A tribute to Liverpool FC’s super manager Jürgen Klopp

He will be leaving the club at the end of the 2023/24 season.

Klopp had masterfully crafted a Champions League-winning team that was relentlessly pursuing Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years (All photos: Reuters)

 We’re gonna win the league (x2)
And now you’re gonna believe us,
Now you’re gonna believe us (x2)
We’re gonna win the league


The jubilant echoes of “We’re gonna win the league” reverberated around Anfield on Jan 19, 2020, after Liverpool FC secured a triumphant 2-0 victory over Manchester United. It was a rallying cry not heard since the close call of the 2013/14 season, when Liverpool’s dream of clinching the English Premier League (EPL) title was dashed.

On April 13, 2014, Philippe Coutinho’s brilliance contributed to the 3-2 win over title rival Manchester City, prompting a joyous rendition of “We’re gonna win the league” from Liverpool fans. Yet, the dream was short-lived. The club lost 0-2 to Chelsea two weeks later in a crucial match where Steven Gerrard’s unfortunate slip occurred.

The long-awaited EPL title continued to elude Liverpool, leaving many supporters, including myself, questioning whether they would ever lift the league trophy again. Some said we might have celebrated too soon, while others said the chants seemed to have jinxed it. Since then, “We’re gonna win the league” was not heard again at Anfield. The once dreamers, including myself, turned into doubters.

After another season of turmoil, Jürgen Klopp stepped in as the new Liverpool manager in October 2015, delivering a powerful message to the fans: “We have to change from doubters to believers, now.”

In his inaugural press conference, Klopp, a former manager of Borussia Dortmund and Mainz 05, implored supporters to focus not on his entrance but on their perception when he eventually departs, urging patience and promising the potential of a truly special journey.

“When I left Dortmund, my last sentence was: It is not so important what people think when you come in, it is more important what they think when you leave. Please give us the time to work on it. If we want, this could be a really special day,” he remarked.

Fast forward to the 2019/20 season, and Klopp had masterfully crafted a Champions League-winning team that was relentlessly pursuing Liverpool’s first league title in 30 years. I was fortunate enough to witness two pivotal EPL matches that season.


Klopp’s impending departure is said to leave the club in a vulnerable position

The first, a clash with Tottenham on Jan 12, 2020, saw Roberto Firmino netting the decisive goal in London. At the second, a classic showdown at Anfield a week later, Virgil van Dijk and Mohamed Salah scored to secure victory over Manchester United, stretching Liverpool’s lead to 16 points. As the final whistle echoed through Anfield, the chants of “We’re gonna win the league” resounded once more, marking a special moment that crystallised the belief that, this time, Liverpool would finally capture the coveted EPL title.

Jan 19, 2020, is a day etched in the hearts of Liverpool supporters, a day when doubters transformed into believers, fulfilling Klopp’s vision. Indeed, Liverpool went on to clinch the premiership in that season, ending a 30-year wait for glory. A lot has happened since as they went on to win more trophies and silverware.

Four years later, on Jan 26, 2024, while rushing to meet the deadline for an article that evening, I was greeted by the shocking news of Klopp’s sudden decision to leave the club, despite having renewed his contract just 21 months earlier. The official announcement left me, like every other Liverpool supporter, utterly speechless.

The surprise move made it tough for me to put into words the rush of emotions that came after. But after watching Klopp’s video interview with LFC TV, I gradually accepted and came to respect his decision.

Klopp, the mastermind behind gegenpressing and an advocate of heavy metal football, emotionally expressed that he was “running out of energy” to continue at the highest level for Liverpool, adding that he realised he couldn’t do the job “again and again and again and again”.

Since Klopp’s bombshell announcement, tributes have poured in from the football world, recognising him as a true legend and great leader.

Despite the sadness I felt, I am grateful for the unforgettable moments he brought us and understand that this decision will release the immense pressure he carried.

“I’m responsible for defeats. The boys [players] are responsible for the wins.” This is one of my favourite quotes by Klopp, which epitomises his greatness as a leader, one whom his players would willingly give their all for.



Beyond the football world’s praise for him as a manager and human being, it is essential to underscore his charisma.

The promo video in 2018, “We Are Liverpool: This Means More”, eloquently narrated by Klopp, encapsulates the spirit and values of the club and emphasises that Liverpool is not just a team but a way of life. The manager opens by declaring: “This is Anfield, these are our streets, these are our routines, this is our home.”

He continues, “These are our Saturdays, our nights after school, these are our colours, our flags, our pubs, our gates, our mates, our crest, our words, which stand alone.”

In a touching final part of the clip, Klopp says: “This is the team we’ll always adore. For others, it’s a sport. For us, it’s a way of life.

“They have a stadium, we have a home. They have songs, we have an anthem. They have a manager, we have a guardian. They have supporters, we are a family. We Are Liverpool. This means more.”

The hairs on the back of my neck stand up every time I watch the video.

Similarly, during a tour of Anfield with my wife in January 2020, a short welcome video featuring a voice-over by Klopp also made her tear up a little. That’s because he truly understands what Liverpool Football Club is about and has a special relationship with the fans.

As words fall short in expressing the depth of gratitude for Klopp’s contributions to Liverpool, a simple “Danke, Jürgen. You’ll Never Walk Alone” echoes the collective sentiment of the fanbase bidding farewell to a legend who rebuilt our club, brought us back to where we belong and changed us from doubters to believers.


This article first appeared on Feb 5, 2024 in The Edge Malaysia.

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