Tuesday 28 January 2020

Jurgen Klopp: Loris Karius' Champions League errors due to concussion

Loris Karius reportedly suffered concussion after a clash with Sergio Ramos (Nick Potts/PA)
Loris Karius reportedly suffered concussion after a clash with Sergio Ramos (Nick Potts/PA)

Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp says Loris Karius’ calamitous Champions League performance was due to the concussion he suffered in the moments before his game-changing errors.

Karius was involved in a collision with Sergio Ramos just before gifting Karim Benzema the opening goal in the final in Kiev in May.

He later mishandled a straightforward shot from Gareth Bale as Liverpool’s European hopes were dashed in a 3-1 defeat.

A week later, Karius was diagnosed as having suffered concussion in the game and was examined in the USA.

“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,” said Klopp.

“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.

“Whoever had a concussion knows there is not one way how it feels, there are different ways. He didn’t feel it obviously. He had a knock on his head and he felt that but he didn’t know he had a concussion. That’s how concussions are. The guy who has it is the last one to be aware of it probably.

“With all the intensity of the game, adrenaline and the disappointment after the game, nobody really thought about that. I needed a few days, to be honest, to accept the fact and deal with the situation (of losing the final). It was not that easy.

“After four days I got a call from Franz Beckenbauer, our Bobby Moore, our biggest football player who is a good friend of mine. He called me and said he came from a doctor, he told me, ‘Your goalkeeper had a concussion’. I said, ‘what?’ because in the game, from my position that situation is not very good to see. Maybe there was contact or not. I told him immediately, ‘OK’. He said the doctor is the most famous doctor in Germany. I said, ‘OK, give me a few minutes, I have to fix a few things’.

“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?’ How can we think that? That was, for me, the explanation and I thought, ‘OK, come on, we need to check that.’

“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. That’s clear.”

Speaking to Liverpool’s website, Klopp said Karius did not try to use the Ramos challenge to explain his performance.

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

“We don’t use it as an excuse, we use it as an explanation. That’s always important, that’s what analysis should be: you explain why things happen. So, from this point of view, from my side everything is fine. We don’t think about that anymore and we start completely new.”

Karius will make his first appearance since the final as Liverpool begin their pre-season schedule at Chester on Saturday. Liverpool have tried to buy a new goalkeeper this summer but have so far found Roma’s Brazil number one, Alisson, too expensive.

Until such time Liverpool buy another keeper, Karius will be competing with Danny Ward for the number one jersey with Simon Mignolet expected to seek a transfer.

“If you make a mistake in a Champions League final, it’s a mistake you cannot change anymore, even if you want to – and we all want to,” said Klopp.

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