Jurgen Klopp says he will take the outpouring of support he has received from Borussia Dortmund with him forever after bidding an emotional farewell to the Bundesliga club.
Klopp was unable to guide Dortmund to glory in the DFB-Pokal in his final game in charge as they suffered a 3-1 defeat to Wolfsburg at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on Saturday.
In his seven seasons with Dortmund, Klopp won the Bundesliga twice, the Pokal once and reached the UEFA Champions League final in 2013, only to lose 2-1 to Bayern Munich.
Klopp said his final goodbyes to Dortmund in the early hours of Sunday morning, at an end-of-season party that followed the loss to Wolfsburg.
And he told those present: “I can’t express what is going through my head right now. Over the course of the last seven years an incredible amount has happened, I’ve learnt so much, it has just been so emotional, special.
“We’ll take that with us for the rest of our lives. I will always be thankful to you for that. It’s been crazy what we’ve experienced together.
“People told me that if we’d won the DFB-Pokal this season, it would’ve been a bit of a cheesy ending. Perhaps a bit too American… I’m happy that we’re all so realistic. It’s better that way.
“I put my arm around each of the lads, one after another, and hugged them goodbye. Hard. Honestly. Really hard. But it’s not so important what people think of you when you arrive. It’s extremely important what people think of you once you’re gone.
“I’d like to thank you for the thoughts you’ve expressed tonight. We’ll take that with us, carry it around with us wherever we end up in this world. It’s not something we’ll ever forget.”