Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum has revealed that manager Jurgen Klopp addressed the team wearing a Cristiano Ronaldo-branded boxer just before the 2018 Champions League final in Kyiv. Liverpool lost 3-1 to Real Madrid in the CL final before eventually winning the trophy in the very next season. The Reds beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the 2018-19 final to overcome their heart-break to Madrid in the same stage. Dutch midfielder Wijnaldum stated that Klopp’s appearance helped ease the pressure in the dressing room ahead of the big finale. Roberto Pereyra Dances to Shah Rukh Khan’s Baazigar O Baazigar! Argentine Footballer's Video Impresses Indian Fans (Watch Video).
“We saw he was wearing the boxer shorts of Cristiano Ronaldo,” Wijnaldum told The Athletic. “He did the meeting with his shirt stuffed inside his ‘CR7’ boxers. The whole changing room was on the floor laughing their heads off. That really broke the ice. Usually, in those situations, everyone is serious and concentrated. But he was relaxed and made this joke,” said the 28-year-old, who scored a brace in Liverpool’s sensational comeback victory over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals last season. Lionel Messi Annoyed With Barcelona For Signing Antoine Griezmann Over Neymar: Reports.
“If you see that your manager is really confident and relaxed, it will have an effect on players. He is a father figure in those things for the players. With his jokes and his body language, he takes the pressure off players,” Wijaldum added. “He’s done hundreds of jokes likes that.” Klopp’s actions, however, couldn’t help Liverpool in clinching the trophy that season with the Reds suffering a heavy defeat after star player Mohamed Salah had to be forced off with a shoulder injury. The Egyptian went-off following a collision with Real captain Sergio Ramos in the first half.
Liverpool, however, has enjoyed a stellar campaign since then. The Reds under Klopp finished only second to Manchester City in the English Premier League last season losing the domestic title by a single point. Liverpool finished the 2018-19 EPL season on 97 points just one fewer than what title-winners Man City achieved.
They have started the 2019-20 EPL season with a thrashing 3-1 victory over the newly promoted Norwich City and also beat Chelsea in penalties to win the 2019 Super Cup.