Loris Karius opens up on Liverpool traumas and Klopp response to Champions League final horror show
Former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has said that there is no “bad blood” between him and Jurgen Klopp following a painful end to his career at Anfield.
Karius, who now plays for Newcastle as a backup to Nick Pope, was left out of the Liverpool senior squad after making several massive errors in the Champions League final against Real Madrid in 2018.
In an interview with ESPN, Karius detailed how the performance saw him unable to leave Liverpool for a period, despite knowing he would most likely never play for the Reds again.
The German was highly rated when he arrived at Anfield in July 2016 from Mainz. Karius had already featured for his national team’s under-21s and eventually broke into the Liverpool first team in the 2016/17 campaign.
However, his career with the Reds effectively came to a screeching halt after what can only be described as a calamitous performance against Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final.
Karius literally gifted the ball to Madrid’s Karim Benzema for the opening goal of the evening before he later let a Gareth Bale long-range strike straight through his hands to wrap up a painful 3-1 defeat in Kyiv, in what could have been a historic night for the Reds.
Admittedly, he couldn’t have done much about Bale’s first goal, which is probably one of if not THE best Champions League final goal of all time.
Karius was undoubtedly devastated at what had happened, and Klopp backed the goalkeeper publicly despite costing his team. However, Liverpool’s signing of new goalkeeper Alisson Becker for a record £56m ultimately brought about the end of his playing time at Anfield.
After two loan spells at Besiktas and Union Berlin, Karius was left out of Liverpool’s squad for the second half of the 2021-22 season, and was unable to secure a permanent move away from Merseyside.
No ‘bad blood’ between Karius and Klopp
Speaking to ESPN from a Newcastle training camp, Karius describes how difficult he found his situation.
He said: “My time at Liverpool was over and I was looking to move on [in 2021], but then there was difficulties to get a transfer done.
“I found myself in a situation where I had to stay at Liverpool, knowing I wouldn’t get my chance.
“It was discussed openly with the manager. There’s no bad blood, but knowing the situation from the beginning was tough. Last season, being left out of the matchday squad, you lose a bit of the feeling you have when you win, lose and travel with the team.
“You just miss it. It’s then not easy to stay positive and keep working because you obviously know you are not going to be involved. I learned a lot from that and tried my best in training and kept myself positive on the mental side.
“I’ve played over 200 games in the first division and national teams so I knew my qualities. I knew I had plenty to offer. I am only turning 30 and that’s not old for a keeper, but of course, last season was difficult.”
Indeed, the fact that a goalkeeper who played in a Champions League final wasn’t able to get a move because of a singular bad performance must have been fairly traumatising for the German.
Karius gets a second chance at St James’ Park
But now, he has been offered a second chance by Eddie Howe, who signed Karius on a short-term deal last September and the German has already said how grateful he is for the opportunity.
It is also expected that Karius will pen a longer-term contract with the Magpies after impressing his new boss in training, despite being yet to play a competitive match for the team.
As he looks to prove himself once again, Karius reflected on that dismal night in Kyiv.
He said: “It [the mistakes] made me go to another club,” Karius said on reflection of his mistakes. “It was maybe a move that wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
“I have said everything about this [the 2018 Champions League final]. For me it is tiring to keep talking about it, it’s football and things happen.”
It will be interesting to see how Karius plays for Newcastle when Howe gives him his chance to re-emerge on the Premier League stage, but after Pope’s recent performances, he could be waiting a while.
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