Internet InfoMedia jurgen klopp and liverpool a love affair in street art and silverware
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A coach’s soccer legacy is often reduced to titles and trophies. In Liverpool, a beloved manager will endure in murals, music and shared memories.

Jürgen Klopp’s week has been one long goodbye. On Tuesday, Klopp, Liverpool’s soon-to-be former manager, was at Anfield, the stadium that has sung his name and thrilled at his team for the last nine years, bidding farewell to hundreds of members of the club’s staff. On Thursday, he and his players shared one last barbecue at Liverpool’s training facility on the fringe of the city.

In between, there have been countless jerseys to sign — “I don’t know how many, but everyone has one now,” he said — and endless hands to shake. There is still the looming specter of Sunday, when he will take charge of Liverpool one final time. He is scheduled to address the crowd at Anfield afterward. “The most intense week of my life,” he said. “It’s been a lot.”

The most emotional moments have come in private. Klopp has been inundated with emails and messages and letters from fans in such volume that he has not been able to read them all, let alone reply. Each contains the “stories of what it has meant to them,” he said. They have moved him so much that, when asked by the club’s in-house television channel to read a handful, he demurred. “I would have burst into tears,” he said.

Klopp does not pretend to understand, not fully, why there is such a depth of feeling toward him from Liverpool’s fans — the club’s “people,” as he calls them. His instinct is to play it down. “I know that if you are Liverpool manager, people like you,” he said. “Until you disappoint them. And we never really disappointed them.”

That is an understatement. In Klopp’s near decade at Anfield, he lifted (almost) every major trophy available. On his watch, Liverpool was crowned champion of Europe, and then the world. A year later, in 2020, he steered the club to the Premier League title. It was the club’s first English championship in 30 extremely long years.

Klopp and Liverpool won the Champions League in 2019. A year later, the club picked up its first league title in 30 years. Oli Scarff/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

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