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We came thousands of kilometers for Jürgen Klopp's farewell and the Liverpool boss was right

Manager Jürgen Klopp of Liverpool during the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Anfield on May 19, 2024 in Liverpool, England.
-Credit: (Image: Nick Taylor/Liverpool FC/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)


Jürgen Klopp has gone, and the Arne Slot era officially gets underway on June 1, before pre-season kicks off a month later (having been brought forward by a week at the request of the Dutchman). But plenty of Liverpool fans are still basking in the memories Jürgen Klopp has left them.

For a handful of overseas fans, Klopp saved some of the very best memories until last. Before the game against Wolves, we tracked down two Liverpool supporters who were coming over from the US to say goodbye to the manager.

Having travelled thousands of kilometers, they witnessed a win. But that wasn't what they came for — they also witnessed Klopp's grand send-off, where he issued a rallying cry and led a chant in support of new Liverpool manager Slot.

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We caught up with them after the game. Mark Kastner found that Klopp was right — though he had anticipated a sad occasion, the atmosphere at Anfield came as a welcome surprise.

"It was so joyous," said Kastner, who had made the trip of more than 5000km from Minnesota. "I was expecting to be sad but once the day arrived I become overwhelmed with joy."

That being said, there was certainly some emotion inside Anfield. Virgil van Dijk expressed surprise that Klopp and Joël Matip had managed to 'keep it dry', while another US fan, Ryan Hurley, noted that everyone was 'willing away tears' after the opening rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone.

Hurley, who had travelled from California, was crying before the song was over. But he, too, credits Klopp with masterfully conducting the crowd one last time.

"I am so thankful to be there," he told me. "Klopp is a master communicator, turning our sad moment into a rallying cry. It's just so special."

Klopp could certainly have been forgiven some self-indulgence, on this of all days, but he chose not to focus on himself. Not everyone is quite ready to switch straight into 'Slot mode', although there is cautious optimism around the appointment.

"I haven't been able to bring my attention to Arne Slot yet," Hurley conceded. "But the farewell he got from Feyenoord is encouraging. He seems to back himself."

Likewise, Kastner is hopeful for the future. "I like him. He ticks all the boxes for what you want in a Liverpool manager. I hope he does well."

Whatever the coming seasons hold, both intend to be back in Liverpool, despite the arduous journey. For Hurley, he has made friendships that will last a lifetime.

"After the match we headed to the Glenbuck," he recounted. "Everyone was in good spirits. Smiles and hugs.

US Liverpool fan Ryan Hurley visits a bar with a friend in Liverpool.
US Liverpool fan Ryan Hurley had an incredible time in the city as he said goodbye to Jürgen Klopp. -Credit:Ryan Hurley

"Over the last 25 years I have slowly made life-long friends. And it felt like I only met a few people I didn't know, which is mad.

"I'll be coming back to Liverpool the rest of my life. Next time it's with my wife and kids."

It was an astoundingly similar verdict from Kastner: "I plan on coming to Liverpool as many times as I possibly can between now and the day I die."

Regardless of where you come from, that's what this club can do to you. Klopp made clear in his parting remarks that the fans are what make Liverpool so special — for those ready to embrace the team, the city and everything it stands for, there will always be a second home and a second family at Anfield.