Jurgen Klopp’s invitation he cannot refuse and what will happen after the departure of Liverpool

Jurgen Klopp’s time as Liverpool manager comes to an emotional end at Anfield on Tuesday -Credit:Visionhaus/Getty Images

Early next month the football world will come full circle for Jürgen Klopp. But after Borussia Dortmund were last on the sidelines in a Champions League final at Wembley, the outgoing Liverpool boss will be in the stands this time.

And instead of plotting the downfall of Dortmund’s opponents, Klopp has another problem to contend with when his former club play Real Madrid on June 1.

“I have now received an invitation to the Champions League final,” he says. “They said, ‘I don’t think he’s coming’, but of course I will, it’s the Champions League final and I don’t really have anything to do!

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“But then I also need more tickets. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve asked for tickets – normally I’m the one who always gets asked! It’s a very strange feeling. I never did that, I never having to ask for tickets Now that I’m asking, it feels really strange.

“That’s one thing, besides we don’t have anything planned (after he left Liverpool). At the European Championship we will watch matches and have tickets for a few matches. Being in Germany for a long time, meeting friends, nothing spectacular. Just easy in the dealings, no pre-season plans, I certainly won’t do that, and I’m not involved in transfer talks, that’s such a difference, I’m really looking forward to it.”

Having been away from football for just a few months since making his professional debut for Mainz as a 23-year-old in 1990 – a break cut short by Liverpool’s call-up in October 2015 – Klopp is now ready to commit to to adapt to a new life without the day-to-day responsibilities demanded of the game, with his last hurray as Reds boss on Sunday against Wolves at what will be an emotional Anfield.

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone once said when discussing the weight of responsibility as a manager that he is happiest when he is sleeping because no one can talk to him. And for Klopp, such an opinion resonates.

“I hope everyone sees that I’m a little different from him!” he smiles. “But I absolutely recognize what he says. Meeting me means, besides Ulla (his wife), basically talking about football. I’m for people like Google: ‘why do you do that? why do you do that? blah blah blah'” Visiting friends come over, watch the game and it’s work for me and a holiday for them. Family come over and it’s work for me and a holiday for them.

“I have no personal problem with you (journalists) but you convey the bad message when I am not at my best moment. It’s exactly where we clash.

“But very often it is the moment when you go to sleep (referring to the first question). I listen to a lot of audiobooks. I like to read, but when I read, anyone can talk to me. When I have the headphones on, I realize people that I I obviously don’t listen That’s how it is The responsibility for the whole thing, it’s probably one of my strongest qualities to feel responsible for an incredible amount of things if I know something at the time and for me think it. could be within my reach, then I am responsible for it.”

However, from around 5.30pm on Sunday, such concerns about Liverpool will no longer be Klopp’s concern. A few hours after the German held his final pre-match press conference as Reds manager at the AXA Training Center on Friday, Feyenoord boss Arne Slot confirmed the open secret that he would be next in line.

Klopp announced his intention to leave at the end of the season in January after nearly nine years in charge at Anfield. While he is confident there will be no problems with his successor at the club, he is well aware of the impact his departure will have. about the close-knit community he helped foster.

“It was a big thing when I said I was going to step aside here because I know what it means to a lot of other people, what they think and how they are used to me (being here),” he says. “There is a very good mood here, a very good relationship. Bad days or good days, there is a very nice atmosphere in this building. We like each other. The reason for that is that if I don’t feel good when I go into the building, I don’t let on. It’s not like I come in and say, ‘What are you doing?’ etc. Not at all. We enjoy working together.

“I know the next (manager) will be a nice guy and everything will be fine, but it will be a change. There is a lot of uncertainty for the people, and I didn’t want that for them. But I knew or I did it (chose to leave) in another year or another two years, it would be exactly the same for these people, but in a year or two years that can’t be the reason not to do it, I had to overcome that .

“I had to think about myself first, which actually doesn’t happen often because I can handle pretty much anything. So that means you have to come to me and tell me, and it’s fine, I’ll handle it or not, but I can handle it. But that’s changed. With all the changes now, coaches go everywhere, for some it’s great, for some it’s okay. But we’ve worked together at a club for almost nine years and it’s really rare that we have to appreciate the time together and that’s how we all see it now, but at the first moment it was of course difficult.”

Although not a retirement, the sabbatical – Klopp is determined to take at least a year off and spend it with his family after recently becoming a grandfather – will give him the chance to live a life away from football. But will he miss the match?

“Of course I don’t know,” he says. “I didn’t miss anything in the short break I had after Dortmund. Sometimes on Saturday I had to realize that there is the Bundesliga. But it is my life, so maybe I miss it. But I also have to look at it from the other side. ” because it makes absolutely no sense.

“I love what I do, but it’s super intense and there’s no room for anything else. There’s no room. It just isn’t there. If you look at my three clubs, we’ve always built a training ground, we’re expanding always taking out a stadium or building a stadium, whatever, so these jobs, I didn’t have normal jobs, I wasn’t a coach in the sense that you plan a session, go home and take a shower and especially not here.

“I have to figure out if I’m going to miss it and if I miss it I can change that or I’ll realize it but it’s still so good, everything else, that I’ll miss it and try to get it from somewhere else So I’ll be 57 in a few months, I won’t stop working, but should it be exactly that? I don’t think so at the moment, but we’ll see later.

“Obviously the world is crazy and football directors and managers are a lot of clubs who are not 100% sure, so if I leave the door a little open and say ‘I could sign a contract today for next season or probably (‘starting in two years’ – I don’t want that at all. I want to have a good break and find out what that does for me.”

If anyone ever deserved a break from football, it’s Klopp. A new era awaits – for both Liverpool and their outgoing manager.

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