Klopp vs Pep – Last chapter

The final chapter of English football…

Klopp vs Pep – Last chapter

The final chapter of English football…

When Jürgen Klopp announced his departure from Liverpool on January 26th of this year, many at first, without being convinced of his presentation in front of the camera, took the news as a joke, as something that is not yet realistic or possible. Because it came out of nowhere, without notice, in the middle of the season.

However, it is no joke because, at the end of the season, the German will end his nine-year work at “Anfield”. A fruitful work that can be even richer if the “Reds” win one of the three remaining trophies they are vying for.

One of the first to be asked to comment on Jurgen Klopp’s departure was his friend, but also the biggest rival in his career, Pep Guardiola.

“I have a feeling that someone of ours is leaving us from Manchester City because Liverpool is our biggest rival during his years at the club. He has been my biggest rival since I was at Bayern and he was at Dortmund. We will miss him, and he will miss me as well. But I’m happy because without him I’ll sleep a shade better the night before we have to play Liverpool. I wish him all the best,” said the charismatic Pep.

The meetings between two teams and two managers characterize the biggest English derby of the latest era of local football. Of course, if we look globally, only the match between Liverpool and Manchester United, as the two biggest English clubs, can have such an epithet. But what Klopp and Pep’s team have been offering in recent years is for the textbooks.

JURGEN KLOPP

Liverpool is more motivated than ever to get their hands on as many trophies as possible to send Jurgen Klopp off in style. Win puts City at the top, believe it or not, for the first time this season.

The two crossed spears 29 times in different teams, Klopp has 12 wins, Pep 11, while six times there were draws. With no doubt, the two managers who changed the history of these clubs. Liverpool was a stumbling giant and after the failed project with Brendan Rodgers, Jurgen Klopp took the helm of the team from “Anfield”. Klopp turned all those surrounding the club from doubters into believers. It started with a rise, but also with disappointing results as they lost in the League Cup, Europa League, and Champions League finals. It only seemed to increase the hunger, so in 2019 they won the Premier League, the UEFA Super Cup, and the Club World Cup. In 2020 the Premier League came after a three-decade wait. In 2022, Liverpool narrowly missed out on the coveted ‘quadruple’, but the City finished a point ahead of them in the Premier League that year. Real Madrid defeated them 1-0 at the Champions League final, where Thibaut Courtois had an incredible night.

Although last season began with a Community Shield win over City, Klopp’s Liverpool has had their worst campaign since his arrival. No trophy, no placement in the Champions League. In the season in which he announced his departure, the team has already won the League Cup; they are rushing towards the trophy in the FA Cup and the Europa League, and the match against City will be of essential importance for the outcome in the Premier League.

During his stay at Anfield, Liverpool became known for its eclectic football. Successful pressing, defense, fair play, an attack that is creative, lethal, and fast. It produced the brilliant minds of European football like Bobby Firmino, Sadio Mane, and Mo Salah, and then there are Andy Robertson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Alisson, Wijnaldum, Fabinho, Henderson, who was the man of the game. With no doubt, he is leaving the club on healthy legs, as seen lately when the kids from the academy are flying around the field in the absence of first-team players because of injuries.

PEP GUARDIOLA

He has been a coach in senior football for just 16 years; the Spaniard has won an incredible 33 trophies in his career. On average, over two per season. We all know what he achieved in Barcelona and Bayern, but coming to Manchester City certainly changed not only the club, but also the entire Premier League. He made City the dominant force in English football. He never spread it through European soil.

He replaced Manuel Pellegrini at the Etihad. It started an era that continues to this day. It is likely that when he overtakes Les McDowall in the number of appearances on the City bench, he will earn a bust in front of the stadium in Manchester. The difference between Pep and Klopp is that the Spaniard has had an unlimited amount of money to construct the team he wants. Since he arrived in 2016, City has won five Premier League trophies in seven seasons. The streak was “cut” by Chelsea and Liverpool. If Manchester City were to take the title again this competitive year, they would become the first club in the history of English football to win four championship trophies. So, unprecedented dominance in the announcement.

The Champions League was desired for a long time and they finally and deservedly reached it last year when they beat Inter in the final. It came when Pep stopped being stubborn and realized that the only puzzle he needed was a killer goalscorer like Erling Haaland. Haaland threw everything the team did around the net into it.

Pep will not soon decide to leave Manchester City and follow a new rivalry, with his recent assistant and countryman – Mikel Arteta. Whether it will be as attractive as the one with Jurgen Klopp is difficult to predict. It will be interesting to follow the evolution of their clashes.

We are sure of one thing. This is not the end of the duel between Klopp and Pep. It would be too stupid if it did. The two best managers in the world deserve to still be giving football lessons to spectators. To delight the fans of their clubs. To enjoy tactical outsmarting each other. When and where the continuation of their cinematic “enmity” will appear, we will find out sometime.

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