“Everything is possible” for Liverpool, says Klopp
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says “everything is possible” for his side if they stay “humble” after completing the club’s first title win in 30 years.
The Reds were crowned Premier League champions after Manchester City’s defeat at Chelsea on Thursday. The title triumph is the Anfield club’s 19th overall, but first since 1990.
Speaking to BBC sports editor Dan Roan, the German said it meant “absolutely everything” to help deliver a first Premier League title to Liverpool fans.
“As long as we stay humble and we’re still ready to write stories we want to tell our grandchildren, everything is possible for us,” he added.
The German became Liverpool manager in October 2015 and led them to Champions League victory last season, as well as a second-placed finish in the league. They subsequently won the Club World Cup in December.
“Without knowing it at the time, the most important thing I said to the players was that we have to create our own stories and own history,” said Klopp.
“When I came in, I had to tell them not to compare themselves with anyone any more, some of the fantastic people who played for this club and won everything in the past.
“We needed to get the opportunity from our supporters to find our own way, and this is only possible because people never lost patience with us in any moment.”
“We got rid of the heavy backpack. I took it off that day and never got it back.”
His first reaction to winning the title
“Last night I was absolutely overwhelmed and didn’t understand anything, what happened with my body, what happened with my emotions.
“I realised it was obviously really big, I knew that before but I don’t think you can be prepared for a situation like this. I was not.
“Maybe you can, but I wasn’t and so it hit me full, in my face, and when I’ve had similar situations you know that it’s nice but it’s intense as well.
“I don’t feel the pressure too much before it happens – but when it happens the amount of relief shows how big the pressure was before.
“I was just not able to speak. Usually it’s a good moment to have a speech to the players but I was just not able to do it – I was completely overwhelmed, I was crying too much last night.”
His relationships with his players
“I have a very good relationship with all my teams but the mix of skill sets that these boys bring in here, plus the personality they bring, is absolutely exceptional and only this combination of things makes it possible.
“They are really a bunch of top boys and I am really happy to be part of this moment.
“They are all individuals and different and that’s good, but they have no real selfish characteristics as well.”
Giving joy to Liverpool fans during coronavirus pandemic
“It means absolutely everything to me. It’s the only reason why we play football.
“This city is a very emotional city that went through a lot of hard times, like the club had to go through, and having these good moments is essential. Having a successful football team in a city always lifts the mood in a city so it helps everything.
“At this moment in time, in the biggest crisis our generation has probably ever had, it’s so important that we don’t forget that there is something we can really look forward to.”
Comparisons to Bill Shankly, Bob Paisley and Sir Kenny Dalglish
Klopp told a news conference he “doesn’t want a statue, that’s not my motivation” and responded to a question about a lifetime contract by saying he will “be here for a while”.
On comparisons with Liverpool managerial legends, he told BBC Sport: “I don’t see it that way. It’s not too important. But if people want to see it like this, I’m not the guy to tell them to stop doing that.
“But they are really icons. What Bill and Bob did is just incredible and in very difficult times – people had nothing and they lifted and built this city. Kenny was player-manager – it’s unbelievable, I don’t think there is any story that can compare with that, just incredible.
“Since we use our history in the right manner, since we don’t compare any more, since we are just happy about it, build on it, since then we can do what we do now.”
Overcoming history and now building a dynasty
“The history is no burden any more. It is the basis for what we are doing.
“Last year we had 97 points so we were really close – it’s not like it’s been up and down with us. Here’s the second year now where obviously we are pretty good.
“Winning all the time, that’s really difficult because the other teams are too good for that. They have a good chance to improve of course as well – we have to be better, they have to, we will, they will and then we will see who is best.
“We have to bring in new things, other teams will defend us differently, we have to adapt but that is normal in life and in football. But the consistency, if we can keep it that would be a massive achievement already.”
Dancing in celebration
“If I want to dance, I’ll dance. I don’t do it for the boys.
“We were in a good mood, so it happened not for the first time at an evening event. The boys know that I like a dance from time to time.
“Last night was a good moment in my life so I expressed that on the dance floor as well.” (BBC Sport)