Liverpool have announced that Jurgen Klopp has committed his long term future to the club, the German having penned a new deal that will see him remain on Merseyside until 2024.
The news will come as a welcome boost with the former Borussia Dortmund boss having transformed Liverpool into one of Europe’s most formidable sides, culminating in the club being crowned champions of Europe for a sixth time after success in June’s Champions League final.
The ever-popular Klopp has enjoyed some memorable moments since succeeding Brendan Rodgers in 2015, and following his contract extension we’ve decided to look back at some of his very finest.
Here are Jurgen Klopp’s most memorable moments as Liverpool manager…
2016 Europa League final defeat
Having replaced the sacked Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager in October, Klopp’s first season in charge at Anfield saw the club reach two major finals.
Liverpool were beaten on penalties by Manchester City in the League Cup final in February, before enjoying a memorable run to the Europa League final.
Their journey to the showpiece in Basel saw them beat arch-rivals Manchester United and Klopp’s former side Dortmund in a thrilling Anfield comeback, and the Reds would meet serial Europa League winners Sevilla in the final, offering a chance to lift a major trophy and secure qualification for the Champions League.
Liverpool had featured just once in the Champions League in the previous six seasons, and victory was viewed as a short cut to rejoining Europe’s elite. Despite taking the lead through Daniel Sturridge though, the Liverpool squad Klopp inherited was defeated 3-1, though the German could see the bigger picture:
“Two hours ago you all felt shit,” Klopp told his players post-match. “This is just the start for us. We will play in many more finals.”
He was right.
Embracing the team around him
For all his undoubted qualities as a top-level manager, Klopp acknowledges that the running of an elite football club can not solely be down to one man.
Unlike predecessor Rodgers, Klopp embraced the use of a sporting director at Anfield, having been used to the model whilst working in German football.
Under the structure, the club have created a formidable side, with Klopp speaking glowingly in the role his team of scouts and analysts played in persuading him to sign Mohamed Salah and before his arrival, Roberto Firmino.
Surrounding himself with experts in a variety of fields have made the club one of the best run in modern football, with sporting director Michael Edwards having played a key role in assembling one of world football’s best sides.
Many sneered at Klopp’s employment of ‘throw-in coach’ Thomas Gronnemark, though the German believes success is in the very finest of margins and given Liverpool’s development that theory is difficult to argue.
Virgil van Dijk’s arrival
Throughout his time at Anfield, Klopp has shown he is willing to wait for the right man to bolster his side.
No case has been more evident than the club’s pursuit of Virgil van Dijk, which ultimately failed in the summer of 2017 and caused Liverpool to memorably back-track amid complaints from Southampton.
Undeterred, the club returned six months later, making the Dutch international the most expensive defender in football history with a club-record £75m deal.
Many questioned the fee paid, though Van Dijk has proven a transformative signing in raising Liverpool to the next level. Having played ‘heavy-metal’ football in the early part of Klopp’s tenure, Liverpool’s days of defensive vulnerability were no more.
Van Dijk instantly shored up their leaky rearguard, providing a platform for the club’s wealth of attacking talent to decide games.
Since moving to the club the centre-back has established himself as arguably the finest in world football, and their recent success would be difficult to comprehend without his presence.
2018 Champions League final defeat
Having secured their return to Champions League football, Klopp’s charges made a memorable run to the 2018 final and showed that they were once again ready to compete with Europe’s elite.
Manchester City and Roma were memorably blown away at Anfield en route to the Kiev final, though a chastening defeat showed there was still work to do to reach the very top.
— Football Faithful (@FootyFaithful_) May 27, 2018
The final will be remembered for Loris Karius’ nightmare performance, the German goalkeeper producing two howlers as Real Madrid triumphed in Ukraine.
Having suffered a third final defeat in a row during his time at Anfield, Klopp was labelled as a ‘nearly man’ by rival supporters.
The Liverpool boss kept faith in his project – instilling in his players that defeat does not mean the end of the road – however, and the key steps would be made that summer…
Champions League glory and record points haul
Liverpool’s near-miss the previous year saw them attack the summer transfer market, the club uncharacteristically spending big in a bid to make that final step.
Armed with the funds from Philippe Coutinho’s January departure to Barcelona, Klopp would bring in Alisson, Fabinho, Naby Keita and Xherdan Shaqiri to bring added quality and depth to his squad.
The former duo would help provide Klopp’s side with one of the strongest spines in European football, Alisson’s presence in goal a huge upgrade on the hapless Karius.
Fabinho would also provide a defensive shield in front of the club’s new-look backline, which had been boosted by Van Dijk’s arrival six months earlier.
8 – Based on Opta's xG model, the average goalkeeper would have conceded eight more goals than Alisson has for Liverpool in the Premier League & Champions League combined in 2018-19. Wall. pic.twitter.com/H9rdXdXZoC
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 12, 2018
Klopp’s side would enjoy a memorable Premier League campaign, recording a record 97 points and losing just once throughout the course of the season.
Manchester City’s remarkable consistency would see them miss out on an elusive league title by just a single point, though their disappointment would be short-lived with success on the European stage.
Liverpool would be crowned champions of Europe with victory over Tottenham in June’s final in Madrid, but it is their semi-final showing that will live longest in the memory. Trailing 3-0 from the first leg in Spain, Liverpool would welcome Barcelona to Anfield, producing one of the most memorable nights in both the club’s and tournament’s history.
Missing key duo Salah and Firmino, Liverpool would thrash their shell-shocked visitors 4-0 on home turf, Georginio Wijnaldum and Divock Origi writing themselves into folklore with a brace each.
The win epitomised the spirit instilled by Klopp since his arrival four years ago, and points to far more success to come in the coming seasons.
See also – 20 of Jurgen Klopp’s best quotes