Jurgen Klopp described guiding Liverpool to their first league title in 30 years as “more than I ever thought possible”.
The Reds were confirmed as Premier League champions without kicking a ball on Thursday as Manchester City’s 2-1 defeat at Chelsea meant they could no longer be caught.
Liverpool are 23 points clear with seven games remaining.
“I have no words,” Klopp told Sky Sports.
“It’s the best thing I can imagine and more than I could have ever dreamed of. It’s unbelievable. Much more than I ever thought would be possible.”
The German, who was wearing a Liverpool shirt during his interview and was visibly emotional, added: “Becoming champions with this club is absolutely incredible.
“It is an incredible achievement from my players… and a pure joy for me to coach them.”
‘Klopp changed everything’
Klopp arrived at Anfield in October 2015 following the sacking of Brendan Rodgers and with the club 10th in the Premier League.
He led Liverpool to a sixth European Cup last season and has now ended an even longer wait to become champions of England.
“I felt from day one when he came in the door he changed everything,” said Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson.
“We followed him and believed him. It’s been an amazing journey. I’m hoping there is more – we just stay hungry, keep wanting more and following him.
“The biggest thing is no matter what we all follow him, believe in him and he’s taken us to this point. This wouldn’t be possible without him.”
A title ‘fuelled by disappointment and learning’
Liverpool narrowly missed out on the title in 2014 when a defeat by Chelsea at Anfield towards the end of the season allowed Manchester City to clinch the Premier League trophy instead.
Then, last season, they recorded the third-highest points tally in the division’s history (97) only to be beaten to top spot by a solitary point, with Pep Guardiola’s side sealing the title on the final day.
However, an incredibly dominant campaign this time around, in which the Reds have won 28 of their 31 fixtures, meant any end-of-season drama never looked likely.
A 4-0 win against Crystal Palace meant a draw or Chelsea win in their game against Manchester City would cement the championship for the Reds and when the final whistle went at Stamford Bridge there were scenes of jubilation outside Anfield, while a group of Liverpool players gathered to watch the game.
“It shows the character in the squad to get so close last time and to go again,” Liverpool midfielder James Milner told Match of the Day. “We have proven we are fuelled by disappointment and learning.
“I am sure the hunger will stay and we want to keep being successful. It is absolutely massive – to get over the line is huge.”
In winning the league after just 31 games Liverpool have recorded the earliest Premier League victory by matches played, yet football’s 100-day suspension because of coronavirus means it is the latest success by date.
“We had to wait 13 weeks,” Liverpool defender Andrew Robertson said. “It was 13 long weeks with uncertainty but a lot of our fans had to wait 30 years so it was a short time compared to what they’ve had.
“I hope they enjoy their night, we will enjoy ours.”
‘The highlight has been the camaraderie in the team’
|Liverpool this season v season average from previous 29|
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The title is Liverpool’s 19th and first since the 1989-90 season, when they won the First Division under Kenny Dalglish.
“I’m very pleased for everybody connected with the football club,” Dalglish told Sky Sports. “Jurgen has done a fantastic job. The highlight has been the camaraderie within the team and the way everyone has helped the team. Last night’s game was a huge example of that.
“They played with tempo and never gave Crystal Palace time on the ball. It’s the whole feeling within the club. You do not win anything without a great dressing room, and they have that.”
Liverpool’s principal owner John W Henry saluted his team’s “season for the ages”.
He tweeted: “It has been an incredible year of magnificent achievement culminating tonight in capturing the Premier League title.
“The totality of this accomplishment has brought respite and joy to so many in a year filled with so much tragedy.
“Liverpool has made the beautiful game more beautiful than ever.”
Liverpool title well deserved – Guardiola
Liverpool won the Champions League last season under Klopp and can now beat Manchester City’s Premier League record of 100 points in a campaign if they are victorious in five of their remaining seven matches.
“Liverpool have played an incredible season. Well deserved,” Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, whose side won the title in the previous two seasons, told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“Two seasons ago we were 100 points and they finished more than 25 points behind. Last season they didn’t recover the distance and this season they went the distance.
“We have to learn from this season and improve for the next one.”