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‘Istanbul? Book your hotel’: Defiant Jurgen Klopp vows his ‘outstanding group’ of Liverpool players will bounce back from Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid by winning it next year… as Andy Robertson admits the players are ‘devastated’
- Jurgen Klopp said to ‘book the hotel’ for next season’s Champions League final
- Liverpool were beaten 1-0 by Real Madrid in the final held at the Parc de Princes
- The Reds boss said he has a ‘strong feeling’ that his team will return to the final
- German coach is confident he ‘will have an outstanding group again next year’
Jurgen Klopp did his best to lift Liverpool’s shattered players by setting them the target of winning the Champions League in Istanbul in 2023.
Liverpool, once again, came up short in a final against Real Madrid and there was reason to believe this 1-0 defeat hurt them more than the 3-1 scoreline that was inflicted in Kyiv four years ago. There was so much confidence in Klopp’s team but they found Real supremely well drilled.
When Klopp returned home from Kyiv, he had a thought that Liverpool would put things right the following year in Madrid and that is exactly what they did, when beating Tottenham 2-0 in June 2019 and the manager wants history to repeat itself.
Jurgen Klopp boldly claimed that his Liverpool side will make it to next year’s final
‘It’s not bad to get to the final, it’s already kind of a success,’ said Klopp. ‘I have a strong feeling we come again. That’s how it is, because the boys are really competitive. We will have an outstanding group again next year. Where’s the final next year? Istanbul? Book your hotel.’
Liverpool’s players need this summer break, from a physical point of view, after playing 63 games but they also need it to clear their minds after seeing the Champions League ripped from their grasp a week after missing out on the Premier League to Manchester City by a point.
The squad looked hollow as they trudged out of the Stade de France and Klopp did not try to hide the fact the sense of ‘what if’ was lingering; Virgil van Dijk, for instance, took an age to pick himself up off the floor at the final whistle, such was his disappointment.
‘The dressing room, nobody feels a great season at the moment,’ said Klopp. ‘It was almost impossible. We played a good game, not a perfect game. The opponent set up with a deep formation, it was tricky.
‘The situation became dangerous. Courtois made top saves. We conceded a goal after a throw in.’
Thibaut Courtois put in a historic performance to keep Liverpool from scoring in the final
Klopp added about the strike that Vinicius Junior plundered on the hour: ‘It’s a goal we don’t like. The boys tried absolutely everything. Especially after we went 1-0 down we played like we wanted to before. The threat they are with the counter attacks is completely normal.
‘We wanted to feel more brave in the second half. We played around them.’
Left-back Andy Robertson spoke for the players when he said: ‘We are devastated – that’s what happens when you come to finals and don’t win. We had chances, we came up against an unbelievable goalie tonight, he pulled off some unbelievable saves.
‘But if we’re being honest as well, I think we could have played a bit better, especially second half. I thought first half we played well, we were in control, we were the ones kind of pushing. Second half, we didn’t start great, they started getting a hold of the game a bit more.
‘When you come up against an experienced team, they know how to win finals. Once they got their noses in front, they showed that.’
Real Madrid won their 14th Champions League title after Vinicius Jr scored the winning goal