Former Borussia Dortmund manager JurgenKlopp has decided to take a break from the game after “seven intense and emotional years” with the German club. The 47-year-old had been linked with a move to Liverpool since announcing he would leave at the end of the season. He has also been linked with Real Madrid and Fenerbahce, but has decided to take some time off to recharge his batteries.
On Saturday, he took charge of Dortmund for the last time as they lost the German Cup final 3-1 to Wolfsburg. “I feel below average,” he said after the match in Berlin. “I am having to work very hard to keep my emotions in check. Each time I hug a player, the tears are likely to come because I know this is the last time I will hug that person.”
Klopp has now announced that he is to take a break from football to reflect on his time at Dortmund, which has seen him transform BVB from a mid-table team to Bayern Munich’s biggest rivals in recent years former struggling to maintain that success this season.
“I am very grateful for the seven years I’ve had here. I have to deal with it one step at a time and I will do that even more when the cameras are not on me all the time,” added Klopp.
The German made the decision after talks with his adviser, Marc Kosicke, and his family despite having denied that he was planning a sabbatical when he announced his departure in April. Klopp won two Bundesliga titles and one German Cup in the seven years following his appointment as Dortmund manager in 2008, also reaching the Champions League final in 2013 where his side were beaten by Bayern Munich.
“After seven intense and emotional years, I think it’s a good idea to let the numerous memories settle in before I take on a new challenge with my team refreshed and motivated,” said Klopp. “I’m going to take a break until further notice,” he added.
Klopp joined Borussia Dortmund in 2008 after leaving Mainz, and led them to back-to-back Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012, also securing a domestic double in the latter of those two campaigns. Dortmund won the league and the German Cup twice and reached the Champions League final in 2013 under Klopp’s stewardship. They struggled in the league this year, and were at one point in the relegation zone, before finishing seventh.