If there’s one thing that Germany and the UK have in common, it’s football. Either one or the other country without the beautiful game – impossible to fathom. As football’s coming home this summer (calm down, only joking, of course), you might expect this column to be about the impending EURO 2024 in Germany. But no, it’s about someone else football related who’s coming home this summer.

I’m, of course, talking about Jürgen Klopp. But wait, is he actually coming ‘home’ when he returns to Germany after his last season with Liverpool has ended? I’m just asking because for all his British disciples his home is not Germany. Oh no, he’s one of us now! He’s “our Klopp”! I have to admit I observed with some amusement how the British public, correction: the British public that either supports Liverpool or is neutral in terms of football, reacted to his announcement of calling it quits. The shock, the sadness, the sheer disbelief: He can’t go, he is one of us! At the same time, I was also not surprised about the reactions because if the UK and Germany have another thing in common, it’s their love for Mr. Klopp. Whichever club he managed in Germany, he seemed to be a kind of miracle maker, people adored him, and I have a feeling there’s a fairly significant contingent of Germans who’d love to see him work his magic on the “Mannschaft” and finally take over the national team. So, “unser Kloppo” very much applies in Germany, too. And yes, it’s Kloppo, we give him an o at the end, sounds better.

Coming back to the British “Our Klopp” notion from above: That’s the title of a poem – or should I say, ode – someone has written on the German football manager and man of very white teeth. And not just that, the author posted it on LinkedIn (!), against the background of an image showing a giant mural of Jürgen Klopp in Liverpool. All very serious and including the hashtag “OurKlopp”, what else. The poem references his fist pumps, his smile, his glasses and ends on the memorable lines “This place, will always be your home. Jurgen, you’ll never walk alone”. Ach, I can almost picture the poet shedding a tear while writing this.

Now, in case any British Kloppo fans are wondering where his next home will be, I’ve got some news for you. German media reported that there’s currently a house being built for him in a posh neighbourhood in the city of Wiesbaden, not far from Mainz where he had his first manager job. I don’t know where to begin listing the differences between Liverpool and Wiesbaden, so let’s such say, they’re very different. To anyone planning a Klopp pilgrimage, they’ll end up in a nice part of Germany, in particular if you’re into wine. Wiesbaden, located on the Rhine, lies in the Rheingau winegrowing region and is one of Europe’s oldest spa towns with various mineral springs in the city centre. As mentioned, Jürgen’s next/new home is not quite like Liverpool… Ok, then, I’ll sign off for today, knowing that I’ll never trigger the same kind of emotional response when calling it quits but safe in the knowledge that, according to an Uber driver, I’m the “second funniest German after Jürgen Klopp“. Yep, indeed.

Barbara Geier is a London-based freelance writer, translator and communications consultant. She is also the face behind www.germanyiswunderbar.com, a German travel and tourism guide and blog that was set up together with UK travel writer Andrew Eames in 2010.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Discover Germany, Switzerland & Austria.

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