Liverpool ready for exciting new direction – Jürgen Klopp

Jürgen Klopp has said Liverpool will move in an “exciting direction” when a new era under Arne Slot begins, saying that his team “aimed for the moon and ended up in the stars” ahead of his final game as manager.

Klopp will step down from his role after almost nine years in charge at Anfield following Sunday’s Premier League home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers.

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The former Borussia Dortmund coach leaves Liverpool after ending the club’s 30-year wait for a league title in 2020 and also having delivered a sixth European Cup / Champions League crown in 2019.

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot will be officially confirmed by Liverpool as Klopp’s replacement next week — Slot said on Friday that he will be taking charge at Anfield — but with just 90 minutes remaining of his reign as manager, Klopp said that the club will continue to be successful after he leaves.

“The big positive for Liverpool is that no matter who is leaving, the club is still in a very, very good place,” Klopp said in a message to supporters in the match programme for Sunday’s game. “This season we aimed for the moon and ended up in the stars which is never too bad and the players and staff who are remaining are top, top class.

“Yes, they will have new leadership before too long but this is a club that is ready to take the journey in a new and exciting direction, not one that is ready for the journey to come to an end.

“This is what I have always known Liverpool to be — a club of journeys and adventures, some that end with trophies and some that don’t, but whatever happens there are always stories and moments that are unforgettable.

“In my time here we have been blessed with quite a few and it is important that I stress that what we have done has always been underpinned by stable, intelligent and creative ownership. Again, I could not be more grateful for this but I am also excited because I know that this will continue going forward and that can only be good news for Liverpool FC.”

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Anfield is preparing to give Klopp an emotional farewell before, during and after Sunday’s clash with Wolves, with tickets being sold online for more than £1,400 ($1,778) as fans desperately attempt to find a way to witness Klopp’s departure.

And the 56-year-old said he now wants the fans to afford his successor the same support and backing he received since taking charge in October 2015.

“Of course, this is my final game as Liverpool manager,” he said. “This is something you have all known for a few months and I have known for a little longer but as much as I know it is the right time for me to leave I know also that it will take some getting used to. If the starting point was the announcement, the next big step into the future is Sunday.

“Finally, to the supporters I have only thanks and love. Everything that we have done has been because of you, with you and for you. I have referred many times to the banner on the Kop which says Unity Is Strength and I think this is a belief that we have all lived up to.

“The important thing now is that it continues so that my successor can have the same benefits of it as I’ve had.

“After today I will be a supporter too, so hopefully I can play my part in that.”