Wednesday 19 September 2018

Klopp says Karius concussion is explanation, not excuse, for high-profile errors

Keeper made mistakes in Champions League final loss.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, left, insists goalkeeper Loris Karius starts this season with a clean slate (Peter Byrne/PA)
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, left, insists goalkeeper Loris Karius starts this season with a clean slate (Peter Byrne/PA)

By Carl Markham, Press Association Sport

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists goalkeeper Loris Karius starts with a clean slate this season after putting his Champions League final errors down to the concussion he sustained.

The 25-year-old was at fault for two of Real Madrid’s goals in the Kiev defeat, rolling the ball straight to Karim Benzema’s foot before allowing Gareth Bale’s drive to slip through his hands.

No-one realised the German was suffering from a knock he took to the head from Sergio Ramos – something which Klopp was only alerted to by Franz Beckenbauer days after the final.

But as Karius prepares to make his first appearance since the final in a friendly at Chester on Saturday, Klopp stressed it was business as usual.

“It’s all normal here. I don’t know exactly what people think or made of the situation. The only thing I can say is he had a concussion in the game,” he told liverpoolfc.com.

“He didn’t feel it obviously. The guy who has it is the last one to be aware of it, probably.

“If you ask Loris, he says he didn’t think about it and didn’t use it for a second as an excuse.

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Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius was distraught after making two errors in the Champions League final, not knowing he was suffering from concussion (Nick Potts/PA).

“We don’t use it as an excuse, we use it as an explanation.

“So from my side everything is fine. We don’t think about that any more and we start completely new.

“He was influenced by that knock, that is 100 per cent. What the rest of the world is making of it, I don’t care.

“It’s really not important what the people say. We do not use it as an excuse.

“Now people could think for us it is the explanation – and for me it is 100 per cent the explanation and that’s all.”

The original collision with Ramos went virtually unnoticed and Karius’ concussion was not discovered until five days later, when the player went for assessments while on holiday in the United States.

It was a call from Beckenbauer, however, which alerted Klopp.

“He called me and said he came from a doctor, he told me: ‘Your goalkeeper had a concussion’. I said ‘What?’,” he added.

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Karius allowed Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale’s long-range drive to slip through his grasp in the Champions League final (Peter Byrne/PA).

“I got all the pictures from different perspectives, saw it and thought: ‘How can we all think that the boy who didn’t show any weakness in that game until then made these big mistakes in a very important game and nobody thinks it’s because of the knock he got?’

“That was, for me, the explanation. I thought it was too late, you cannot check that but now I know a concussion isn’t coming and going in a day – if you have one, you see it days later.

“Five days after the final, Loris had 26 of 30 markers for a concussion still.”

Peter McCabe, chief executive of brain injury association Headway, said Klopp’s words were a wake-up call for players.

“We recognise that it can be very difficult for medical teams to diagnose a concussion on the pitch,”he said.

“Therefore, players must act responsibly by being open and honest about any symptoms they may be feeling, such as dizziness or blurred vision.

“In addition to the obvious short and long-term health risks to the player, staying on the pitch following a suspected concussion can impact performance.

“This incident, which is by no means an isolated one or indeed confined to football, must result in lessons being learned.”

Press Association

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