Like many top-class managers, as a player Jürgen Klopp was solid, if unspectacular, spending his entire career at FSV Mainz before taking up the reins there for his first steps into management upon retirement in 2001. Going on to become their longest-serving manager, Klopp’s reign was notable for the club being promoted out of the Bundesliga 2 into the top flight for the first time in their history. During their three-year excursion as a Bundesliga team, they also played a preseason friendly with Klopp’s future employers Liverpool in August 2006, where they demolished Rafa's charges 5-0! At the end of that season, however, Die Nullfünfer were relegated in 16th place. Klopp declared his intention to stay on but resigned at the end of the following season as Mainz finished fourth, just outside the promotion places.
Klopp was not to be out of work for long, however. In May 2008, he was hired by Borussia Dortmund, who had finished in an unglamourous 13th place in the 2007/08 season. Klopp’s appointment immediately paid dividends, winning the DFL Supercup and raising the squad from thirteenth to sixth. The next season, their final position increased again, as Dortmund finished fifth. It was in the 2010/11 season, though, that Klopp’s Dortmund really made an impact and made a European household name of their charismatic manager. BVB won their first league title in nine years, being crowned champions with two games to spare and by an eventual margin of seven points. It was not enough for Klopp, and the next season Dortmund did it again, this time with a German-record-breaking tally of 81 points, and stringing together an incredible 28-match unbeaten run. The team also beat Bayern Munich 5-2 in the DFB Pokal to earn the first domestic double in their history. More success was to come in the 2012/13 season, as Borussia escaped a Champions League ‘Group Of Death’ to battle all the way to the final at Wembley Stadium, where a last-minute Arjen Robben goal saw Bayern Munich take the honours at their expense. Yet the bearded one remained upbeat, looking on the bright side and saying: “The only thing I can say is that it was great. London is the town of the Olympic Games. The weather was good, everything is OK. Only the result is sh*t.”
Reaching the Champions League final proved to be the zenith for Klopp in Germany – an injury-ravaged 2013/14 season saw them exit the Champions League at the quarter-finals and fall to second in the league. Dortmund’s form dipped alarmingly in 2014/15, which, often finding themselves occupying the relegation places and ultimately finishing seventh and losing the cup final. Klopp announced in April 2015 that he would not be staying at the club and when Brendan Rodgers was sacked on 4 October that year, Liverpool moved quickly to appoint him four days later. He marked his arrival in the city by having a pint at the Old Blind School bar on Hardman Street, posing for pictures with passers-by.
At his opening press conference, Klopp described himself as "The Normal One" and Liverpool as a "Special Club". He stated that everyone connected to the club needed to go from doubters to believers. His impact was instant and he led Liverpool to both the League and Europa League finals, but both ended in defeat. The memorable run to the Europa League final against Sevilla in Basle included a round of 16
League form in 2015/16 was disappointing, with Liverpool eventually finishing eighth. As they progressed in Europe, Klopp often rested his best players ahead of domestic games, but club owners FSG had seen enough to hand him a contract extension, tying him to the club until 2022. The following season the league was clearly
2017/18 was the season when Klopp clearly made people sit up and take notice that Liverpool
Klopp had demonstrated in 2017/18 his ability to seek out good players and nurture them into great ones. The signing of left-back Andy Robertson from Hull for just £8 million was a classic example of his shrewdness. Robertson was rarely used in the first three months of the season, but behind the
Under Klopp, Anfield has once more become a cauldron and a place where visiting teams fear. The atmosphere for European games is unique and in the Premier League, Liverpool remained unbeaten at home in both 2017/18 and 2018/19. Klopp has an unbelievable knack of having all the players like him and
|Competition||Total||Won||Draw||Lost||Goals for||Goals against|
By Martin Samuel - Sport for the Daily Mail. Published: 22:30 BST, 2 June 2019
Andy Hunter at the Estadio Metropolitano on 2 Jun 2019.
Klopp was relieved after beating Spurs in the Champions League final on 1 June 2019.
24 September 2019 on the Players' Tribune.
“With Klopp, he was a football madman: pressure and counter-attack. Instead, Tuchel (Dortmund’s coach) has changed our lives. Now we command the game and I have more freedom to attack. Thanks to him I now make myself more useful.”
Henrikh Mkhitaryan on his former Dortmund boss in Gazzetta dello Sport in March 2016
"He always stood up for his team and he’s a bit like a father for the players. Also, for the Liverpool fans, when they see they’ve got a coach who gives his all they’ll back him. Klopp is a very good coach. One day he could be having a laugh with you and, the next day, if you got it wrong in training, he’d come and have a go at you. He knows when to be your friend and he also knows how to be the boss — and that’s one of his strengths."
Robert Lewandowski in Mail on Sunday on 31 January 2016
"I have always said that the moment I feel I am no longer the perfect coach for this extraordinary club, I would say so. In the past days and weeks, I was not sure whether I was not the perfect coach anymore, but I couldn't say that I was either, so I saw it as my duty to inform [sporting director] Michael [Zorc] and 'Aki' [Dortmund chief executive Hans-Joachim Watzke]. I have nothing up my sleeve, but I also do not intend to take a sabbatical."
Klopp on the end of his Dortmund career
'There are moments when the grand spectacle of it all convinces you to put aside any regrets. Even if you concede at the last minute or five minutes into stoppage time. That was an extraordinary show. Just 10 minutes earlier, I saw Klopp looking at me with the game going on. I asked: "Why are you smiling?" He replied: "Aren't you having fun?" 'I said: "so much" and he added: "me too." He was losing at the time.
Daniel Sturridge scored a superb late equaliser as the game finished 1-1 in their league clash. 'Even after the equaliser, remembering that moment, we hugged like two old friends. I'm sure he would've done the same even if Liverpool hadn't equalised. 'The Premier League has this joy of football.'
Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri in Corriere dello Sport in September 2018
"Yes, he is exceptional. Yes, he is outstanding. If anybody who's with us still doesn’t see the quality of Jordan Henderson, then I can't help him. Is Hendo the perfect football player? No. Do I know anybody who is? No. Is he unbelievably important to us? Yes!"
Jürgen Klopp on Jordan Henderson on 2 January 2020.
Van Dijk inspired Liverpool to victory against Bayern Munich on 13 March 2019 in the Champions League. The £75m defender had Liverpool's hierarchy playing with superlatives. Co-owner John W. Henry tweeted "75 per cent of the earth is covered by water, the rest by Van Dijk." Klopp was equally complimentary in his press conference: "You could write a book about his skills, his strengths, how much I like him, what a fantastic person he is," Klopp said after the game. "He's so young, already so mature, so strong, all good."
Klopp and John Henry on Van Dijk
"Analytically, Dortmund stacked up very well relative to expected performance,' Gordon told Sports Illustrated. "I called Jurgen and we had an extraordinary conversation, and it was pretty clear to me by the time I hung up that he was the right person. We arranged a meeting in New York City, had a lengthy discussion late one night and the following day, and it was very straightforward. This was the perfect choice. He's a polymathematical guy. I spent 30 years as an investor speaking to some of the best CEOs in the world, and Jurgen is right up there with them. If he wasn't managing a football club, he could be managing a Fortune 500 company."
Mike Gordon, the president of Fenway Sports Group, in January 2020 to Sports Illustrated
|Marko Grujic||Red Star Belgrade||£5,100,000||6 January 2016|
|Steven Caulker||QPR||On Loan||12 January 2016|
|Kamil Grabara||Ruch Chorzow||£250,000||15 January 2016|
|Sadio Mané||Southampton||£30,000,000||28 June 2016|
|Loris Karius||Mainz 05||£4,700,000||1 July 2016|
|Joël Matip||Free Transfer||Free||1 July 2016|
|Ragnar Klavan||Augsburg||£4,200,000||20 July 2016|
|Alex Manninger||Free Transfer||Free||22 July 2016|
|Georginio Wijnaldum||Newcastle United||£25,000,000 *||22 July 2016|
|Mohamed Salah||Roma||£43,900,000 *||22 June 2017|
|Dominic Solanke||Chelsea||£4,000,000 *||1 July 2017|
|Andy Robertson||Hull City||£10,000,000 *||21 July 2017|
|Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain||Arsenal||£35,000,000||31 August 2017|
|Virgil Van Dijk||Southampton||£75,000,000||1 January 2018|
|Naby Keita||Red Bull Leipzig||£52,750,000||1 July 2018|
|Fabinho Tavarez||AS Monaco||£43,700,000 *||1 July 2018|
|Xherdan Shaqiri||Stoke City||£13,750,000||13 July 2018|
|Alisson Becker||Roma||£65,000,000 *||19 July 2018|
|Sepp van den Berg||PEC Zwolle||£4,400,000 *||27 June 2019|
|Harvey Elliott||Fulham||£0 *||28 July 2019|
|Adrián San Miguel||Free Transfer||Free||5 August 2019|
|Andy Lonergan||Free Transfer||Free||12 August 2019|
|Takumi Minamino||Salzburg||£7,250,000||1 January 2020|
|Jose Enrique||Free Transfer||Free||1 July 2016|
|Kolo Touré||Free Transfer||Free||1 July 2016|
|Jordan Rossiter||Free Transfer||Free *||1 July 2016|
|João Carlos Teixeira||Free Transfer||Free *||1 July 2016|
|Jerome Sinclair||Free Transfer||Free *||1 July 2016|
|Samed Yesil||Free Transfer||Free||1 July 2016|
|Sergi Canos||Norwich City||£4,500,000 *||13 July 2016|
|Martin Skrtel||Fenerbahce||£5,500,000||14 July 2016|
|Jordon Ibe||Bournemouth||£15,000,000||14 July 2016|
|Joe Allen||Stoke City||£13,000,000 *||25 July 2016|
|Brad Smith||Bournemouth||£6,000,000 *||27 July 2016|
|Christian Benteke||Crystal Palace||£32,000,000 *||20 August 2016|
|Luis Alberto||Lazio||£6,000,000 *||31 August 2016|
|Mario Balotelli||Nice||Free||31 August 2016|
|Tiago Ilori||Reading||£3,750,000||18 January 2017|
|Jack Dunn||Free Transfer||Free *||1 July 2017|
|Alex Manninger||Free Transfer||Free||1 July 2017|
|Andre Wisdom||Derby||£4,500,000 *||3 July 2017|
|Lucas Leiva||Lazio||£5,000,000||18 July 2017|
|Ryan Fulton||Hamilton Academical||Free||18 July 2017|
|Kevin Stewart||Hull City||£8,000,000 *||21 July 2017|
|Mamadou Sakho||Crystal Palace||£26,000,000||31 August 2017|
|Philippe Coutinho||Barcelona||£142,000,000 *||8 January 2018|
|Cameron Brannagan||Oxford United||£200,000||11 January 2018|
|Emre Can||Juventus||Free||1 July 2018|
|Danny Ward||Leicester City||£12,500,000 *||20 July 2018|
|Ragnar Klavan||Cagliari||£2,000,000||17 August 2018|
|Dominic Solanke||Bournemouth||£19,000,000 *||4 January 2019|
|Lazar Markovic||Fulham||Free||31 January 2019|
|Rafael Camacho||Sporting Lisbon||£7,000,000 *||27 June 2019|
|Daniel Sturridge||Free Transfer||Free||1 July 2019|
|Alberto Moreno||Free Transfer||Free||1 July 2019|
|Adam Bogdan||Free Transfer||Free||1 July 2019|
|Connor Randall||Free Transfer||Free||1 July 2019|
|Danny Ings||Southampton||£20,000,000 *||1 July 2019|
|Simon Mignolet||Club Brugge||£8,200,000 *||5 August 2019|
|Ryan Kent||Rangers||£7,500,000 *||2 September 2019|
|Bobby Duncan||Fiorentina||£1,800,000||2 September 2019|
|Allan Rodrigues de Souza||Atletico Mineiro||£3,200,000||9 January 2020|