Jurgen Klopp: A beloved legend for a begrudged team

The Premier League veteran announced his surprise departure from Liverpool FC at the end of this season

Jack Evans
19th February 2024
Image Credit: Flickr- Terry Kearney
All great things must come to an end, not just in life but in football too. Take Pep's dominance of Spanish football with Barcelona, Alex Ferguson's reign at Manchester United, or Steve Evans' promotion run with Rotherham in 2013 and 2014. All footballing greats that are sadly no more (especially the last one).

This niche corner of football heritage will gain a new inclusion this year, as Jurgen Klopp announced his plans to depart Liverpool at the end of this season. To fully understand the weight of this announcement, you need to cast your mind back to 2015.

Liverpool in 2015 really weren't the force they are now, with most people viewing them as a sort of joke in English football. Their most recent season had ended in disappointment, with them being knocked out of their Champions League group and finishing 6th in the league, only a year after being one game away from winning the premier league itself.

During the 2015/16 season, a Steven Gerrard-less Liverpool sat 10th when Brendan Rodgers was sacked in October. However, their next appointment would prove historic for them.

Jurgen Klopp arrived fresh off a successful stint at Borussia Dortmund. A Bundesliga title and Champions League final had been his best achievements, as he helped turn Dortmund into the main challengers against Pep Guardiola's Bayern Munich.

It's quite ironic really, that this battle continued throughout almost the whole of Klopp's stint at Liverpool, as Pep took over Liverpool's main league contenders Manchester City.

It took Klopp a year or two to fully get going, but come 2018 he'd built up the core of a Liverpool team that now challenged for both domestic and continental silverware. Strong signings and faith in the side's talented youth players saw Liverpool construct their strongest team for the best part of 30 years.

And while it took quite a lot of hard work, this silverware finally came for him. 2019 saw Liverpool's first European triumph in 14 years and Klopp finally got another one over on Pep, beating him to the Premier League title in 2020. Not to forget the handful of domestic cups Klopp won as well during his time on Merseyside

Maybe the only regret for Klopp was the many near misses and lost finals of his tenure. Liverpool lost out in three European finals, along with a John Stones goal-line clearance stopping them from winning the Premier League in 2019.

Despite all the highs and lows, titles and losses, Jurgen Klopp has done something more important. He's brought a big sense of pride back to Liverpool Football Club. Fans now have a team to truly be proud of, and schoolkids up and down the country now have another team to glory hunt with instead of their local side.

And maybe best of all, he's also brought the sense of hatred and bitterness back to opposition fans. Football supporters love to hate Liverpool, and Jurgen Klopp has only made them even more hated now that he's actually made them good again. Football fans always hate teams that are better than them, and unless you support Manchester City (let's be honest you don't) you probably dislike Liverpool.

So if anything, that's the legacy he'll leave for the vast majority of football fans, even if he's no longer able to run down the touchline celebrating, or complain about kickoff times on television, in the red of one of English football's most hated superteams.

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