A furious Jurgen Klopp walked out of his post-match interview after the Liverpool boss claimed he was being treated ‘like an idiot’ by a ‘not nice’ Spanish journalist, who accused him of being ‘very angry’ about Diego Simeone refusing to shake his hand on Tuesday.
Simeone snubbed Klopp’s offer of a handshake at the full-time whistle by running straight down the tunnel after seeing his Atletico Madrid side fall to a 3-2 defeat in a dramatic Champions League contest.
Klopp did not seem impressed, holding out his hand and then giving a sarcastic thumbs-up when Simeone ran down the tunnel before shaking the hands of the Argentine’s players and backroom staff.
However, while conducting his post-match media duties, one reporter managed to get under the skin of the Liverpool boss by implying that he was ‘very angry’ with Simeone’s snub.
Klopp took offense to this, insisting that he wasn’t angry at all and that the interviewer was trying to ‘make a story of that’ before storming off and refusing to take any further questions.
Jurgen Klopp reacted furiously to suggestions that he was angry with Simeone’s actions
Diego Simeone refused to shake Klopp’s hand after Atletico Madrid’s 3-2 defeat
The Atletico manager quickly hurried down the tunnel after the final whistle against Liverpool
The German said: ‘Why was I angry? I am not such an idiot that you can [ask a] little bit question here. I was not angry at all.
‘Have a look. I can imagine you want to make a story out of that, but I wanted to shake his hand, he [Simeone] doesn’t want it.
‘In that moment I can understand that, he was running inside. He’s emotional, I’m emotional, and you are not a nice person because you want to make a story out of that.
‘You said I’m angry, when was I angry? Now I am angry because of your question, come on.’
When the interviewer said he was serious, Klopp said ‘yeah yeah’ before walking away from the interview.
Having refused to shake Klopp’s hand after the action-packed game, Simeone looked to play down the incident by claiming the gesture ‘isn’t healthy for the winner or the loser’.
‘I don’t always greet (the other manager) after the game because I don’t like it,’ Simeone told reporters when asked about the incident at his post-match press conference.
‘It’s not healthy for either the winner or the loser. I think of it that way.
‘But now, when I see him, I’ll greet him without a problem.’
It also comes after Klopp told the media on Monday that he was not a fan of the Spanish club’s style of football.
BT pundits Peter Crouch and Joleon Lescott hit out at Simeone after the game for his refusal to shake the Liverpool manager’s hand.
It was a good night for Liverpool who took their third win in three Champions League games
Former Liverpool player Crouch said: ‘I respect him so much as a manager Simeone but I just think during the game, winding the crowd up, winding the players up, I understand it, but then not shaking hands at the end he lets himself down.’
Lescott described Simeone as ‘petty’ for his refusal to shake hands.
The ex-Manchester City defender said: ‘I think it’s petty. He handled himself well yesterday in regards to the remarks Jurgen Klopp made before the game but he didn’t seem phased by it.
‘But then not to shake his hand and then run off up the tunnel was a bit cowardly in my opinion.’
Tuesday’s game was the second clash in a row between the two sides which has turned out to be a dramatic affair.
After their previous meeting in which Atletico knocked out then holders Liverpool in the last 16 of the Champions League in 2020, Klopp questioned why the Spanish side had not played ‘proper football’.
Antoine Griezmann scored a brace to pull Atletico level but was then sent off for a high boot
Klopp has since explained his comments were based on emotion at the time, with the match Liverpool’s last prior to the coronavirus pandemic causing a suspension to the football calendar.
The German did add though that he respected Simeone, but wasn’t a fan of Atletico’s style of play.
When questioned on Monday about Atletico’s style, he responded: ‘Do I like it? Not too much but I like a different style of football.
‘I don’t have to like it it just has to be successful but in very difficult times for football clubs, they have done an impressive job with signings, have a proper team and look for me like the champions again in LaLiga.’
Klopp’s comments on Monday came after Simeone’s press conference that day in which he refused to comment about what Klopp said back in 2020.
Atletico then gave away a penalty and had one of their own overturned in a bad night for Simeone’s side
Joleon Lescott (left) said Simeone was ‘petty’ and ‘cowardly’ while Peter Crouch (right) said the manager ‘let himself down’
Simeone’s refusal to shake Klopp’s hands raises suspicions about whether the German’s comments back in 2020, as well as on Atletico’s style on Monday, played a part in his mind which led to his decision to ignore the Liverpool boss.
Klopp himself has played down the incident during his post-match conference, comparing it to his reaction after Liverpool’s Champions League exit to Atletico in the 2019-20 season.
He said: ‘The situation is clear I wanted to shake his hand, he didn’t want to.
‘His reaction was for sure not right, mine (waving down the tunnel) was not too cool also, but we are both emotional, so when I see him next time we will shake hands definitely.
‘He was obviously angry, not with me, but with the game, it’s nothing else.’
The drama far exceeded early expectation, as Liverpool took a 2-0 lead through goals by Mo Salah and Naby Keita and looked like they would take a comfortable victory.
Klopp played down Simeone refusal to shake his hand during his post-match conference
Atletico then kicked up a gear with Griezmann bagging a first-half brace to level the score, before he was then sent off after 52 minutes for a high boot on Roberto Firmino.
Atletico held out until Mario Hermoso gave away a clumsy penalty for a challenge on Diogo Jota, which led to Salah bagging his second goal to give Liverpool a 3-2 lead.
Jota then appeared to give away a penalty after a challenge on Jose Maria Gimenez only for VAR to overturn the decision – the third decision of the night to against Atletico.
Liverpool now sit top of the group with nine points, and a win against Atletico at Anfield in two week’s time would be enough to see them qualify.
The Spanish giants sit second in the group level on four points with FC Porto who took a 1-0 victory over AC Milan.