The rebellious Jurgen Klopp promised Liverpool to return stronger next season and told fans to book hotels for next year’s Champions League final in Istanbul.
Liverpool have been stripped of their seventh European crown as Real Madrid recaptured the continent thanks to a blow from Vinicius Jr. in a Champions League demonstration marred by chaos outside the France stadium.
The start had to be postponed by 37 minutes due to significant security problems in front of the stadium in Paris, where Liverpool was eventually eliminated 1-0.
Klopp’s Reds failed to find an answer to the blow in the second half, as Carlo Ancelotti, who managed a record fifth final in the Champions League just a year after leaving Everton, watched the 14th triumph of the Spanish giants for the European Cup.
It was a heartbreaking end to a memorable season for Liverpool, which won the Carabao Cup and the FA Cup before being taken out of the Premier League title by Manchester City and losing in the French capital.
However, Klopp has full confidence in his team that he will come again next season.
“It’s not bad to get to the finals – it’s a kind of success, but not the success you want to have,” he said. BT sport.
“I have a strong feeling that we will come again. The boys are really competitive and an exceptional group – they will be again next season. And we are going again. Where is next season? Istanbul? Book the hotel!”
“The mood in the locker room makes us feel like it’s the wrong season at the moment – it’s going to take us a few minutes or hours,” he added.
“We played a good, not a perfect match. A perfect match would not be possible with the way the opponent tuned in with deep formation, counterattacks and long balls – it was complicated. As the rejected goal in the first half was a long ball, which we could not defend in the first place. We had many shots, but not the cleanest – only three forced (Thibaut) Courtois in the top saves.
“We conceded a goal by throwing. (Federico) Valverde wanted to shoot, Vinicius was there and that’s it.
“The boys tried everything, especially in the 1-0 loss, after which we played the way we wanted to play before. We had our midfielders too deep. They are threatened with counterattacks. We wanted to be braver in the second half. That’s what we said at halftime. We played around them. We had to play more in the squad than around them. “
Klopp’s team will return home on Sunday and parade around the city.
The club and the council decided to continue the parade after the Reds secured Carabao and FA Cup this season.
“And tomorrow we will celebrate the season,” said Klopp.
“It’s good that we don’t have to do this right away. But after a night’s sleep and maybe another conversation or speech from me, the boys will realize how special it was. Even if no one on this planet knew that we have a parade tomorrow, we will still do it and I really hope that everyone who has a chance to get to Liverpool is there tomorrow and will celebrate with us a fantastic season we had together. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but yes, those are the facts.
“But like I said, the club is in a good moment, we’ll go again.”
Analysis: The Liverpool cycle is far from over
Nick Wright of Sky Sports at the Stade de France:
Jurgen Klopp spoke candidly at his post-match press conference, revealing that his attempts to lift the spirits of his players had failed – “the boys need a little more time for that”, he said – and admitted that Liverpool’s performance was not less than their usual standards.
But his confidence that stronger ones will return is justified.
Liverpool’s starting line-up at the Stade de France included six players aged 30 or over, but the renewal process is under way. This can be seen in the signatures of Luis Diaz, Ibrahima Konate and Diogo Hota and there will be more.
Klopp’s conviction of their future was evident in his decision to sign a two-year contract extension last month, and although the season ended disappointingly, there is no sense of end to the cycle, as Mauricio Pochettino’s Tottenham felt when they were defeated by Klopp in Madrid in 2019
This does not mean that it will be easy to recover from the heartache of the last week, during which the glory of the Premier League and the Champions League slipped away.
“The two races we didn’t win, we didn’t win with the smallest possible margin – one point, one zero,” Klopp added. “The city was one point better this season, and tonight Madrid was one goal better.”
Fine margins make the feeling of deflation sharper, but Liverpool have shown great strength to recover before, responding to their last defeat in the Champions League final in Madrid, winning it the following year, then winning the Premier League title with 99 points after missing 97 years later.
Why not do it again? The 63rd game of the marathon season turned out to be a step too far for this group, but their character cannot be questioned, nor can the reasons for Klopp’s confidence in what lies ahead. Liverpool will return.
Robertson: Real know how to win the final
Andy Robertson gave an idea of Liverpool’s locker room after their defeat in Paris and said that Real Madrid’s experience in the Champions League finals shone in the end.
He said BT sport: “It’s obvious [the dressing room] is quiet, devastated – this happens when you reach the finals and do not win.
“We had a chance, tonight we faced an incredible goalkeeper, he made some incredible saves.
“But to be honest, I think we could have played a little better, especially in the second half. I thought we played well in the first half, we controlled, we were the ones who pressed. The second half, we did not start well, began to master the game a little more.
“When you face an experienced team, they know how to win finals. After lifting their noses in front, they showed that.”
Ancelotti: I am the record holder
Real Madrid boss Ancelotti described himself as the “record holder” and hailed his team’s victory as he became the first manager to win the Champions League for the fourth time.
“I can’t believe it. We had a fantastic season,” he said.
“We suffered a lot in the first half, but in the end we deserved to win this race.
“I am the record holder. I was lucky to come here last year and found, as usual, a fantastic club with a really good team with a lot of quality and mental character.
“The season was top.”