After seven seasons, including two Bundesliga titles, one DFB-Pokal trophy, a Champions League final run, and winning the admiration of everyone in the sport, Jürgen Klopp has announced in a press conference today that he will no longer be the manager of Borussia Dortmund on July 1st.
Klopp was somehow able to make little old Dortmund—a club that had been mired in midtable mediocrity in the years prior to his appointment—a true rival to world giant Bayern Munich, despite regularly losing one or two key players to bigger clubs every offseason. This season, however, started almost inexplicably poorly, with the club sitting at the very bottom of the table for weeks before finally turning it around to the tune of their current safe but disappointing 10th-place position.
Perhaps his unique, tenacious style of pressing—which has now been adopted by most of the league's better teams—has finally been figured out, or maybe those early struggles were a simple matter of bad luck. Either way, the calamity of this season looked like it might serve as a convenient opportunity for Klopp and Dortmund to part ways. We now know that is exactly the case.
Here's how he explained his decision, via the BBC:
"I always said in that moment where I believe I am not the perfect coach anymore for this extraordinary club I will say so.
"I really think the decision is the right one. This club deserves to be coached from the 100% right manager."
Because of what he was able to achieve with BVB, Klopp has long been seen as one of the most attractive potential managing hires for all the big jobs across Europe. As for his future, Klopp had this to say:
"It's not that I'm tired, I've not had contact with another club but don't plan to take a sabbatical."
This will undoubtedly put speculation about where he will coach next season into overdrive. The most obvious destination for Klopp is Manchester City. Their own relative struggles a season after winning the Premier League title have current manager Manuel Pellegrini twisting in the wind, his fate likely to be determined by whether or not the club can find a manager they liked better. Klopp is exactly the revered, young coach they'd love to bring in.
Even before today's announcement, Klopp's name was always in the mix when discussing potential successors to Arsène Wenger. However, the club has made clear that they have no intention of pursuing him right now as they're happy to let Wenger keep the seat for the remaining two years on his contract.
Still, England is the best bet for Klopp. Earlier this season, Klopp had this to say about potentially managing in England one day:
"I think it's the only country I think where I should work, next to Germany because it's the only country I know the language a little bit and I need the language for my work. If somebody will call me, then we will talk about it."
While it's sad to see him leave and the domino effect that'll likely have for Dortmund (Mats Hummels already looked to be on his way out, but can they hang on to Marco Reus even with his new contract?), we're excited to see what he can do with the additional resources.