Jurgen Klopp made the surprise announcement on Friday that he will leave Liverpool at the end of the season, a decision that has shocked everyone involved with the club.
Having overseen a successful summer rebuild, there were no real indications that Klopp would call quits on his time at Anfield, with Liverpool supporters left bitterly disappointed by the breaking news.
Klopp announced that he would be leaving the club at the end of the campaign in an emotional address to the club's supporters, the German explaining the reasons behind his decision-making.
'Running out of energy'
In a video interview released by the club, Klopp stated: "I will leave the club at the end of the season. I can understand that that’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.
"After the years we had together and after all the time we spent together and after all the things we went through together, the respect grew for you, the love grew for you and the least I owe you is the truth – and that is the truth. That’s it, pretty much."
'100% right decision'
When asked why he decided that now was the right time to leave the club, Klopp mentioned the difficulties on the pitch last season, as well as how he felt positive about the current direction of the team following the summer's recruitment.
"When we sat there together talking about potential signings, the next summer camp and can we go wherever, the thought came up, ‘I am not sure I am here then anymore’ and I was surprised myself by that," he added.
"I obviously start thinking about it. 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. For me it was super, super, super-important that I can help to bring this team back onto 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 per cent right. That’s it."
Watch or read our emotional interview with Jürgen Klopp in full as he discusses today’s news in detail and explains the reasons for his decision.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 26, 2024
'People need to know early'
The Liverpool boss was then quizzed on why he made the announcement during the season and what impact he thinks such a decision could have on the rest of the campaign.
He replied: "There are so many things which are influenced by it, especially personal situations. People from my staff need to know early – and especially the club needs to know early and needs to plan.
"You cannot plan anything and you cannot really start. You can do a lot of stuff with knowing it but not making it public, but the decisive things, a lot of things, you cannot do. That means the club needs time."
Klopp added: "After this announcement we will have a press conference and stuff like that. After that, I am 100 per cent in this season. We can go through it, I think in an ideal world we have kind of 30 games coming up or something like that.
"Nobody has to make the games now about me – please don’t, if I can ask for that it would be really nice – and we just support each other. I am fully here – I don’t think anybody realised any difference in the last few months.
"If [they did] then maybe a positive change because I have to say when I made the decision, as hard as it is, it was a relief as well. It was like, ‘OK, there is a finishing line’ and not for not being here anymore."
'Will I work again? I would say no'
When asked about what the future holds for him regarding management, Klopp stated: " If you ask me, ‘Will you ever work as a manager again?’ I would say now no. 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 per cent. That’s not possible. My love for this club, my respect for the people is too big. I couldn’t. I couldn’t for a second think about it. There’s no chance."
Klopp went on to explain the influence that Liverpool - the club, the city and the supporters - has had on him since his arrival, saying: "For me, the situation is [that] today is an announcement day, if you want. We have to say what we have to say. All the rest will come, we will have time for it and these kind of things.
"That I not only feel home, that I am home here, is 100 per cent clear. That I will love this club forever, will be grateful forever, is 100 per cent clear. That getting the key of the city is one of the most special moments of my whole entire life.
"We had so many good things, if you want to remember them, remember them. I will forever, I will cherish that 100 per cent."
Message to the fans: 'let's go for it'
And he finished his announcement with a final message for the club's supporters.
“Let’s squeeze everything out of this season and have another thing to smile about when we look back in the future.”
Jürgen’s important message to you.
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) January 26, 2024
"The message to supporters: I really would like you to accept the decision. That would be nice," said Klopp. "And then if I can ask for one more thing, after telling you don’t sing my song too early, after telling you be loud in the stadium, stuff like this, if I could ask you for one more thing it would be: don’t make these games about me, because there’s no need.
"The only thing I always wanted was the full support for the team, it’s not for me. I know about our relationship, I don’t need any kind of proof. We will have a moment, maybe the last matchday here or somewhere else – I mean in other countries or other competitions.
"There’s enough time to do these kinds of things. Let’s now really go for it. The outside world want to use this decision, laugh about it, want to disturb us. We are Liverpool, we went through harder things together. And you went through harder things before me.
"Let’s make a strength of it. That would be really cool. Let’s squeeze everything out of this season and have another thing to smile about when we look back in the future. Thank you."