Why Ibrahima Konate is left 'speechless' ahead of UCL final

InterviewWhy Ibrahima Konate is left 'speechless' ahead of UCL final

Published 26th May 2022

Ibrahima Konate has struggled to process the dream occasion that will conclude his special debut season at Liverpool.

The centre-half's first campaign as a Red ends with a Champions League final against 13-time winners Real Madrid in Paris' Stade de France.

It's a fitting venue for the 23-year-old, located in the city where he was born, before his pursuit to become a professional footballer took him to Sochaux in Montbeliard and then RB Leipzig. 

"It's unimaginable," he told UEFA about the May 28 showpiece. "If you'd asked me what I wanted, I don't think I could've dreamt of anything better.

"That said, we know that we'll be playing against a very good Real Madrid team, so we'll need to prepare well.

"Certainly, when you talk about the Champions League [final] being in my city, I'm honestly speechless, and I don't think I could've dreamt of anything better."

Inspired with Konate: From Paris to Anfield

While Konate had high hopes when making the switch to Anfield from the Bundesliga last summer, he couldn't have envisaged such a successful start on a personal and collective level. 

The Frenchman has appeared 28 times and already bagged Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup winner's medals. 

"I think it has gone a lot better than expected," the No.5 said. 

"I knew when I arrived here that expectations were very high at the club, a lot is asked of you, but what we're achieving now is unique, I don't know if anything similar has already been achieved in the history of the club.

"Now we have to keep working and aim even higher in order to be even more successful."

On what he expected from this season, he continued: "Not specifically [getting used to] English football, but more to the club, to the way the team plays, to the coach's tactics and style of play. 

"I wanted to adapt to those things during my first season; then, my personal objective was to win a trophy."

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Konate has certainly played his part in securing Liverpool's spot in the French capital. 

He's made seven outings in the Champions League this season and netted the opening goals in both legs of the quarter-final tie with Benfica. 

"Scoring your first Champions League goal is something incredible," Konate finished. "You don't realise what's happening right away. 

"Then, I scored my second goal in the return leg! I thought I was in a dream, but what is really tough is that you don't even have the time to really enjoy it; you have another important game the following weekend, two or three days later.

"So, I think I am going to reflect on all those moments at the end of the season, hopefully with a few trophies in the bag."

Published 26th May 2022