‘Calamity’ Karius to keep away from Liverpool’s Champions League final against Tottenham in Madrid
- Liverpool keeper Loris Karius will not attend Champions League final in Madrid
- Karius is on loan at Besikstas but feels his presence at game may be a distraction
- The German made two mistakes in Liverpool’s 2018 final defeat by Real Madrid
Liverpool outcast Loris Karius has turned down the chance to attend Saturday’s Champions League final against Tottenham for fear he could become a distraction.
The goalkeeper, who is now halfway through a two-year loan at Besiktas, made two key errors in last year’s Champions League final defeat by Real Madrid on his last appearance for Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp’s side made clear to all their players who are out on loan that Champions League final tickets would be made available if they wished to attend the match, although they would need to travel separately to Liverpool’s squad.
Loris Karius will not attend Liverpool’s Champions League final against Tottenham
But Karius, 25, will instead be on holiday, having come to the view that his presence had the potential to divert attention ahead of a major night for Liverpool.
He is not expected to attend and the club and coaching staff are supportive of the decision.
One year ago in the final in Kiev, Karius first gifted a goal to Karim Benzema and then dropped Gareth Bale’s shot over the line in a 3-1 defeat for Liverpool to earn the nickname ‘Calamity’.
The Anfield club offered Karius sustained support following the final. The German was sent for tests at a hospital in Boston in the United States and Dr Ross Zafonte declared Karius had suffered a concussion and it was ‘possible’ the injury ‘would affect the performance.’ The doctor said Karius suffered ‘visual spatial dysfunction’, hindering an individual’s capacity to process visual information.
The German made an early error against Real Madrid in the 2018 final to concede a goal
Karius then could only parry Gareth Bale’s long-range effort into his own net to seal defeat
Karius did start pre-season with Liverpool but soon fell down Jurgen Klopp’s pecking order when the German signed Alisson Becker from Roma. Karius subsequently joined Besiktas on a two-year loan deal but has endured a fractious time in Istanbul. He had a testing relationship with members of the Besiktas coaching staff and also reportedly complained to FIFA when the Turkish club failed to pay his wages on time.
As his parent club, Liverpool would have been liable to cover Karius’ salary. The pay cheque swiftly followed and the goalkeeper’s form picked up.
Yet Karius’ partner, model Sophia Thomalla, has had the word ‘LOSER’ spray painted onto her car after the goalkeeper suggested he was keen to stay at Besiktas next season. Thomalla posted an image of the vandalism on Instagram with the caption ‘Na Klasse’, which translates as ‘no class’.
It later emerged that Karius may have been suffering from concussion following a head clash
Liverpool’s loan pathways manager, Julian Ward, has visited Istanbul on several occasions and become something approaching a personal advice counsellor for Karius.
The club’s sporting director Michael Edwards has also made a personal visit to the Turkish capital to check in on Karius’ well-being, while Liverpool’s goalkeeping coach John Achterberg regularly exchanges text messages with the German.
Klopp, meanwhile, maintains a good working relationship with Karius, despite the player initially feeling disappointed that he was not informed of the club’s intention to recruit Alisson.
The bond between manager and player recovered after an extended private chat but on Saturday evening, as his former team-mates pursue Champions League redemption in Madrid, Karius will watch on from afar.