Emotional Klopp hails Liverpool’s top 4 finish; Wijnaldum departs

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Jurgen Klopp was very emotional on the final day and hailed Liverpool for securing a top four finish as they celebrated in front of 10,000 fans at Anfield.

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After eight wins in their final 10 games of the season, Liverpool surged from well outside the top four to end up with a third-place finish in the 2020-21 season.

That secured UEFA Champions League qualification and after their injuries to key players all season long, the 2019-20 champions dug deep to get over the line with a final day win against Crystal Palace.

Speaking to reporters after the game, Klopp was emotional throughout.

Asked by ProSoccerTalk about his emotions after a season full of highs and lows, Klopp struggled to sum it up.

“I cannot sum it up, too much happened to be honest,” Klopp said. “To have the opportunity to do this and have this last game in front of 10,000 people, it really means the world to us. I have to say, I don’t want to blame the other 45,000 who are usually in here, but the 10,000 did a really good job today. When we came out it felt like ‘oh, it’s sold out!’

“That was absolutely incredible and it was so nice to have this experience again together. Everything is better when the people are in the stadium and we are better when the people are in the stadium. We can fight more when people are in the stadium because they support us. That we did it without them, it makes the achievement even bigger. But I don’t want to try it a second time to be 100 percent honest.”

Georginio Wijnaldum departs on free transfer

Klopp also confirmed a widely-known secret, that Dutch international midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum will leave Liverpool on a free transfer this summer.

With his contract running out on July 1, Klopp praised Wijnaldum for an incredible five-season stint since arriving from Newcastle.

Wijnaldum, 30, is wanted by Barcelona, Bayern Munich and many others and he said goodbye to Anfield in an emotional ceremony after the game as he was handed a gift and Klopp and his players wished him well.

“It is very emotional for me because I will miss a friend and that’s how it is,” Klopp said. “It is normal in football that these kind of things happen. Not nice, but normal. I am really sure he will find a great place when each club who is interested in him, if you call me and ask about him, then you will take him, definitely. I couldn’t be more positive about what he did here. He was incredible. He was not only always available, he played 90 percent of times really, really good.

“People might not know exactly what I mean with good because sometimes it is not spectacular but from a young kid he was a classic 10 to a winger at Newcastle to come here and be such a controlling midfielder, that is a massive step. You can only do that when you understand the game really in the right way. He scored incredibly important goals against Barcelona, Cardiff, Middlesbrough, so many top, top class performances. And now it looks like the time is over, but everything will be fine. Nobody will take our memories from us and we will share them forever and that is really great. I told him that after the game, he sees it the same way. Goodbye would not be tough if the time you had together was not worth it. It is really tough because we had a great time together.”