Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp sent shockwaves through the footballing world by confirming his decision to step down at the end of the season on Friday.
The decision came as a surprise to fans, players, managers, and pundits who did not expect to see Klopp depart with his contract expiring in 2026, having extended his commitment with the club in 2022.
There is no doubt the German will leave as one of Liverpool’s greatest ever-manager, having won the Premier League, Champions League, Club World Cup, Super Cup, FA Cup, and the Carabao Cup.
He has also guided the club to the final of the Carabao Cup, progressed to the round of 16 of the UEFA Europa League, and are top of the league table.
The Reds come up against Norwich City in the Emirates FA Cup fourth-round tie – eliminating Arsenal in the previous round.
Last season, Liverpool faced challenges in maintaining form and consistency and ultimately finishing 5th in the topflight while experiencing early exits from all domestic competitions.
In circumstances where many Premier League clubs might have dismissed their managers, Klopp contemplated leaving. However, he ultimately decided to stay after being convinced by his wife, Ulla Klopp.
According to the Times‘ Jonathan Northcroft, “Ulla Klopp persuaded Jurgen to stay when he was close to quitting midway through last season.”
Despite Ulla Klopp successfully persuading Klopp to stay last season, her influence couldn’t prevent his decision to leave this time.
The 56-year-old manager appears to have firmly made up his mind to depart when the current season concludes.
On his wife’s reaction to the shock news, Klopp said: “I had to explain it [to Ulla], of course, I had to.
“It was not like, ‘Oh, thank God.’ You must not misunderstand. Not at all. She asked me why and I explained it like I explain it now to you, with a few more maybe private details, but besides that it was pretty similar.
“And, obviously, Ulla wants me to do well and be fine, and when she realised that I’m really clear about that – and she knows I don’t take these kind of things lightly – she is happy for me, that I’m happy with the decision. Because that’s the truth.
“When people tell me now all the different things we do in the moment and what’s going well with the team and stuff like this, I enjoy it like crazy. But I enjoy it as well because I know I will not have to do it forever.”