Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp has described the night Liverpool played Dortmund at Anfield in the Europa League quarter-final last April as 'emotionally complex', while hailing the FIFA award-winning fans that night for creating 'the best atmosphere' he's ever experienced.
Liverpool and Dortmund supporters took home the inaugural FIFA Fan Award on Monday night, for scenes created by both clubs' fans as they united to sing the famous anthem 'You'll Never Walk Alone', as well as for creating a poignant mosaic tribute to the memory of the 96 lives lost in the Hillsborough stadium disaster.
🙌🏼 Liverpool and Dortmund fans have been nominated for the FIFA Fan Award for this. pic.twitter.com/Ab1nqHJdgF— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) January 6, 2017
The night also produced special personal significance for Klopp, who was previously won two Bundesliga titles and reached a Champions League final with Dortmund.
"It was one of the most special and yet strangest nights of my life" Klopp said to Liverpool's official website.
"I don't think at the time I appreciated how emotionally complex it was for me, Zeljko [Buvac] and Peter [Krawietz], or all of our families.
"It has since sunk in and there are so many moments from the night that I will never forget, but the contribution of both sets of supporters is absolutely the main one.
"The atmosphere was the best I have ever experienced. It should serve as an example to everyone about how supporters can influence a team and influence a game."
Klopp was eager to praise the contribution of the away fans and stated that both sets of supporters can feel proud of their contribution that evening.
FIFA Fan award 2016 goes to Liverpool and Dortmund for THAT YNWA.. 🎵— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) January 9, 2017
Think I've still got goosebumps from that night. pic.twitter.com/1p32mlFIfH
"Of course, this award honours both sets of supporters and the respect shown by our friends from Dortmund was absolutely typical of the world-class values that club upholds. To honour the 96 victims, their families and the survivors of Hillsborough was very poignant.
"I know we won the match and the tie, but I think everyone inside Anfield that night and watching at home - whether they were wearing red or yellow and black - knows that football can be very proud of how they represented their club.
"So, on behalf of the Liverpool team and staff, I would like to thank those who voted for this special award."