Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp shocked many with his unexpected announcement that he is leaving the club at the end of the season after almost nine years in charge.
The German took over at Anfield in 2015 and has been a huge success at the club. In his time there, the Reds have won every major trophy on offer. From the Champions League to the Premier League, the FA Cup, League Cup, Club World Cup, Super Cup and even the Community Shield.
His team has been the biggest rival to Manchester City during that period. By pushing City all the way in the Premier League title race and even on the continent, the Anfield side has made the Blues even better. Under Klopp’s watch, the team has knocked City out of the Champions League twice and the determination to outdo the club must have served as an inspiration for Pep Guardiola, causing him to push his team even harder towards success.
The City boss has reacted to the development, wishing his fellow gaffer well for the future, while using the opportunity to state just how much he and his team take inspiration from Klopp’s challenge.
Speaking after City’s FA Cup fourth-round win against Tottenham on Friday night, Guardiola stated: “I will sleep better. The days before playing against Liverpool were almost a nightmare. Of course he will be missed. I was shocked, like everyone, to the news.
“I felt a part of Man City would be lost. We can’t define our period here together without him and with Liverpool - it is impossible. They have been our biggest rival and personally he has been my biggest rival from when he was at Dortmund and I was at Bayern.
“I think the Premier League is going to miss his charisma, personality and the way his teams play. They have always been a pleasure to watch them and how positive they are in their approach. They try to win every game. I wish him all the best.
After Klopp’s departure at the end of the season it is expected that Liverpool will find a suitable replacement for the German manager. Some are already tipping Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi or former defender and now Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso to be among the frontrunners to take over.
But whoever becomes the next manager after Klopp, the club is expected to continue being a tough opponent and major rival to City in the years to come.
City’s success, like it has always been, would depend on the club’s hierarchy and how the club is run, irrespective of what happens at Liverpool.