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Jürgen Klopp’s farewell is coming – and Liverpool fans should savour every second | Phil Mongredien

Klopp’s final game at Anfield will be momentous. But in life, the everyday endings we don’t notice are often the most poignant

Who was the last football manager to transcend his sport in the way that Jürgen Klopp has? Arsène Wenger? Brian Clough? Bill Shankly? Since arriving at Liverpool in 2015, Klopp has revived the fortunes of a club that had for too long been trading on past glories, bringing with him a thrilling style of play he has himself described as “heavy metal football”. So there was a palpable sense of shock when, in January, he announced that at the end of the season he would be leaving the club and taking a break from football.

The reverberations from Klopp’s decision to step down have been felt far beyond those for whom Gegenpressing is a familiar concept (and far beyond Merseyside – for the record, I have never had any great affection for Liverpool FC, except when they’re playing Manchester City or Newcastle). In an era when sports “personalities” go to great lengths not to express anything that could be construed as an opinion, he has been refreshingly honest about politics (he’s leftwing), Brexit (it “makes no sense”) and Covid vaccinations (comparing anti-vaxxers to drink-drivers and, when the Omicron variant appeared, making a direct plea to Liverpool fans to get jabbed). Couple this outspokenness with a natural charm, a sharp sense of humour and an irrepressible enthusiasm, and it’s easy to see why the German coach’s exit is not just a loss to British football, but to the wider country, too.

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