Jürgen Klopp says he had no choice but to gather his players together to celebrate winning the Premier League.
Liverpool weren’t meant to be together tonight to watch Chelsea take on Manchester City in a match where any dropped points by the defending champions would mathematically ensure the Reds won the 2019-20 Premier League title.
In the end, though, they gathered. Because it was always impossible to imagine they wouldn’t have done so. That Jürgen Klopp wouldn’t have called the team together to share in the culmination of what is, for many, the culmination of years of hard work.
“There was no alternative,” Klopp told LFCTV. “This morning we thought about it, shall we do something. We thought maybe not compulsory but I said, no, everybody has to be there. I know some will stay home and watch it alone and will regret it.
“So we came here. It is our bubble, the people with us every day. We are twice a week tested, we train, so we are fine and it is a nice moment. It is wonderful to share it, and we share it with everybody out there as well. We are here, there they are, but we are all together.”
Klopp has been at the club now for just shy of five seasons. Captain Jordan Henderson for nine. It was nearly ten years ago that the club was on the brink of administration. It has been thirty years, three decades, since they won the league.
Global pandemic or not, the players had to be together for this. After last season’s 97-point, second place finish. After this season’s record of 28 wins, two draws, and a loss. After 86 points with seven games still to be played. After everything.
“I hope you feel it,” Klopp added. “It is for so many people. Kenny Dalglish and Graeme Sourness spoke to me and they were very positive about us but it’s thanks to them because this club is build on what they did.
“It is built on Shankly and Paisley and Fagan and all the others and on these players. Steven Gerrard—this club is built in these past 20 years is built on Stevie’s legs. He had to carry all the pressure, so I am really happy that we can deliver the title to him as well.
“The boys love being part of this club, they love being part of the story of this club and the history. It is so nice how we learned to deal with this history, how we learned to use this history the last two years. It is just amazing.”