In fullTributes and thank-yous: Klopp's final programme notes of 2022-23



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In his final programme notes of 2022-23, Jürgen Klopp has paid tribute to Liverpool's departing quartet – and thanked fans for their support during the campaign.

The Reds sign off from Anfield by taking on Aston Villa this afternoon, aiming to extend their seven-match winning run in the Premier League.

The fixture will also be the last time Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain represent the club at home after it was confirmed earlier this week the four will leave this summer upon the expiry of their contracts, with tributes planned to say farewell.

Ahead of what promises to be an emotional occasion, read Klopp’s matchday programme column in full as the boss also highlights the considerable threat of Villa…

“Good afternoon and welcome to Anfield for our final home Premier League game of the season against Aston Villa. This will be a special occasion for many reasons. I actually think every game we play at this stadium is ‘special’ but today is extra because this will be our chance to bid farewell to a group of players who between them have made an incredible contribution to our club during a period which I think everyone will agree has not been too bad.

Firmino, Keita, Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave LFC this summer

AnnouncementFirmino, Keita, Milner and Oxlade-Chamberlain to leave LFC this summerLiverpool FC can confirm Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will leave the club upon the expiry of their contracts this summer.

“For Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain I have nothing but the very best wishes. If we had the space, I could take page after page listing the moments that they gave us, the qualities that they brought and the collective that they have been part of. But the best way of measuring the contribution is much more straightforward because it can be found in the respect that they have earned from their teammates, staff and our supporters.

“The medals that they will leave with say everything that you could possibly need to know about what they have achieved during their time here, but on top of that there are the memories and the experiences that we have shared. In this respect, it seems to me that we were definitely blessed to have them and I would hope that they also feel blessed to have been with us.

“One of my favourite moments of the season came on Monday night with the away fans who travelled to Leicester showing Bobby how much they love him by singing his name non-stop for so long that the only way it could have been brought to an end was by Trent scoring a world-class goal. I hope today all four of our departees will feel the same kind of affection from all of us because that is what they deserve.

“Of course, the priority today is to perform as well as we can and to do everything in our power to pick up another three points as we look to continue our strong ending to a tough season.

“There is no need for us to talk about targets at this stage – our main responsibility is simply to maintain the standards of recent weeks and to see where that might take us.

“It has already taken us to a Europa League place which did not seem possible a couple of months ago and after this we will see what happens. The clubs who are above us in the league table are there because they deserve to be and I have said many times that I do not expect them to fall away, but I also know from past experience that if I was them I would not want any of the teams below to keep on winning.

“So this is our objective and it makes sense for it to be this way not only because it keeps possibilities open. It also makes sense because what we do now in terms of the football we play, the results we get and the momentum we can build can only help us going forward. This season might end next week but our ambitions do not and the best thing about one campaign finishing is that it will not be too long before another one begins.

“The problem today is that we have an opponent in Aston Villa who are also in very, very good form. I think I am right in saying that their results in the second half of this season have been the second-best in the league, which tells us everything that we could know about their quality and also the challenge that they will bring.

“Unai Emery is a manager who I have come across quite a few times in my career and it will not surprise anyone who knows his work that Villa are doing as well as they are. I am sure that he would recognise the strength of the squad that he inherited from Steven Gerrard and the work that he did at Villa, but Unai’s own efforts speak for themselves and I could not be more respectful of the work that he is doing.

“Finally – and this is definitely a case of last but not least – I would like to take this opportunity to thank our fans for the support that you have given us this season. It would be fair to say that you could have asked for more from us and also that we will be asking more of ourselves going forward, but we could not have asked for more from you.

“From the first day of the season, home and away and in good times and bad, your backing has been incredible and I could not be more grateful.

“Hopefully we can enjoy today together in all the respects that we would want.”



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.