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02nd Jun 2019

Jurgen Klopp dedicates Liverpool’s Champions League win to ‘his blood’

Patrick McCarry

The upbeat, beaming front was put to one side as the reality of his achievement began to sink in

Stretching back to 2012, with Dortmund and then Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp had lost six finals in a row. That included losing Champions League finals to Bayern Munich and Real Madrid.

The German joked, before Saturday’s Champions League final between Spurs and his Liverpool side, that he must have the best semi-final record in club football. Still, he did not need journalists reminding him of a streak that hung around him like a millstone.

Liverpool had prospered all season when they tore into sides from the get-go. That they were up against a Tottenham team that had an unhappy habit of leaking early goals in this season’s competition would not have been lost on him.

So it was that Liverpool pressed and harried in the opening exchanges. They were rewarded ridiculously early with a penalty (after 24 seconds) and Mo Salah buried his spot-kick past Hugo Lloris with 95 seconds on the clock. Liverpool have played 50-odd better games this season but no-one in red, on the pitch or in the stands, cared much. Divock Origi made it 2-0 in the closing stages and European Cup number six was in the bag.

As the final whistle sounded, Klopp sought out Mauricio Pochettino to shake hands and then joined his players and staff in engulfing the ecstatic Reds out on the pitch.

Following the game, as he soaked in the celebrations, Klopp was asked to reflect on Liverpool’s winning end to a memorable season. He admitted that it was not his side’s finest performance but “we won it and scored two goals and [in Alisson Becker we have] a sensational goalkeeper”.

Asked who he was thinking of right now, Klopp began, “to be honest”, before taking a deep breath. A wave of emotion washed over him and there were tears in his eyes.

“I’ve been to seven finals (before) and I’ve lost all of them. This is for them, my family.

“They are really my blood. They suffer more than I suffer when it doesn’t work. So it is for them.”

Off he went to collar every single squad member for a hug and to lift the trophy with his coaching team.

He tried to skive off before he was given the bumps but James Milner led the charge to chase him down and fling him into the night sky.