Life under Jürgen Klopp has been a wild ride. While most of it has been uphill, there have also been a fair share of disappointments along the way, particularly in the beginning.
This Champions League battle against Real Madrid will be their second European final meeting in five years. The first ended in heartbreak in Kyiv for the Reds. In Paris, they’re hoping for a different outcome.
As the game approaches this weekend, Klopp discussed the past cup finals he experienced with the club — both the good and the bad — with his characteristic self-deprecating humor.
“Oh, we did it the Liverpool way, which is the hard way. So, we lost [some] big finals, obviously,” he said.
“In the first year [of his time in charge], Europa League final and the Carabao Cup final. All of these experiences are important in life. They are. But they are not nice [in] any way. So then, we came back and we had to learn [how to win]. We had to learn [how to] be at our top level of focus and concentration in a game like this.
“To do all the things you do over the years, to use it in such a high, prolific game – and that’s the plan. So yeah, I think if we are not entering a world-class team already but you want to get there then you’re going to have to learn [how].”
A Champions League victory over Tottenham Hotspur in 2019, as well as this season’s domestic cup double over Chelsea, proves that they have learned how to win. Saturday’s test will be their biggest challenge yet. A win in France will make it lucky number seven for the Reds and confirm this season as one of their best ever, despite failing to win the league.