‘Liverpool is home’: Jurgen Klopp admits he feels ‘very honoured and privileged’ after being awarded the freedom of the city following his remarkable seven years as Reds boss
- Jurgen Klopp was awarded the freedom of the city of Liverpool on Wednesday
- He said he felt ‘very honoured and privileged’ as he accepted the honour
- Klopp has been in charge at Liverpool for seven years after arriving in 2015
- During that period, he has won every available trophy at the club
- He vowed to continue to defend Liverpool ‘forever’ in his acceptance speech
Jurgen Klopp has revealed he feels ‘very honoured’ and has thanked the people of Liverpool for making him feel at ‘home’ after being awarded the freedom of the city at a special ceremony on Wednesday night.
Klopp arrived on Merseyside in October 2015 to take over from Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool boss, and he has since won every major trophy available with the Reds.
The German has become a popular figure in Liverpool, and has often spoken about his connection with the city and the fans. Ahead of receiving the honour, Klopp declared: ‘The city of Liverpool is home, that’s how it is’, and admitted he felt ‘very privileged’ to be recognised by the city.
When asked at the ceremony whether he felt like an honorary scouser after his seven years in Liverpool, Klopp replied: ‘It is not for me to say that but I feel like that and over the years you realise that the scouse people and us as a family have a lot of things in common.
‘We care about similar things, have similar political views and we like to be very open, that’s how it is. All people around me, my friends and family, see more of the city than I do and I hear always that they enjoy it exactly because of that; because people are really open, nice, kind and friendly. That’s what I want to be as well.’
Klopp is only the second person from outside of the UK to receive the freedom of the city after former South Africa president and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela.
As well as his work in the dugout, Klopp has also become known for speaking about matters away from the football pitch, and has vowed to continue to defend the city of Liverpool whenever he feels it is necessary.
Jurgen Klopp received the freedom of the city of Liverpool at a ceremony on Wednesday
Liverpool boss Klopp said he felt ‘very honoured and privileged’ to receive the honour
‘I’ve read a little bit about this (honour), what it means,’ he continued.
‘I’m not 100% sure, but one of the duties is to defend the city, or in the past it was.
‘I know they meant it differently but I will, with words, forever.’
Hillsborough campaigner Margaret Aspinall, whose son James died at the age of 18 in the 1989 disaster, was also in attendance at the ceremony, and Klopp paid tribute to her during his speech.
‘I cannot be more impressed to be honest, it’s unbelievable. We had a fairly close relationship from the beginning,’ he said about Aspinall.
‘I’m a person who really cares but Margaret helped me with understanding the situation because it was obviously quite long ago.
Klopp vowed to continue to defend the city of Liverpool ‘forever’ during his speech
‘I think it actually says the most about the club and the people in the city that we don’t forget it, in the right way.’
More recently, there were concerning scenes at the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid at the Stade De France in Paris in May.
The final was delayed with supporters stuck outside the ground, and fans were initially blamed for arriving late and turning up with fake tickets.
They were later absolved of any blame, but Klopp stood by supporters from the outset, and he was thanked by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool Roy Gladden on Wednesday for his actions in the days after the concerning scenes in Paris.
The Lord Mayor of Liverpool Roy Gladden (L) paid tribute to Klopp at Wednesday’s ceremony
‘His actions lifted the spirits of many thousands who had been treated in such a violent and loathsome way.
‘I promise him it will be a long time before this is forgotten,’ Gladden said.
Klopp celebrated his seven-year anniversary at Anfield last month, and despite a difficult start to the current campaign, he is set to stay at Liverpool for some time yet.
The 55-year-old extended his contract in April, and his current deal is due to run until June 2026.