Jurgen Klopp wants appreciation for departing Liverpool ‘wonderful footballer’ as exit confirmed

Steven Chicken
Jurgen Klopp embraces Joel Matip
Jurgen Klopp led the plaudits for Joel Matip after the defender's impending Liverpool departure was confiremd

Joel Matip’s much-anticipated exit has been confirmed by Liverpool, with Jurgen Klopp highlighting a crucial moment from the centre-back that he feels had profound implications for the club.

Centre-back Matip arrived at Liverpool in 2016 to help shore up a long-standing problem position at Anfield, going on to play 201 goals in all competitions injury an injury-riddled eight years at the club.

Jurgen Klopp highlights favourite Joel Matip moment

With his contract set to expire this summer and no renewal in sight, we’d all kind of figured out that the Cameroon international would be off this summer.

Matip has not played since suffering an ACL injury in December 4-3 win over Fulham and undergoing surgery.

But Klopp has hailed Matip as ‘a wonderful professional’ who he ‘could not have rated more highly’ for his influence on the training ground and on the pitch.

The German particularly fondly remembered Matip’s contribution in Liverpool’s 2019 Champions League final.

The Reds had led for almost the entire game after winning a penalty in the first minute, duly put away by Mo Salah, but were unable to truly put the game to bed until the 87th minute, when Matip poked a frenetic set piece in the direction of an unmarked Divock Origi for the Belgian to finish off.

Klopp told the club’s official site: “If I had to choose one moment from his time here it would definitely be his assist for Divock Origi at the Champions League final in Madrid.

“This was the touch that detonated an explosion in the LFC family. What a moment. What a player.”

The Liverpool boss – who will also leave the club this summer – said: “In all the years that I have been involved in football, I am not sure I have come across too many players who are more loved than Joel Matip. I’m not even sure it would be possible to say anything bad about him.

“A wonderful professional, a wonderful footballer and a wonderful human being – we have been blessed to have him with us for as long as we have and now all we can do is wish him well as he heads off in a new direction.

“Joel’s qualities as a player are there for all to see and as a club we have benefited from them since the first moment that he joined. I don’t think he has had too many headlines over the years but he has only ever been a very famous figure within our group.

“I have said before that if there was one person who wouldn’t care if he was underrated it would be Joel, but the truth is we could not have rated him more highly. Not only has he set the standards for himself, he has set them for others and this is one of the main reasons why his time here has been so successful.”