On Friday evening, I found myself sitting in the kitchen next to a bag of chocolate snacks and a beer, a combination that doesn’t speak to a positive state of mind. Both were empty. I greeted my boyfriend with the words: "I am jealous."
"Of whom?" he asked, slightly uneasily.
A fan of Borussia Dortmund, I had been watching all day as Liverpool fell in love with Jürgen Klopp. Minute after minute, the club sent out fawning tweets about its new trainer. And when it comes to videos like "Watch Jürgen Klopp's ten best career goals," infatuation is the only way to describe it. Upright, male football fans from England, not otherwise prone to pink-hearted gushing, made liberal use of romantic emojis in their tweets. "I fell in love with Klopp today." "Our Klopp." "I have a man crush on Jurgen Klopp." "It gives me goose bumps." Or, simply: "I love this guy." With each emoji heart, I became even more jealous.
I should have known. When Jürgen Klopp announced his resignation, I tweeted that it felt like being dumped. My two brothers felt the same way. When Mario Götze transferred to Bayern Munich, we sent each other 50 WhatsApp messages within just a few hours. But when Klopp left, we hardly wrote each other at all. Rage needs to be vented. But lovesickness is a private matter.
When my younger brother and I tried to console ourselves with the idea that our relationship with Kloppo was special, and that he would never be as happy somewhere else as he was with us, my older brother wrote: "That's exactly what one says about ex-girlfriends. It's total bullshit."
Now he’s found someone else. Don't get me wrong: I like Liverpool. Back in the summer, when the first rumors began to surface, I thought that Kloppo and Liverpool would be the perfect couple. I was happy for Klopp and I was happy for Liverpool. But it still felt strange. It was like finding pictures on Facebook of an ex-boyfriend from whom you had amicably separated -- but the pictures showed him holding another girl in his arm.
One that fit him perfectly. One who was totally nice. You are happy that he is happy -- and you are happy that he didn’t go for the perfectly coiffed blonde with the pearl earrings who always takes the best parking space in front of the supermarket with her SUV with Munich license plates -- if you know what I mean. But of course you look at the new girlfriend to see if she’s better looking than you.
And you think wistfully of the happy, carefree days you spent together. Klopp was so important after all those unhappy relationships and Borussia's existential crisis. It was one of those rare, pink-heart phases. But because his new love is so perfect for him, the chances are good that my brother -- keyword: bullshit -- will be proven right. Which is why each heart from Liverpool is a small pinprick in my own heart. On Saturday, I plan to watch Klopp’s first appearance with his new love. I’ve already stocked up on chocolate snacks and beer.
First, though, Borussia plays against Mainz. If you can’t quite understand everything I’m feeling -- Mainz fans certainly do. After Klopp’s first transfer, we were, from their perspective, his new love. Even our current trainer is their ex. With him, we have more of a marriage of convenience. But it is said that even that can eventually lead to love.
Translated by Charles Hawley