Then I Saw His Face

“I didn’t invent fist-pumps and I don’t have the copyright on it and I don’t want it. You do what you do for yourself and your people and what the outside world thinks about it, I couldn’t give a shit, to be honest. And you can write that exactly like that. This is for us and nobody else.” -Jurgen Norbert Klopp.

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A Man Of His Word

That statement is pretty recent and is another reason I adore the man. I’ve sat down and tried to put this together several times before his final home game and it’s been a tough one to write. Why???
When Jurgen took over, I was in my mid-thirties and trying not to be as obsessed with LFC. Family life changes. The kids are young. I need to shift priorities and not be so emotionally invested in how I feel after a defeat, a shit referee decision, and so on. More important things in life, right?

Then I saw his face. I just knew instantly. From that first press conference, his confidence and belief oozed out of him. I could hear it in his voice and see it in his face. This isn’t the time to be taking a back seat, it’s time to enjoy the ride because things are about to get interesting.

What this man has given the fans over nearly 9 years is nothing short of incredible. Some lows, but even they were a journey in itself. They were outweighed by the highs. Everyone has their memories and favorite moments and they’ll last a lifetime.

The Face Of Magic

I know Barcelona is a lot of peoples’ favorite moment, but I just want to put a bit of context to that night as well. The previous evening, we watched Man City end our title dreams. For 82 minutes they were 0-0 at home to Leicester and out of ideas. We started to think maybe, just maybe, we’ll have our destiny in our own hands. Then Kompany strides forward from centerback and hits a shot that if he tried 99 more times he wouldn’t score. The title dream left in ruin, why always us? Then we had the formality the next night of, Barca turning up to finish off a Liverpool side, three goals down from the the first leg and key players missing.

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Captain & Manager Embrace After UCL Triumph

What happened next defied any rational explanation. That result does not occur on any other football pitch on the planet. Of course, the players have to do it on the pitch but the man on the sideline really made it happen. The doubters-to-believers line gets thrown around so much. But never had it been more evident than that night. His players turned up that night believing, the fans were red hot, not sure how many believed but they did know if we got the first goal it was game on.

What happened over those ninety minutes was magical. At full time the players stood in front of the Kop singing YNWA and it was the best one I’d ever witnessed. Liverpool Football Club was one again. In three years he had turned Liverpool from nobodies to the most feared team in European football. The image of him and Henderson hugging and crying (see right) uncontrollably after the CL final showed what winning for Liverpool meant to him. He did it with style and with a smile on his face. The players and fans had a bond again. They give us everything and we gave back and then some.

The Face Of Compassion

It’s not just on the field Klopp endeared himself to us. As an Irishman myself, the kindness he showed during the Sean Cox incident and the compassion he’s shown to the family and still does to this day. We have all seen the video going viral at Christmas of Daire, a young 12-year-old from Ireland who is disabled, and the time Klopp gave him and his family. It wasn’t just a quick 5 minute PR video, it was two hours showing him around AXA and introducing him to everyone. I’m sure there are countless things we don’t see as well.

Klopp the manager is a genius, but Klopp the human being is even better. He got Liverpool from day one, and the people who live in the City. Jurgen understood the, us against them mentality. He understood it is a City that will stand up for what they believe in. He has left a mark that will never be forgotten.

Liverpool Football Club will go on. Jurgen will get a well-deserved rest and spend well-deserved holidays with his wife and family. He will try to have some normality away from the goldfish bowl of managing the best club on earth. I don’t doubt he’ll be a manager again. But no matter what he does, I think Liverpool stole his heart as he has stolen ours.

Danke for the memories Boss.
YNWA

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No Timucin this week so no one to watch the kids…. and you get to see the result
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