Jurgen Klopp’s record in cup finals


Long before Jurgen Klopp announced his shock decision to step down as Liverpool manager in the summer of 2024, the German head coach was already pondering his side’s legacy.

“In 20 years if you talk about this team,” Klopp mused, “I would not be surprised if people would say: ‘Yes they were good but they should have won more’.”

Liverpool would certainly have another couple of Premier League trophies had it not been for a record-shattering Manchester City but Pep Guardiola’s side cannot be solely to blame for the size of Klopp’s trophy cabinet.

Here’s a look at Klopp’s decidedly mixed record in finals over the years.

Fussball Bundesliga FC Bayern MŸnchen - Borussia Dortmund

The first time Jurgen Klopp ever faced Pep Guardiola was in the 2013 DFL Supercup / sampics/GettyImages

Date

Result

23/07/2011

Schalke 0-0 (4-3p) Borussia Dortmund

12/08/2012

Bayern Munich 2-1 Borussia Dortmund

27/07/2013

Borussia Dortmund 4-2 Bayern Munich

13/08/2014

Borussia Dortmund 2-0 Bayern Munich

Klopp took a glum view to Germany’s traditional curtain raiser, the DFL-Supercup. “You win it, nobody cares; you lose it and some care,” the former Borussia Dortmund manager once shrugged.

It may not have counted for much in Klopp’s eyes, but the Supercup was the setting for the start of his legendary rivalry against Guardiola.

Bayern Munich’s new manager commanded all of the pre-match spotlight but it was a ruthless counterattacking masterclass engineered by Klopp that earned Dortmund a heartily deserved 4-2 victory in 2013. When the German giants faced off the following year, Dortmund prevailed again. Yet, success in this competition doesn’t leave lasting memories for Klopp. “I won it twice but nobody mentions it,” he’s sighed in the past.

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has been a regular in the Community Shield / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Date

Result

04/08/2019

Liverpool 1-1 (4-5p) Man City

29/08/2020

Arsenal 1-1 (5-4p) Liverpool

30/07/2022

Liverpool 3-1 Man City

After his first appearance (and defeat) in the Community Shield, Klopp was left perplexed by the perceived importance of the competition in England.

“Is it a pre-season friendly?” he asked. On a separate occasion, Klopp posed a question many fans have asked: “If it means nothing, why play?”

Klopp has not lost any of his three appearances in the quasi-friendly during normal time, besting Manchester City in 2022 after consecutive shootout defeats to City and Arsenal.

Jurgen Klopp

Klopp (centre) celebrates winning the UEFA Super Cup with his coaching staff / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Date

Result

14/08/2019

Liverpool 2-2 (5-4p) Chelsea

Taking the attitude of a certain Jose Mourinho, Klopp admitted that an ill-timed UEFA Super Cup “was all about winning it”.

Klopp’s Champions League winners were held to a 2-2 draw by Europa League victors Chelsea in the Istanbul showpiece, with Jorginho forcing a penalty shootout after converting a stoppage-time spot kick while wearing a shirt which read ‘Jorghino’.

Backup goalkeeper Adrian made no mistake with a decisive penalty save on his Liverpool debut a matter of weeks after being released by West Ham United.

Jurgen Klopp

One of the only times that Jurgen Klopp squeezed into a suit for Liverpool was ahead of the EFL Cup final in 2016 / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Date

Result

28/02/2016

Liverpool 1-1 (1-3p) Man City

27/02/2022

Chelsea 0-0 (10-11p) Liverpool

Whatever you do, don’t put Jurgen Klopp in a suit. Ahead of the 2022 Carabao Cup final, the Liverpool coach claimed he would rather stride out onto the Wembley turf in “swim shorts” rather than force a tie around his neck.

Klopp had opted for a blazer rather than budgie smugglers ahead of the 2016 EFL Cup final, his first showpiece in English football. Liverpool lost out to Manchester City in a penalty shootout and Klopp seemed to blame his attire more than Adam Lallana’s inaccuracy from 12 yards.

When Klopp did come out on the right side of a penalty competition in the Carabao Cup final six years later, he watched all 11 of his players convert while decked out in his familiar tracksuit.

FBL-GER-CUP-BAYERN-MUNICH-DORTMUND

Jurgen Klopp won Germany’s domestic cup competition in 2012 / CHRISTOF STACHE/GettyImages

Date

Result

12/05/2012

Borussia Dortmund 5-2 Bayern Munich

17/05/2014

Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Bayern Munich

30/05/2015

Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Wolfsburg

Klopp’s only victory in the DFB-Pokal – Germany’s equivalent of the FA Cup – proved to be a little too emphatic. The irascible German engineered a staggering 5-2 annihilation of Bayern Munich. Karl-Heinz Rumminegge, Bayern’s CEO, called it an “embarrassment”. “Every goal was like a slap in the face for us,” he seethed.

Yet, while Klopp was wheeling around Dortmund’s dressing room with a beer strapped to his hand, Bayern’s hierarchy were plotting a way of overthrowing the new German champions. Dortmund’s CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke ruefully called it “a game of fundamental importance for both clubs”.

When Klopp’s Dortmund next reached the Pokal final, the balance of power had firmly shifted back to Bavaria. Bayern never afforded Klopp another sniff of the Bundesliga title after embracing his counter-pressing principles and denied him in the 2014 cup final.

Klopp’s final game as Dortmund boss was a 3-1 loss to Wolfsburg in the 2015 Pokal showpiece. Victory would have been the perfect send off – for Hollywood, not Klopp. “Winning today would have been too kitschy, too American,” he laughed.

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp dothed his cap to his own players after the 2022 FA Cup final / Robin Jones/GettyImages

Date

Result

14/05/2022

Chelsea 0-0 (5-6p) Liverpool

Before lifting the trophy at the end of his seventh season in English football, Klopp had never won more than one FA Cup match in the same campaign.

There was no question of competition prioritising for Liverpool during a marathon 2021/22 season which saw Klopp’s side fulfil every possible fixture across all four tournaments.

For the second time that year, Liverpool bested Chelsea in a domestic cup final via a penalty shootout, with Klopp crediting a neuroscience consultancy team who helped his players train their technique from 12 yards.

Jürgen Klopp, Emre Can

Jurgen Klopp (centre) trying to pick up his defeated players in 2016 / Chris Brunskill Ltd/GettyImages

Date

Result

18/05/2016

Liverpool 1-3 Sevilla

Klopp’s long-serving assistant Peter Krawietz concisely captured the contrast of emotions after Sevilla equalised a minute into the second half of the 2016 Europa League final. “They were like: hurrah. We were like: aargh.”

Sevilla continued to cheer as they overpowered a fatigued Liverpool side. The lack of a preseason regime overseen by the German took its toll at the end of his first season. Rarely would heavy limbs be an excuse for Klopp’s Liverpool ever again.

Jurgen Klopp

Jurgen Klopp has not had the best success in Europe’s biggest club football match / Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/GettyImages

Date

Result

25/05/2013

Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Bayern Munich

26/05/2018

Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool

01/06/2019

Tottenham 0-2 Liverpool

28/05/2022

Liverpool 0-1 Real Madrid

The tension was too much for Klopp. While enduring the interminable wait for Liverpool’s showdown with Tottenham Hotspur in the 2019 Champions League final, all he could think about was his previous failings in Europe’s premier club competition.

“Losing two Champions League finals is not nice,” Klopp recalled. “I was really afraid of being alone beforehand, sitting in a room trying to prepare a meeting and what to say.”

Ahead of the 2018 showpiece which pitted Liverpool against Real Madrid, Klopp came up with the ultimate distraction tactic by conducting his pre-match team talk in Cristiano Ronaldo-branded underwear. The Portuguese forward eventually had the last laugh as Madrid ran out 3-1 winners.

Klopp’s first European showpiece may have been his most painful. Dortmund started brilliantly and were level with Bayern Munich – a side Klopp likened to “a James Bond villain” – as the 2013 final at Wembley ticked into its penultimate minute. Yet, the so-called baddy won that blockbuster, with Arjen Robben delivering the 89th-minute dagger.

Dortmund, led by their manager, drowned their sorrows with a raging party in the Natural History Museum but those spirited commiserations couldn’t compare to Klopp’s celebrations when he finally won the competition in 2019. All that pre-match stress prompted Klopp to fall asleep – which proved to be the best preparation ahead of the endless festivities.

Liverpool reached another Champions League final in 2022 but fell to Real Madrid yet again. No manager in the history of the competition has lost more than Klopp’s tally of three finals.

Liverpool FC vs CR Flamengo - FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2019

Liverpool were crowned world champions in 2019 / Anadolu/GettyImages

Date

Result

21/12/2019

Liverpool 1-0 Flamengo

Liverpool may have been crowned champions of Europe more often than any other English club but they had never assumed the status of world rulers until Klopp’s tenure.

Beaten twice in the Intercontinental Cup during the 1980s, Liverpool lined up against South American champions Flamengo in the competition’s successor, the Club World Cup. Zico’s golden iteration of the Brazilian club had bested Liverpool in Tokyo 39 years earlier but it was a Merseyside-based member of the Selecao that swung the 2019 final.

After downing Monterrey in stoppage time to reach the showpiece, Roberto Firmino produced a 99th-minute winner to defeat Flamengo. Klopp had been uncertain of his reaction to winning a trophy that garners little attention in Europe ahead of the showpiece. “Now,” he gushed at full time, “I know it feels outstanding, absolutely sensational.”

Jurgen Klopp’s record in finals

Competition

Finals

Finals won

Finals lost

DFL-Supercup

4

2

2

Community Shield

3

1

2

UEFA Super Cup

1

1

0

EFL Cup

2

1

1

DFB Pokal

3

1

2

FA Cup

1

1

0

Europa League

1

0

1

Champions League

4

1

3

Club World Cup

1

1

0

Total

20

9

11

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