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Klopp hails “best atmosphere I’ve ever experienced” after Liverpool & Dortmund fans receive FIFA award

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Liverpool FC and Borussia Dortmund supporters have jointly won the inaugural FIFA Fan Award for their rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ in April 2016.

The two clubs – currently and formerly managed by Jürgen Klopp – met in the Europa League quarter-finals last season, with the tie level at 1-1 before the second leg at Anfield.

Ahead of what would become one of the most dramatic nights ever at the stadium, as the Reds recovered from a two-goal deficit to win 4-3 and progress to the last four, both sets of fans unified for a touching version of the hosts’ anthem.

With the game held on the eve of the 27th anniversary of the Hillsborough tragedy, mosaics were also held aloft on the Kop and in the away section of the ground to form a special tribute to the 96 fans who lost their lives as a result of the disaster.

The gesture of solidarity was honoured at FIFA’s annual awards ceremony on Monday evening, with fans from around the world having voted from a shortlist of three which also included supporters of ADO Den Haag and Iceland.

Klopp said: “It was one of the most special and yet strangest nights of my life.

“I don’t think at the time I appreciated how emotionally complex it was for me, Zeljko [Buvac] and Peter [Krawietz], or all of our families.

“It has since sunk in and there are so many moments from the night that I will never forget, but the contribution of both sets of supporters is absolutely the main one.

“The atmosphere was the best I have ever experienced. It should serve as an example to everyone about how supporters can influence a team and influence a game.

“Of course, this award honours both sets of supporters and the respect shown by our friends from Dortmund was absolutely typical of the world-class values that club upholds. To honour the 96 victims, their families and the survivors of Hillsborough was very poignant.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, April 14, 2016: Liverpool supporters on the Spion Kop form a mosaic '96' in memory of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough Disaster as the players of Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund stand in silence before the UEFA Europa League Quarter-Final 2nd Leg match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I know we won the match and the tie, but I think everyone inside Anfield that night and watching at home – whether they were wearing red or yellow and black – knows that football can be very proud of how they represented their club.

“So, on behalf of the Liverpool team and staff, I would like to thank those who voted for this special award.

“It is absolutely deserved and I hope the special memories created that night can serve as a perfect example of the joy and happiness football can bring. And it should also show than even in defeat, you can still honour your club’s name with your actions.

“The LFC and BVB families should be very proud tonight.”

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