Jürgen Klopp has spoken for the first time about the concussion Loris Karius sustained in the Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid in May.
The goalkeeper returned to Melwood on Monday to begin pre-season training with Liverpool and is likely to figure in Saturday’s friendly encounter with Chester FC.
Asked whether he feels he has to do anything differently in terms of managing Karius ahead of 2018-19, Klopp told Liverpoolfc.com: “It’s all normal here. I don’t know exactly what people think or made of the situation. The only thing I can say is he had a concussion in the game.
“Whoever had a concussion knows there is not one way how it feels, there are different ways. He didn’t feel it obviously. He had a knock on his head and he felt that but he didn’t know he had a concussion. That’s how concussions are. The guy who has it is the last one to be aware of it probably.
“With all the intensity of the game, adrenaline and the disappointment after the game, nobody really thought about that. I needed a few days, to be honest, to accept the fact and deal with the situation [of losing the final]. It was not that easy.
“After four days I got a call from Franz Beckenbauer, our Bobby Moore, our biggest football player who is a good friend of mine. He called me and said he came from a doctor, he told me: ‘your goalkeeper had a concussion.’ I said, ‘what?’ because in the game, from my position that situation is not very good to see: ‘maybe there was contact or not.’ I told him immediately, ‘OK’. He said the doctor is the most famous doctor in Germany. I said: ‘OK, give me a few minutes, I have to fix a few things.’
“I got all the pictures from different perspectives, saw it and thought: ‘how can we all think that the boy who didn’t show any weakness in that game until then made these big mistakes in a very important game and nobody thinks it’s because of the knock he got?’ How can we think that? That was, for me, the explanation and I thought: ‘OK, come on, we need to check that.’
“I thought it was too late, you cannot check that. But now I know a concussion isn’t coming and going in a day – if you have one, you see it days later. Five days after the final, Loris had 26 of 30 markers for a concussion still. That’s clear.
“If you ask Loris, he says he didn’t think about it and didn’t use it for a second as an excuse. We don’t use it as an excuse, we use it as an explanation. That’s always important, that’s what analysis should be: you explain why things happen. So, from this point of view, from my side everything is fine. We don’t think about that anymore and we start completely new.”
Now back at Melwood and preparing for the season ahead, Klopp insists the Champions League final must be put behind Karius, with a ‘business as usual’ approach adopted by all parties.
The boss said: “That’s how it is. You make a mistake against Chester and it’s a mistake. If you make a mistake in a Champions League final, it’s a mistake you cannot change anymore, even if you want to – and we all want to.
“He was influenced by that knock, that is 100 per cent. What the rest of the world is making of it, I don’t care. It’s really not important what the people say. We do not use it as an excuse.
“Now people could think for us it is the explanation – and for me it is 100 per cent the explanation and that’s all.”