Summer arrival Joel Matip received an emotional farewell tribute from Schalke fans on his final home appearance for the club.
It was announced in February that the 24-year-old is set to join the Reds this summer when his contract at the German club expires, becoming Klopp’s third signing of his brief Anfield tenure.
Moving to Merseyside will bring an end to a 16-year stay in Gelsenkirchen, where the Cameroonian has been a firm fans’ favourite.
That was undoubtedly helped as he stated that he couldn’t play for another Bundesliga club when announcing the transfer to Anfield, further endearing himself to the supporters.
— FC Schalke 04 (@s04_en) May 7, 2016
And this was displayed as much as they showed their gratitude by paying tribute to the imposing defender as he prepares to head to L4.
Before kick-off against the Reds’ Europa League opponents from February, Augsburg, Matip was presented with gifts including framed photographs from his time at the club.
That was followed by the Nordkurve, home to a hard-core section of the club’s support, unveiling a striking banner which read “For 16-years everything given for Schalke – thank you Jimmy”.
— Schalke_Canada FC (@Schalke_Canada) May 7, 2016
It was a generous and fitting tribute to a player very much viewed by the fans as one of their own, with Matip having played 256 times and scoring 23 goals in Schalke blue.
But it wouldn’t prove to be the perfect send off in Gelsenkirchen for the centre-back, with his side slipping to a frustrating 1-1 draw against Markus Weizerl’s team.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar’s strike looked to have given Matip three points on his Veltins-Arena farewell, only for Augsburg to strike a minute from time spoiling a memorable day for the Liverpool-bound defender.
Matip will hope to sign off with one last victory on his very final appearance for the club next Saturday when they travel to Hoffenheim.