Liverpool Manager Jurgen Klopp Announces He Will Step Down at End of Season

January 26, 2024, 10:44 GMT

Updated 57 minutes ago

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

Jurgen Klopp has won six major trophies with Liverpool, including the Premier League and Champions League

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is to step down from the role at the end of the season, saying he is “running out of energy”.

Klopp was appointed in October 2015 and his contract was due to run until 2026.

He won the Champions League in 2019 before leading Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years in 2019-20.

“I told the club already in November,” said 56-year-old Klopp, who has announced his decision with his side top of the Premier League.

“I can understand that it’s a shock for a lot of people in this moment, when you hear it for the first time, but obviously I can explain it – or at least try to explain it.

“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. 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, how can I say it, running out of energy. I have no problem now, obviously, I knew it already for longer that I will have to announce it at one point, but I am absolutely fine now. I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.”

Klopp’s record at Liverpool

‘I will never, ever manage a different club in England’

Klopp is the only Liverpool manager to win the league title, European Cup/Champions League, FA Cup and EFL Cup with the Reds.

He guided Liverpool to their sixth European Cup in 2019 when they beat Tottenham in the Champions League final in Madrid.

They followed that up in 2019-20 with victory in the Uefa Super Cup and the Fifa Club World Cup and, most significantly, lifted the Premier League title.

Liverpool won a domestic cup double in the 2021-22 season, and narrowly missed out on a quadruple as they were pipped by Manchester City on the final day of the Premier League season and lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid in Paris.

The Reds failed to win any major silverware last season but are in contention for four trophies this term. They beat Fulham on Wednesday to reach the Carabao Cup final.

“It didn’t start [then]but of course last season was kind of 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.’ That didn’t happen here, obviously,” added Klopp.

“For me it was super, super, super important that I can help to bring this team back on to 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%.”

Liverpool assistant managers Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz, as well as elite development coach Vitor Matos, will leave the club along with Klopp.

Sporting director Jorg Schmadtke will leave at the end of the January transfer window, having been appointed in June.

As well as being top of the Premier League and in the EFL Cup final, Liverpool host Norwich City in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday and are through to the last 16 of the Europa League.

“Let’s squeeze everything out of this season and have another thing to smile about when we look back in the future,” said Klopp.

Klopp has a win percentage of 60.7%, which is the highest of any Liverpool manager with 50-plus games in charge of the club.

“If you ask me, ‘Will you ever work as a manager again?’ I would say now, no,” added Klopp.

“But I don’t know obviously how that will feel because I never had the situation.

“What I know definitely – I will never, ever manage a different club in England than Liverpool, 100%. That’s not possible.”

FSG ‘hugely saddened’ to lose Klopp

Mike Gordon, president of Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group, called Klopp’s appointment “one of the greatest blessings of our time as owners”.

“First and foremost, on behalf of [principal owner] John Henry and [FSG chairman] Tom Werner, I would like to state our profound appreciation for Jurgen,” said Gordon.

“It goes without saying that we will be hugely saddened to lose not just a manager of such calibre, but a person and leader for whom we have enormous respect, gratitude and affection.

“At the same time, we fully respect his wishes and the reasons why he has decided the current season will be his last at Liverpool.”

The fact that Klopp told the club in November of his intention to step down as manager means that preparations are likely to have begun on finding his replacement.

Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso, who played for the Reds from 2004 until 2009, would appear to be an early favourite to take over from Klopp.

Alonso is in charge of German side Bayer Leverkusen, who are four points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga having not lost a league game this season.

Germany boss Julian Nagelsmann is contracted until the end of this summer’s European Championship, while Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi and Tottenham’s Ange Postecoglou are prominent names with bookmakers.

In terms of Lijnders, Liverpool said the Dutchman would be leaving Anfield “to pursue his own career in management”.

Klopp timeline at Liverpool

  • October 8, 2015 – Klopp appointed Liverpool manager
  • 18 May, 2016 – Liverpool lose 3-1 to Sevilla in Europa League final
  • 1 January, 2018 – Virgil van Dijk joins from Southampton in £75m deal, a then world record fee for a defender
  • 6 January, 2018 – Philippe Coutinho joins Barcelona in an initial £105m deal, rising to a potential £142m, which helps the club to pay for Van Dijk and eventually purchase players including Alisson and Fabinho
  • 26 May, 2018 – Liverpool lose 3-1 to Real Madrid in Champions League final in Kyiv, Ukraine
  • 7 May, 2019 – Liverpool reach second consecutive Champions League final by overturning 3-0 semi-final first-leg deficit against Barcelona with a 4-0 win at Anfield in second leg
  • 1 June, 2019 – Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 in Champions League final in Madrid to win club’s sixth European Cup
  • 14 August, 2019 – Liverpool defeat Chelsea 5-4 on penalties after 2-2 draw to win Uefa Super Cup
  • 21 December, 2019 – Liverpool beat Flamengo 1-0 to win Club World Cup
  • 25 June, 2020 – Liverpool win their 19th league title and first Premier League, finishing the season on a club record 99 points
  • 27 February, 2022 – Liverpool beat Chelsea 11-10 on penalties in EFL Cup final after 0-0 draw
  • 28 April, 2022 – Klopp extends Liverpool contract until 2026
  • 14 May, 2022 – Liverpool beat Chelsea 6-5 on penalties in FA Cup final after 0-0 draw
  • 28 May, 2022 – Liverpool lose 1-0 to Real Madrid in Champions League final in Paris
  • 5 March, 2023 – Liverpool beat Manchester United 7-0 at Anfield in Premier League
  • January 26 2024 – Klopp announces he will step down at end of the 2023-24 season

Analysis

BBC Sport chief football writer Phil McNulty

Video caption,

Klopp’s Liverpool legacy up with club greats – McNulty

Jurgen Klopp’s announcement that he is to depart Liverpool at the end of the season will leave the club’s supporters heartbroken and send shockwaves way beyond Anfield.

The charismatic German’s force of personality and successes have given him iconic status at Liverpool, the club he has transformed since his appointment in October 2015. Klopp can stand comfortably in the list of great Anfield managers.

The news came as a bolt from the blue, especially having signed a contract extension taking him through to 2026 as a sign of his commitment to Liverpool.

And it is even more stunning given how Klopp has rebuilt – or in his word “reloaded” – Liverpool so brilliantly this season that they are in the hunt for four trophies as Premier League leaders, in the EFL Cup Final against Chelsea, with a fourth-round FA Cup tie at home to Norwich City at what is sure to be an emotional Anfield on Sunday, as well as being Europa League favourites.

Klopp’s will be the hardest of acts to follow, not simply because of his bond with Liverpool’s fans but also the ability which makes him one of football’s greatest coaches, having brought the Champions League back to Liverpool in 2019 and their first title in 30 years 12 months later.

In the meantime, however, the game is still coming to terms with the bombshell news that Klopp is on his way out of Liverpool.

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2024-01-26 12:43:14
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