Jurgen Klopp’s emotional tribute to Sadio Mane – “He made it all possible”

Jurgen Klopp admits “our loss is Bayern’s gain” after Sadio Mane completed his £35.1 million exit, lauding him as “one of Liverpool’s greatest ever players.”

“It’s a big moment. There is no point in anyone trying to pretend otherwise,” Klopp begins.

“One of Liverpool’s greatest ever players is leaving and we must acknowledge how significant this is.”

Mane has signed a three-year contract with Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, leaving Anfield after six successful years.

Arriving from Southampton in 2016, there were doubts among some sections of the support that the £30 million fee would be value for money, but Mane defied expectations to become one of the best players in the world.

He was the catalyst for Liverpool’s revival under Klopp, and it is no surprise, then, the emotion with which the manager paid tribute to his long-serving No. 10.

“He leaves with our gratitude and our love,” he told the club’s official website.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, July 22, 2020: Liverpool’s Sadio Mané lifts the Premier League trophy during the presentation as the Reds are crowned Champions after the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Chelsea FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“He leaves with his status among the greats guaranteed. And, yes, he leaves in a moment where he is one of the best players in world football.

“But we must not dwell on what we now lose, instead celebrate what we were privileged to have.

“The goals he scored, the trophies he won; a legend, for sure, but also a modern-day Liverpool icon.”

Klopp is right to not focus on the impact of Mane’s exit – particularly as, in Luis Diaz and Darwin Nunez, the club have already brought in elite replacements – but his words on the Senegalese’s impact are profound.

“Since he first stepped through the door, he made us better,” he added.

“If someone had told us in that moment what he would go on to contribute and achieve for this club, I’m not sure it would have been possible to comprehend in that moment. Not the scale of it at least.

“Sadio made it all possible.”

Liverpool's Sadio Mane celebrates scoring his sides fourth goal with Jurgen Klopp during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date August 14th, 2016 Pic David Klein/Sportimage via PA Images

There was frustration during talks between Liverpool and Bayern, with the German club reportedly submitting two derisory offers before the £35.1 million package was agreed, but Klopp holds no ill will towards Mane.

“I respect completely his decision and I’m sure our supporters do also,” he explained.

“If you love LFC, you have to love Sadio – non-negotiable. It is possible to do this while accepting our loss is Bayern’s gain.

“We wish him nothing but success in every match he plays in, unless, of course, it’s against us. His star will continue to rise, I have no doubts.”

Klopp concluded: “World-class player! True club legend! Ideal role model! The perfect team-mate! Compassionate, caring person…[we] will miss you!”