Virgil Van Dijk first Liverpool player to speak out after Jurgen Klopp’s shock departure

Virgil Van Dijk has spoken out after Jurgen Klopp announced his stunning Liverpool exit.

On Friday, Klopp stunned the football world by announcing he is to leave Liverpool at the end of the season.

Klopp was appointed in October 2015 and his contract was due to run until 2026.

In his nine years at Liverpool, Klopp has won every trophy available, including the Champions League in 2019, andthe club’s first league title in 30 years in 2020.

And Reds skipper Van Dijk has become the first Liverpool player to speak about Klopp’s impending departure since Friday’s announcement.

The Dutchman told the Liverpoolwebsite: “It’s a hard one to take, because the manager means so much for us, to me, to the club, to the whole Premier League I think. But he decided for him and his family. It was always going to be a tough one and it was the case.”

Describing the moment Klopp broke the news to his players, Van Dijk added: “Yeah, he told us in private of course, and all of us were together. Like I said, it’s a hard one to take but our mindset is to focus on business.

“We have a lot of targets still to achieve this year and why not finish the season on a high and together with celebrations for the boss as well?”

Klopp made the announcement with his side at the Premier League summit and through to the Carabao Cup final.

“I told the club already in November,” said 56-year-old Klopp on Friday.

“I can understand that it’s a shock for a lot of people in this moment, when you hear it for the first time, but obviously I can explain it – or at least try to explain it.

“I love absolutely everything about this club, I love everything about the city, I love everything about our supporters, I love the team, I love the staff. I love everything. But that I still take this decision shows you that I am convinced it is the one I have to take.

“It is that I am, how can I say it, running out of energy. I have no problem now, obviously, I knew it already for longer that I will have to announce it at one point, but I am absolutely fine now. I know that I cannot do the job again and again and again and again.”

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