Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was overcome with emotion as he dedicated the club’s first league title in 30 years to the fans on Thursday.
Klopp wiped away tears of joy during a television interview minutes after Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Manchester City sealed the Premier League crown for Liverpool.
“It’s such a big moment, I am completely overwhelmed,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“Tonight it is for you out there,” added Klopp.
“It’s incredible. I hope you stay at home, or go in front of your house if you want, but not more. We do it together in this moment and it is a joy to do it for you.”
Thousands ignored Klopp’s plea to respect social distancing rules amid the coronavirus as they partied the night away in the streets around Anfield.
But the German promised Liverpool will hold a celebratory parade through the city when it is safe to do so.
“We will create pictures in the future with the parade whenever it will be for all our supporters,” added Klopp. “We will be together and enjoy this in a proper manner.”
The long-awaited title was clinched without Liverpool kicking a ball as City’s defeat meant Klopp’s men have an unassailable 23-point lead at the top of the Premier League with seven games to play.
A first league title in three decades caps a meteoric rise for the Reds back to the top of the English game after Klopp arrived in 2015 with the club struggling just to break into the top four.
But the former Borussia Dortmund coach remains hungry for more silverware in the coming years with most of his squad still in their prime.
“What they did over the last two or three years is just exceptional and a pure joy for me to coach them,” said Klopp, who watched City’s defeat alongside his players at a hotel.
“It’s just been a really exciting ride from the first day I arrived and it is not over yet, that’s the good thing.
“The team all look like they have a good few years in their legs but for tonight we just enjoy this moment. It is the best thing I can imagine, it’s more than I ever dreamed of to be honest.”
‘We’ve been incredible’
Virgil Van Dijk’s signing from Southampton in 2018 has proved one of the key moments in Liverpool’s renaissance under Klopp.
The Dutch defender said Liverpool had to raise their game even higher this season to overhaul City after a club record 97 points was still only good enough for second last season.
“What a season. We’ve been incredible. To be part of this group of players and part of this journey is incredible and I am very proud to be able to call myself a Premier League winner,” he said.
“In the league this year we have taken it to another level. We have been so consistent and played so well.”
Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry, whose Fenway Sports Group bought the club in 2010, paid tribute to their incredible campaign.
“This was a season for the ages and for the faithful of Liverpool Football Club,” Henry tweeted.
Kenny Dalglish, who won three titles as Liverpool manager and was the last man to guide them to the trophy in 1990, admitted he never expected the wait to be so long.
“I think back then if you’d have said it would take 30 years you’d have been arrested and sectioned, but sometimes things happen,” Dalglish told BT Sport.
“Since Jurgen came in, it has been very positive all the way. He’s been fantastic and he epitomises everything that Liverpool stands for.
“I think there will be plenty more days to look forward to as long as Jurgen is there.”
Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson lifted the Champions League trophy last season and the midfielder said clinching the Premier League was just as sweet.
“I’m just a little bit overwhelmed right now, it’s just an amazing feeling and just so proud of what we’ve achieved,” he said.
“Another moment in our lives that we’ll never forget.”
In the moments after the final whistle at Chelsea, Liverpool defender Andy Robertson best summed up the feelings of Reds fans across the world as he simply tweeted: “Oh my god.”