Six incredible minutes sum up Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool legacy on emotional day at Anfield

Even the greatest have a hero. And Bill Shankly, the man who built the modern-day Liverpool bastion and transformed them from second tier stragglers to conquerors of England and beyond, was no different.

Having watched Celtic become the first British team to lift the European Cup when beating Inter Milan in 1967, Shankly approached their manager and compatriot Jock Stein after the match in Lisbon.

“John,” he said, using Stein’s given name as a sign of due deference and respect. “You’re immortal.”

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Kenny Dalglish, another Scot, brought not only Reds supporters but the whole city of Liverpool together in hugely difficult circumstances during his first stint as Anfield manager. He will forever be the king.

But Jurgen Klopp has arguably been the nearest thing since Shankly in terms of galvanising the fanbase and, yes, delivering on his mission statement of turning them from doubters into believers.

Klopp, though, is no immortal. And that is entirely part of his appeal. He is, as he said on his very first day facing the media back in October 2015, the normal one.

He joined as Jurgen Klopp. He worked as Jurgen Klopp. And he leaves as Jurgen Klopp, the very same person.

Indeed, his time at Liverpool has been shaped just as much by the failures as well as the successes, narrowly missing out on the Champions League in 2018 and the Premier League the following year ultimately the spur for lifting those trophies 12 months later.

Fallible, imperfect and capable of the occasional mistake, Klopp is a mere mortal like the rest of us. But he never claimed to be anything else – and the ability which he instilled in his teams to recover from setbacks and fight against the odds reflected the people of Merseyside as a whole.

Having seen how the job of either taking Liverpool back to the summit or keeping them there has affected so many in the past, to have retained the same characteristics, sensibilities and humour throughout a reign of almost nine years is an astonishing task. Most managers in the modern era do well to get into a third season in any role, let alone one with the unique demands and pressures as the Anfield hotseat.

Klopp’s everyman outlook instantly struck a chord not only with supporters, but those working in and around the club, from Anfield, Melwood and later the AXA Training Centre. Everybody was made to feel as though they matter, nobody a greater person than another.

But given the understandable focus on his personality, it’s easy to overlook just why Klopp was recruited in the first place. Wanting Liverpool restored to the game’s elite, Fenway Sports Group turned to one of the best managers in the world. The right decision, he was the right man at the right time at the right club.

Klopp’s man-management has long been saluted but so too should his tactical acumen and, by his own admission, the willingness to delegate and surround himself with coaching talent. That collective approach paid off many, many times over.

Had Liverpool won nothing during his time at Anfield, he’d still have been loved as much in the stands. But he wouldn’t have lasted so long in the post and supporters wouldn’t have had quite the same thrilling ride. It says everything that Klopp and his coaching staff depart with their reputations enhanced.

So to his farewell. After the team coaches were greeted by thousands of grateful supporters, the first sight of Klopp emerging for the warm-ups prompted those inside Anfield to break out into warm applause.

Klopp was then given another huge cheer before kick-off and was all smiles during an emotion-laden rendition of You’ll Never Walk Alone, which was accompanied by a mural that stretched across three stands that simply said “Danke Jurgen, YNWA”.

During the game itself, Klopp was able to keep his emotions in check and spent much of it sat in the dugout, content with just taking in the occasion. There were, though, celebrations for the goals of Alexis Mac Allister and Jarell Quansah as Liverpool ensured he signed off with a 2-0 victory and, as the match reached its conclusion, his coaching staff were given a trademark huge hug on the touchline before greeting each of his players after the final whistle in a similar manner.

And the final six minutes of the match were played out to a soundtrack of Anfield chanting Jurgen Klopp’s name to the tune of The Beatles hit I Feel Fine. This was an afternoon of celebration – there was no need to be upset.

“Doubters. Believers. Conquerors” stated the banner unfurled on the Kop before kick-off. In three simple words, it encapsulated the adventure Liverpool have enjoyed under Klopp. A great manager, but an even greater human being. There will never be another like him.

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