Jurgen Klopp to step down as Liverpool manager

Jurgen Klopp, the manager of Liverpool FC, will step down at the end of the season.

"I am, how can I say it, running out of energy," he said in a statement. "I have no problem now, obviously... I am absolutely fine now."

But he added: "I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again."

Klopp, 56, was appointed manager in October 2015.

Under his stewardship, Liverpool have won the UEFA Champions League, Premier League, FIFA Club World Cup, FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Super Cup, and the FA Community Shield.

In his statement, he added: "I can understand that it's a shock for a lot of people in this moment, when you hear it for the first time, but obviously I can explain it - or at least try to explain it.

"I love absolutely everything about this club, I love everything about the city, I love everything about our supporters, I love the team, I love the staff. I love everything. But that I still take this decision shows you that I am convinced it is the one I have to take."

The statement added: "After the years we had together and after all the time we spent together and after all the things we went through together, the respect grew for you, the love grew for you and the least I owe you is the truth - and that is the truth."

Klopp added: "I told the club already in November. I have to explain a little bit that maybe the job I do people see from the outside, I'm on the touchline and in training sessions and stuff like this, but the majority of all the things happen around these kind of things. That means a season starts and you plan pretty much the next season already.

"When we sat there together talking about potential signings, the next summer camp and can we go wherever, the thought came up, 'I am not sure I am here then anymore' and I was surprised myself by that. I obviously start thinking about it."

'No other English club ever'

In a press conference later on Friday, Klopp said he would not dwell on any regrets and that he was not feeling nostalgic after his decision.

"I don't have to remember anything now. The best memories are yet to come," he said.

"That's not what today is about. I have no regrets, but a lot of special memories.

"We built two stands that will stay forever. We built this AXA training ground that will stay for the next 30, 40 or 50 years.

"We did it all the Liverpool way, which I love."

The German manager added: "That we didn't win the league with 97 points or the Champions League is fine. You could say we should have spent more money on a player, I understand that's a fan view but that can never be a professional view."

He added that he wanted to take a break after never really having a summer.

"Doing the job for 24 years, I never lived a life," he said. "I never wanted that that much that I had to think about it. Four weeks in the summer somehow was fine but it is not anymore."

Talking about his next steps, he ruled out ever working for a different club in England, saying: "No club, no country for the next year - no other English club ever."

"Even if I have nothing to eat that will not happen." But he added jokingly: "That will not happen as well thanks to Liverpool."

Klopp will leave club 'in better place'

Liverpool chief executive Billy Hogan said: "When Jurgen joined us he talked about leaving the club in a better place than he found it.

"If you look at where we are today versus where we were when he joined us, there is absolutely no doubt that he has done that.

"He is going to be here for several more months. The news is sad, as I am sure a lot of supporters share that emotion."

Assistant managers Pepijn Lijnders and Peter Krawietz will also leave the club at the same time, Liverpool said.

In the 2019-20 season, Klopp led Liverpool to their first league title since 1990, and their first of the Premier League era.

The previous season, Liverpool lifted the Champions League trophy, defeating Tottenham Hotspur in the final.

"In keeping with Jurgen's expressed wishes, we will save the comprehensive tributes for a more appropriate time but nevertheless, we would be remiss if we did not take this opportunity to reaffirm that his appointment remains one of the greatest blessings of our time as owners," Mike Gordon, president of Liverpool's owners Fenway Sports Group, said.

"The incredible achievements of the intervening years speak for themselves, so too does the joy that Jurgen and his team have brought to all of us supporters. His many accomplishments will never be taken for granted."

'Irreplaceable' Klopp 'on par' with past Liverpool legends

Legendary Liverpool manager Bill Shankly's grandson Chris Carline told Sky News he was stunned by the news of Klopp's departure.

"It's on par with when my grandad retired which is exactly 50 years on this year.

"If anyone is irreplaceable then Jurgen is as close to that as you can get. His persona, his personality, his ability to develop players and teams and make them want to run through walls for you is unrivalled and I don't think we will see anything like it again.

"Success at a football club is of course a team effort between the manager and his staff, the players, the fans etc, but like my grandad did, it is Jurgen who brings all that together in his image.

"The bond he has with us as fans is unbreakable and it will be hard to imagine Liverpool FC without him."

John Gibbons from The Anfield Wrap podcast described Klopp's decision as a "major shock".

He was appointed Liverpool manager after Brendan Rodgers left the club, having forged his reputation at Borussia Dortmund.

Under Klopp, Dortmund won back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 and he also took them to the 2013 Champions League final, where they lost to Bayern Munich at Wembley.