July 30 – It was more than two months ago but the painful wounds of defeat are still hurting Juergen Klopp.
As Liverpool continue their pre-season campaign after splashing the cash on a raft of new players, their German manager Klopp has finally opened up about the effect of Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos’ foul on Mohamed Salah in May’s Champions League final, accusing the Spanish defender of behaving like a wrestler.
Salah had a remarkable first season with Liverpool, scoring 44 goals in all competitions. But in the showpiece game of the season the Egyptian talisman went down under a challenge from Ramos inside the first half hour and suffered shoulder ligament damage which forced him off.
“We are opening that bottle again?” Klopp asked at a news conference ahead of Liverpool’s International Champions Cup game against Manchester United at the Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. “If you watch it back and you are not with Real Madrid then you think it is ruthless and brutal.”
Two blunders by Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius, who it later emerged had suffered concussion during the match, also contributed hugely to Real’s 3-1 win. Karius clashed with Ramos early in the second half and was seen holding the side of his head after the collision, which came before he made both mistakes.
Ramos later brushed off allegations that he had deliberately injured Salah, saying he was being unfairly painted as a pantomime villain.
But Klopp countered: “I’m not sure it is an experience we will have again – go there and put an elbow to the goalkeeper, put their goalscorer down like a wrestler in midfield and then you win the game. That was the story of the game.”
“Ramos said a lot of things afterwards that I didn’t like. As a person I didn’t like the reactions of him. If you put all of the situations of Ramos together then you will see a lot of situations with Ramos … It is like we, the world out there, accepts that you use each weapon to win the game. People probably expect that I am the same. I am not.”
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