Dortmund - Jurgen Klopp announced on Wednesday that he will stand down as
Borussia Dortmund coach at the end of the season after seven years in
charge and two German league titles.
The 47-year-old had a contract until 2018, but asked to be released
early after a poor series of league results left Dortmund bottom of the
table in February before climbing to their current position of tenth.
Dortmund have already said there will be no quick announcement
concerning his successor as the hunt begins for a new head coach.
"I always said in that moment where I believe I am not the perfect
coach anymore for this extraordinary club, I will say so," Klopp told a
He added: "I believe this is the right decision at the right time.
"I have not had any contact with any other clubs, nor have I any plans to take a year off.
"I just wanted to make my decision known now so that the club can plan for the future.
"I chose this time to announce it, because in the last few years,
some player decisions were made late and there was no time to react," he
added in reference to Mario Goetze's shock departure to Bayern Munich
in April 2013.
Klopp earned his place in Dortmund folklore by becoming the first coach
in Borussia's history to win the German double of domestic league and
cup titles in 2012, when they trashed Bayern 5-2 in the Berlin cup
He steered Dortmund to the 2013 Champions League final, when they
lost 2-1 at Wembley to Bayern, having won the 2011 and 2012 German
Klopp turned Dortmund from a mid-table side on his arrival into Bundesliga champions.
In his first season they finished sixth, then fifth in 2009/10 before
winning the league title for the next two years as they briefly usurped
Bayern as Germany's top club.
Klopp forged the careers of several Dortmund stars including current
Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski, who left Borussia last season, as
well as Germany's World Cup winners Mats Hummels, Mario Goetze and Kevin
He revealed he had not told the team before the press conference and
said his goal for his six last remaining league matches is to finish as
high up the table as possible.
"We still have a lot of work to do now. This is a decision for next
season and we'll concentrate on finishing this season now," said Klopp.
"I had no problems with any of the players, but I believe Borussia Dortmund needs a change.
"The club deserves to fulfil its potential again without constantly being reminded of its successful past."
During the press conference the club announced they will not be rushed into naming his replacement.
"Certainty over speed, it's important to get the right person," said Dortmund chief executive officer Hans-Joachim Watzke.
"It's been very difficult news to take. We've had a special relationship and Jurgen will always be remembered by the club."
Klopp's final home match on May 23 is set to be an emotional occasion
and Dortmund's director of sport Michael Zorc was already in
"I think we wrote a modern fairytale in the last years with you as
the key figure, Jurgen," said Zorc, who was involved in bringing Klopp
to Dortmund from Mainz.
"Everyone at Borussia Dortmund, especially the players, should give you the sending off you deserve in the next weeks."