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Thiago, Mane future & new pitch – 4 key things from Klopp’s pre-Real Madrid press conference

Jurgen Klopp was talking all things Thiago, Sadio Mane and the new pitch that has been laid just days ahead of Liverpool’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Here are four key points from Klopp as he looks ahead to Saturday’s final:

 

Good news on Thiago!

VILLARREAL, SPAIN - Tuesday, May 3, 2022: Liverpool's Thiago Alcântara celebrates after his side's first goal to make the score 2-1 (2-3 on aggregate) during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 2nd Leg game between Villarreal CF and Liverpool FC at the Estadio de la Cerámica. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Every Red has been sweating over Thiago‘s fitness, will he or will he not be ready for Saturday?

Well, the answer is a welcome yes, he will be ready.

The manager told one reporter that the Spaniard is ‘100 percent available’, having trained on Thursday and expected to do the same on Friday at the Stade de France.

Fabinho also “looks good” for his return after a hamstring injury, with no issues arising following his comeback. The news we all wanted to hear!

 

A new pitch to contend with

PARIS, FRANCE - May 27: A general view of the Stade de France before a Liverpool FC training session before the UEFA Champions League Final 2021/22 between Liverpool FC and Real Madrid CF on May 28, 2022 at the Stade de France in Paris, France. (Photo by UEFA)

A new pitch has been laid this week in preparation for the final and it’s drawn plenty of attention, but Klopp was diplomatic about it with both teams playing in the same conditions.

“Usually when you say the pitch looks new that’s good news, but this pitch was new since yesterday.

“That’s not the best news, but for both teams. I have no idea how it will be, but we will do a completely normal [training session on Friday].

“I saw the refs and the good news is the ball dropped normal, that’s helpful. You can see the lines where they put the different pieces of the pitch in, not what we are used to.

“Someone thought it was a good idea to bring the pitch the day before, that’s an interesting idea.”

 

Those Mane rumours…

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - Tuesday, May 10, 2022: Liverpool's Sadio Mané celebrates after scoring the second goal during the FA Premier League match between Aston Villa FC and Liverpool FC at Villa Park. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Talk surrounding Sadio Mane‘s future continues to grow, with Bayern Munich links not going away amidst Liverpool’s preparations for the final.

It was brought to Klopp and he was quick to say he has “no concerns,” nor is it new territory with Bayern Munich rumours existing alongside a huge game for him and his team.

“The Bayern Munich rumours I couldn’t care less [about] in the moment, we are all fully focused on this game and Sadio is completely focused on this game,” Klopp said.

“He knows exactly how important it is to him, to us and so no concerns, completely normal.

“It’s not the first time in my career that before decisive games in my career Bayern Munich rumours come up, I don’t know exactly what I did for that to happen.

His final line is what will catch the attention of many, however, saying: “Wherever Sadio will play next season, he will be a big player, definitely!”

So, what can we read into that?

 

‘For all the people of Ukraine’

The manager closed his press conference on a poignant note, with Ukraine rightly brought to the fore and the final being in Paris as a result, rather than St Petersburg.

“Until you asked me now I was only concerned about the game, to be 100 percent honest,” Klopp said.

“I’m happy that the game is here, for thousands of reasons. The war is still going on, you’re right and we have to think about that.

“That the game still happens and it’s not in St Petersburg is exactly the message Russia should get.

“Life goes on even when you try to destroy it. We play this final is for all the people of Ukraine.

“I’m sure there are some that can watch it, we do it for you.”

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