Joel Matip believes the impact of Jurgen Klopp has given Liverpool their edge, with “Kloppomania” running wild on Merseyside after winning the European Cup.
The Reds’ triumph in Madrid saw 750,000 line the streets to welcome Klopp’s squad back to Merseyside, demonstrating the overwhelming support the club enjoys.
A sixth European Cup was a remarkable achievement for Liverpool, but it served as a fitting reward for a side who have progressed significantly in recent years.
Matip’s upturn in fortunes in 2019 is symbolic of this, and the Cameroonian certainly deserved his winner’s medal after an outstanding campaign alongside Virgil van Dijk.
Speaking to Bild am Sonntag after the 2-0 win over Tottenham, however, Matip paid tribute to Klopp, and how he has captivated Liverpool and their fans.
“Everyone in Liverpool has worked very hard for this,” he reflected.
“But Klopp is the decisive factor. He has put the team together and led it to where it is now.
“No question: Klopp is the mastermind of this title.
“He is a ‘human catcher’ who conquered the whole city of Liverpool—or maybe even whole England—with his enthusiasm.
“The club, the city, the team, everyone is straight behind him, unconditionally.
“It’s something like Kloppomania here! Because he is how he is. Genuine and real—simply Kloppo.”
Matip’s testimony to Klopp’s influence comes with considerable experience, having often played against his Borussia Dortmund side during his time at Schalke.
Earlier in the season, the 27-year-old was widely considered one of those likely to leave the club this summer.
But now he is in line for an extension, and addressing his future and a possible return to Germany, Matip said that while “nothing is impossible,” he is “very comfortable” at Liverpool.
“In football nothing is impossible. At the moment I still have two years remaining in my contract here at Liverpool,” he explained.
“After some problems and injuries at the beginning meanwhile I feel very comfortable here.
“And I’ve been more mature as a player and as a person here in England.”
The centre-back is due for talks with the club’s hierarchy over an improved deal this summer, with James Milner and Divock Origi also considered priorities.