Jürgen Klopp has shared a special message for Liverpool supporters around the world on Christmas Day.
I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our supporters a very peaceful and merry Christmas, however you choose to mark this period of the year.
Liverpool Football Club is a special club, one with fans, players and staff from different backgrounds and cultures, with their own individual customs and traditions, and everyone will choose to celebrate today in their own way.
I love this. It’s something special.
Our dressing room illustrates how wonderful it is when a mix of cultures, traditions, backgrounds and beliefs all come together as colleagues, as friends, all sharing the same collective goals. Really, it is amazing to see.
For us, as for many in football, today is also a day of work at Melwood as we continue our preparations for a trip to Leicester City tomorrow. We will then head home and spend the afternoon with our families and friends before we travel tomorrow morning.
So, however you are spending today and the festive period, I wish you, your family and your loved ones nothing but a peaceful, enjoyable day. Spend the day with the people you love and enjoy their company, this is important and what I love most about this time of year.
It is, naturally, a time to briefly reflect on an incredible year for these boys, this club and, of course, our supporters.
I think you know me well enough by now, I am not a guy for looking back, not when there is work to do. But how can I ignore what we have all experienced in this year?
I have just one word for it: wow.
I am so proud of many things. Of course, firstly for everyone to have the chance to celebrate Liverpool being trophy winners once again.
For as long as I live, I will never forget that night in Madrid and the following day in Liverpool as we brought the Champions League home. I remember I once said the city would ‘explode’ when we won a trophy, but I think I even may have underestimated it a bit. Those scenes… I cannot even think of them now without getting goose bumps.
That day, you made us go through every kind of emotion and when I looked people in the eye from up on that bus, it reinforced what I’ve known since October 8, 2015 – I am the luckiest man alive to be a part of this football club, a part of this special family.
That we were also able to follow the Champions League up with two more trophies, the Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup, as well as producing week after week in the Premier League, says everything about these boys.
Seriously, I could not be any prouder than I am to be the manager of these players.
I have called them the ‘mentality monsters’ at various points throughout 2019 because they keep delivering, no matter what the circumstances, no matter what the odds.
Of course, this was never truer than that night against Barcelona at Anfield when they went beyond 100 per cent, they pushed themselves to their absolute maximum and then more, and delivered something special.
But let’s be clear about this: we could not have done this without you.
One of the things that made me most emotional, most happy, when we were on that bus travelling through the city in June was that we did this together. All of us, we all played a part.
Not just the players, not just my staff and certainly not just me. It was everyone who works at Melwood, everyone who works at the club and gives their all each and every day and, just as important, each and every one of you who make so many sacrifices, who make such a commitment to support us every time.
I do not have the words to explain to you properly how that makes us feel, but let me say it like this: we do not take it for granted, we appreciate it and we love it.
I will let you into a little secret, after Madrid I spent so many hours watching all the videos of our supporters on YouTube, just trying to take it all in and see all the things we might have missed while we were preparing for the game against Tottenham. It made me so proud and so happy.
We do this together and we will continue to do so in 2020, whatever that year may hold for us. For me, this is what makes us Liverpool.
Our thoughts and love, as always, are with the Hillsborough families, survivors and campaigners – and, of course, the 96 – especially at such an emotional time of year. I cannot find sufficient words to describe our respect for the dignity, determination and courage they are somehow able to find more than 30 years after the tragedy.
But what I can say with absolute certainty is that they will never be forgotten.
We continue to be inspired by the remarkable strength of Seán Cox and his family, and we were humbled to welcome them back to Anfield last month and spend a little time in their company. I hope to see them again soon.
Seán’s progress is important to all of us and I know our fans have consistently embodied the spirit of You’ll Never Walk Alone in their support for him since the shocking incident outside the stadium last April. This is no surprise.
I also want to take a moment to highlight a few things that have made me proud off the field in this year and praise the work of those who give so much back to the community here.
As with every year since I have been here, we recently made our annual visit to Alder Hey and I can say the work the staff do there is unbelievable. Really, it is world-class in supporting those brave children and families fighting life’s real battles.
While we were there, I was fortunate to meet a little boy called Kai and spend some time with him. When I was told on Christmas Eve he had been discharged from hospital and could spend Christmas at home, I was so, so happy for him and his family.
He was just one of many special children we met that day and I again left Alder Hey with the feeling that Liverpool has an outstanding facility it should be absolutely proud of.
My respect and admiration for everyone who works there is at the highest level it can be and I will spend a moment to think of you today.
Again, the work of the Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative continues to grow and grow with the help and dedication of both Liverpool and Everton supporters, who put football rivalry aside to do something good for those who are less fortunate.
Of course, we have own our own charity and programmes at the club – LFC Foundation and the Red Neighbours programme – and it is important to me that we give back what we can, however we can, so I am proud to have seen them continue to grow over the course of the year.
There are many, many more people and organisations who will dedicate their time this Christmas to helping and supporting others, including today, as well as those who will continue to work to looking after people’s health, wellbeing and safety today.
From all of us at Melwood, we wish you all a very Merry Christmas.
To those travelling to watch us at Leicester on Boxing Day, I wish you all a safe journey and we look forward to seeing – and hearing – you once again. The same for everyone who will be with us at Anfield on Sunday for the visit of Wolves.
And we know there will be people watching us all over the world by whatever means they can – and we love this idea of so many fans coming together to invest in our 90 minutes of football. It is something that is special, comforting and again shows the collective effort that is Liverpool Football Club.
So, however you spend today, I wish you all the very best and I’ll see you soon.
You’ll Never Walk Alone,