Borussia Dortmund Coach Juergen Klopp will leave the club at the end of this season despite a contract running to 2018 because he does not feel he is the right man for the job any more, the coach said on Wednesday.
“I’ve always said that I would say it if I’m not the perfect coach for this club,” Klopp told reporters, sitting next to club bosses Hans-Joachim Watzke and Michael Zorc.
“Dortmund need a change.I picked this time to make my announcement so as not to create any time pressure as was the case in the last few years with some player decisions. I definitely believe this is completely the right decision.”
Club officials said they would not talk about possible successors out of respect for Klopp. Dortmund have had a dismal domestic campaign which saw the club Klopp led to titles in 2011 and 2012 battle with relegation until a recent improvement.
Klopp took over at Dortmund in 2008 and as well as the league titles he won the German Cup, challenged Bayern Munich for dominance in the Bundesliga and also reached the Champions League final in 2013.
“We, everyone at Dortmund, must now prepare for your departure in the coming weeks, a departure worthy of your achievements,” sports director Michael Zorc told Klopp.
“It was a wonderful time for me.” Enthusiastic, spontaneous and emotional, Klopp has long been a crowd favourite at the former European champions, helping them restore their position as Bundesliga heavyweights with an exciting brand of attacking football.
His stint also coincided with Dortmund’s financial growth after the club was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2005.
But it all began to go wrong this season with Dortmund falling to last place in the Bundesliga before a revival since the turn of the year which has seen them rise to 10th with six matches left.
They were also eliminated by Juventus in the Champions League round of 16 but are through to the semi-finals of the German Cup, their best chance of booking a European spot for next season.
The 47-year-old Klopp, who has long been courted by top European clubs, also coached Mainz 05 between 2001 and 2008.