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A Tactical Breakdown of Jürgen Klopp’s Champions League Final Celebrations

And by “celebrations,” I mostly mean drinking.

Liverpool Parade To Celebrate Winning UEFA Champions League
Kloppo, well and truly blattered.
Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images

I would say that there will come a time when I no longer want to write about Liverpool winning #6 in Madrid. But we still bang on about Istanbul, Rome, Paris, Wembley, and Rome again. So. It might take a while.

Regardless when or even if such a time will ever come, that time is certainly not now. The game itself might go down as one of the most boring finals in recent times (sorry not sorry), and the tactics and preparation have already been discussed at length.

But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. Rather, I’m here to discuss one of the great let-offs in recent footballing history—not the celebration from Liverpool supporters the world over after Divock Origi’s game-clinching goal, but Jürgen Klopp’s 24-hours of intoxication—starting nearly immediately after the final whistle, and culminating in the 4-hour victory parade.

Kloppo’s single-mindedness, focus, and long-term planning are all reasons why he’s a great manager; and they are all reasons why he was able to turn a mid-table Liverpool side into the Champions of Europe. This focus and commitment was fully on display somewhere in the bowels of the Wanda Metropolitano stadium when Klopp asked the most important question of the next 24-hours, “Where are the drinks?”

The greatest leaders lead by example, and Klopp was not going to pass up this opportunity. Modern footballers aren’t generally the type to cut loose, with many choosing to abstain from alcohol altogether (if they aren’t already abstaining for religious or personal reasons). The German manager had to show them the way, and he did.

It wasn’t long before Kloppo produced his first gem of the night. If it wasn’t alcohol-inspired, it was inarguably inspired by his party mood:

This was just a taste of what was to come.

It’s usual for many managers to be at or near the front of the open-top bus for most victory parades. Kloppo isn’t most managers. He left captain Jordan Henderson to lead the way up front, hoisting Ol’ Big Ears about 10,000 times for the crowd, while Virgil van Dijk took over interviewing duties for LFCTV.

Loving adulation is great and all, but not as great as getting absolutely blattered at the back of the bus. He was going to enjoy this parade. And enjoy it he did, perched on the rear corner, one leg stretched over each side, pounding Carlsberg after Carlsberg.

Having watched the parade, it’s hard to say when Kloppo was “peak drunk.” If I had to make an educated guess, I’d say he was on the sauce all night and all morning, because he seemed quite drunk from the off.

It was pretty early in the parade when Klopp was showcasing his extreme commitment to partying hard. Nothing is more distracting or annoying to a drunk person than a young, sober person in your midst. If anything, young Rhian Brewster had this coming:

Of course, motor skills are hard to come by when intoxicated. Thankfully Klopp wasn’t going anywhere. The only thing that was going to move him from his glorious perch was perhaps a quick run to the toilet (we will not speculate further whether or not Klopp actually moved at all), or perhaps a heavy touch on the breaks.

An underrated moment? Klopp clenching his fists, pretending he was going to fight the cameraman. We know you’re a lover, not a fighter, Kloppo. Have another.

Thankfully, Klopp never got so drunk as to fall off the bus. Nor so drunk that he couldn’t at least count to six.

And even in this state, Klopp is showing us all how to properly display our six European Cups: five on one hand, the thumb on the other. It is the German way, of course, but our German manager has deemed it so.

The win and the ensuing party were ones for the ages. And Klopp showed us all how to work hard and party harder. Up the six-time European Champions Reds.

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