“When it was done, the shooting assistance was granted and FC Liverpoool had become champion in the TV chair, Pep Guardiola said a sentence that was not very flattering for his own squad, but at the same time could be understood as a homage to the work of Jürgen Klopp and his team. Manchester City had lost 2-1 to Chelsea, which helped crown Liverpool’s triumph, and Guardiola said: “We saw today why we are so far behind as runners-up. Liverpool play every game as if it were the last chance they have. We don’t have that passion.”
It was a phrase that gained further importance minutes later when Klopp stepped in front of the Sky England cameras. When he spoke touchingly, in tears and poignantly about his team, the club, the heroes of long past days, about the path to the title and the myth of the club – with a passion to the point exactly as few in the industry live out. Maybe on this scale only he.
“What can I say, how can I say it? It has become much more reality than I ever thought. To be a champion with this club is indescribable,” said Klopp, and after just three sets he snorted with emotion, bursting into his eyes tears. Again and again he had to wipe away the tears under his glasses, he buried his face in his hands. Also in the running was Sir Kenny Dalglish, the Liverpool player and coaching icon who represents the club’s most successful time – and the club’s last league title, to which he coached the team in 1990.
“Kenny,” Klopp said, “I know how much you supported us, this title is also for you, after 30 years of waiting. All this now has been built on your earth, Kenny. The guys admire you. It’s easy for me to motivate the team because of our great past. So, that’s out there for you.” Klopp said he did not want to be involved in City’s game, “but of course I am involved. And one hopes, with all the great chances That Chelsea had”.
Klopp’s Liverpool FC – a team for records
Klopp took over as manager in October 2015 and quickly became a crowd favourite. The former BVB coach is not only popular with the supporters of Liverpool FC, but has also won over many fans of other clubs with his relaxed manner and not least with successful, rousing football. Liverpool icon Steven Gerrard has even demanded a statue of the popular coach, who is now missing the English FA Cup title collection. ‘It wouldn’t have been possible without the coach. I hope we can stay hungry,” captain Jordan Henderson said.
With 19 league titles, the Reds have one less than arch-rival and record holders Manchester United, who had outscored Liverpool under manager Sir Alex Ferguson in the 1990s.
On the way to the championship, Klopp broke some records with Liverpool. No one has reached the Championship as early as his team in the Premier League. On top of that, the best start to the season in Europe (61 points from 21 games) and the best scoring in 38 Premier League games (104 points) across the season.
The team around superstars such as Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mané or Virgil van Dijk could break even more records, including those for the most points in a season. Manchester City set the current record with 100 points in the 2017/18 season. Klopp has a good chance of breaking his coaching colleague Guardiola’s record in the coming weeks.
After winning the Champions League and the World Cup, it is Klopp’s third title with Liverpool – and the most important after decades of waiting. A few times Liverpool were close. The 2013/14 season is particularly tragic, when Brendan Rodgers’ Eleven squandered the title he believed was safe two days before the end of the season. The Reds led by seven points in the preseason. But in the end, they narrowly missed out on the title of the best runner-up in history with 97 points by a point.
Klopp, as it was done, tried to give the fans the go-to, please not to gather and celebrate. “Do this at home, go t maybe on your doorstep, but stay at home. Everything must be celebrated in the mind and in the heart in this situation, but unfortunately not together. We will make up for that if it suits, promised,” he said. But they didn’t listen to him. Thousands gathered in front of the stadium the night before, letting their joy run wild.
For Klopp, however, there was still an interview marathon to be done. Actually. How he succeeded in the feat, he was asked. He said he was talking about the special atmosphere in and around the club, how intenseeveryone would live football, as well as the exceptionally assembled squad. “All types of winners without winning 50 times in the past. We have them here now, so now we can win together.” Then he tried to express what a great moment this was for him, how much in the overwhelmed, he never believed that it would feel like this, but he did not get any further. The feelings completely overwhelmed him, no more chance to line up in front of the camera sentence by sentence. “Sorry gentlemen,” Klopp said, getting up from his chair and disappearing.
Dalglish therefore had to take over the final word. “If you had said at the time that it would take 30 years, you would have been arrested,” he said, “since Jürgen took over, it was completely positive. He embodies everything Liverpool’s football stands for.” Authenticity came to mind – and above all passion. He, too, had tears in his eyes.