Champagne gifts, humility and humour – Jurgen Klopp’s farewell press conference

Having typically been fastidious in terms of timekeeping while in charge of Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp has been late for his last three press conferences.

The German joked about that fact at his pre-Aston Villa media briefing last week when he declared upon arriving: “To be honest, who gives a…”

But when that tardiness was repeated on Friday ahead of his final game, those present were more than happy to excuse it given it was the result of a thoughtful gift to the local press pack.

Klopp had, in fact, been checking that the bottles of champagne he wished to gift to the journalists who have covered his eight-and-a-half years in charge had been brought into the press conference room.

Once that delay had been overcome, the 56-year-old was – unsurprisingly – spared the usual questions on team news or anything relating to this weekend’s clash with Wolves.

Instead, he embarked on an emotional rundown of his time at Anfield, including his favourite goal, save, assist – and even backheel goal!

For those, he chose Alisson‘s header against West Brom, Trent’s corner taken quickly against Barcelona, Alisson‘s save vs. Napoli, and Sadio Mane‘s goal at Bayern.

He also waxed lyrical about his love for Scousers and the honour of having been awarded the freedom of the city of Liverpool back in 2022.

“I met the best people I ever met,” he said. “And I did it for the best club, in a wonderful, very, very, very special city.

“Nothing is perfect nowadays but the majority of the people in this city are, for me, as close as possible because the way the way they deal with life, the way they welcome you, the way you treat you.

“And I don’t mean me, I mean the all the people I know when they arrive in the city, what they tell me describes the people in Liverpool. And that’s wonderful to know that I spent a big time of my life here.”

It was a press conference punctuated by both trademark humour and his knack for finding the right words to sum up what will be an emotional farewell.

Klopp’s Final Press Conference

A private chat with reporters

The fact is, even if it has come as a consequence of the pressure of a title race being lifted by a poor run of form, it has been a pleasure to see the real Klopp return in recent weeks.

These last few interactions with local reporters have offered a reminder that this club is not just losing a great manager but also a force of nature and a wonderful human.

And that was further underlined by the kind words he had for journalists in a private chat once the press conference had come to its end and the cameras stopped rolling.

The only small token of appreciation we could offer Klopp for the unforgettable quotes, the openness, the thrilling games down the years was a collage of his best moments and a small donation to a charity of his choosing.

Both were, of course, accepted with sincere gratitude.

But, as Klopp left the media room for the final time, it was hard not to shake the feeling that, while Liverpool may have an equally successful manager in the near future, they are unlikely to have as great a man leading the club.