Former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher hopes Jurgen Klopp can “go out with a bang” after the German manager announced he will leave the club at the end of the season.
The 56-year-old has admitted he is “running out of energy” having led the club to six major trophies since taking charge in October 2015.
Carragher, who made 737 appearances for the Reds, posted on X, formerly Twitter: “This news was always going to be a body blow to the club whenever it came.
“I just thought it would be another few years away. What a manager, what a man, let’s go out with a bang Jurgen!”
His thoughts were echoed by ex-Reds striker Michael Owen, who posted: “All great things inevitably come to an end but I thought it would be 2 or 3 years down the line. Memories to last a lifetime. One of the greatest managers ever.”
Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel, who succeeded Klopp when he left Dortmund ahead of joining Liverpool, said he was still trying to “process” the news when he was asked about it at his pre-match press conference on Friday, but added: “Kloppo is one of the best coaches of all time. He’s always managed to influence an entire club at all his clubs. It’s huge news.”
Klopp’s Manchester United counterpart Erik ten Hag hailed the “amazing job” the German had done on Merseyside.
This news was always going to be a body blow to the club whenever it came. I just thought it would be another few years away. What a manager, what a man, let’s go out with a bang Jurgen! https://t.co/ajw372IEWX
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) January 26, 2024
“He has made an era there. He built the club, he brought the club back I think where they belong, so congratulations on that,” the Dutchman said.
“He has done an amazing job in Liverpool.”
Ten Hag said he could understand Klopp starting to feel as though his energy was running out, adding: “Nine years is a long time. The Premier League is very intense, in combination with European Cup football.
“When you’re in (post for) nine years it’s a long period, so I can understand that he is running out of energy. That is one of his arguments to step down.”
Brighton boss Roberto De Zerbi, who has an emerged as early frontrunner to take over at Anfield, feels Klopp’s departure will be a big loss for English football.
“I’m very sad because, if he changes league, changes country, the Premier League loses one of the best coaches in the world,” said De Zerbi.
“I consider Klopp, (Pep) Guardiola, (Carlo) Ancelotti, (Marcelo) Bielsa the best coaches in the world and I’m sad for it.”
Marco Silva, whose Fulham side were Liverpool’s last opponents prior to Klopp’s announcement, said: “It surprised all of us and no one expected it.
“In our lives there is always a start and an end and it is Jurgen’s decision. He has been at Liverpool a long time and it is good for him and for Liverpool that it has been successful. I wish him all the best.
“I think the job he’s done speaks for itself. The impact he’s made in the Bundesliga and the big change he’s made at Liverpool, all the credit to him. He’s a really good guy.”
Emma Hayes is set to step down after a lengthy and successful tenure as boss of Chelsea’s women’s team at the end of the season to move into international management with the United States.
And when asked about Klopp, Hayes told a press conference: “What an amazing job that man has done, he really has been a fantastic servant to Liverpool Football Club, and I’m sure everybody can respect the reasons for his decision.
“Not many people really understand what it takes to be a football manager and trust me, I can completely relate to the things he said.
“The players have to put the work in on the pitch and we have to off the pitch. Often coaching teams work long, long hours and big commitment. So as I said, I respect his decision and I wish him well.”
Liverpool host Norwich in the FA Cup at Anfield on Sunday.
Canaries boss David Wagner has known Klopp for more than 25 years after being team-mates at Mainz, and was best man at his friend’s wedding.
“I wasn’t surprised when he told me,” Wagner said at Norwich’s pre-match press conference on Friday afternoon. “I was happy for him, because I know how hard and how difficult for him this decision was and is.
“It shows a lot of personality, character and bravery as well. Only he knows what is best for him.
“We all know how exhausting and how challenging this business can be. If he knows it is best for him then I am happy for him and he will have a great time in front of him for sure.”