn’t pull it anymore. He is “running out of strength.

The club is already aware – Jurgen warned about this back in November. So that in June he would not be taken by surprise by the club that had become his home.

When Klopp took over the Reds eight years ago, he described Liverpool as a “sleeping giant”. Now Liverpool is a real giant. And it was Klopp who made him so.

He changed everything in the team – the system, tactics, formation, the role of individual players. Already in his first match at the head of Liverpool – against Tottenham – Klopp’s team surprised with counter-pressing, which was later called “gegenpressing”. Or “heavy metal”.

Jurgen quickly figured out the reasons why the “giant” was still sleeping. He placed Firmino in the center of attack, changing the 4-2-3-1 formation to 4-3-3 (when Mane and Wijnaldum arrived).

When Salah and Alison arrived, and a little later Van Dijk, Liverpool became simply perfect. Even with Coutinho leaving.

For me personally, Jurgen’s apotheosis at Anfield was the 4:0 defeat of Barça. After an away defeat 0:3. I remember a few days before the start of that match, Jose Mourinho said prophetic words: if anyone is capable of winning back a three-goal handicap against Barca, it is only Klopp.

I was rooting for Messi then. But, my God, what Liverpool were like back then! It was absolutely impossible not to be charmed by him. And it’s not just about the right coaching decisions – Rafa Benitez can also boast of such at the head of the “Reds”. He is also respected at Anfield. And they will always respect him, even though he came there later with other teams.

But Liver fans are unlikely to truly love him: he is closed, uncommunicative, buttoned up, keeps everyone at a distance. He is definitely a professional in his field. But rather like a highly paid employee.

And Klopp is the clear opposite of Benitez. And Mourinho too. Yes, and Guardiola.

I don’t even know which other current top coach can compare Jurgen with. Probably not with anyone. The feeling of your boyfriend, older brother, loved one, father who knows everything, will help everyone, will convince everyone. And he will win everyone.

And he won’t break you over his knee, but will do it beautifully, intelligently and sincerely. For real. I don’t know who else can do this. Who else is capable of getting into the soul like that, leaving an indelible mark there?

I have no doubt that Shankly, Paisley and Dalglish have left the more prominent marks on Liverpool’s history so far. They are the ones who made this club iconic. But it was Klopp who brought the Reds back to greatness.

I will really miss Klopp’s Liverpool. How I miss Arsene’s Arsenal. Or according to Sir Alex’s Manchester United. Or according to Valery Vasilyevich’s Dynamo.

And I really want Jurgen, in his final season at Anfield, to win the only missing link in his rich Merseyside career – the Europa League. And to win the Premier League. May the stars align themselves this way. Let everything end the way fairy tales end with a happy ending.

I will really miss Klopp himself. I will really hope that after he regains his strength again, as he recharges his batteries, as he and his Ulla enjoy the sun, I want to see him again at Liverpool. In any case, he left a way back for all of us, and maybe for himself too. Maybe not the way, but a small loophole for sure.

“If you ask me if I will ever work as a coach again, now I would say no. But I know for sure that I will never manage any other club in England except Liverpool. It’s one hundred percent.”

Be, please be, Herr Jurgen. Without your presence, the “Game of Millions” is just a “Game of Millions”. You gave your soul completely to our game. The game paid you back. You still have a lot to give to this game. Just like the game – give it to you.

So be sure to come back. 57 years is by no means a reason to leave Middle-earth forever and go with the elves beyond the Sea.

Return to Liverpool.

And even better (for me) – to Barcelona. There’s more sun there

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