The biggest game of his life ended badly enough for blundering Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius as it was.
His shocking errors led to two of Real Madrid’s goals in their 3-1 Champions League final win on Saturday night, and the German goalkeeper made a tearful apology to supporters inside the stadium in Kiev.
But in the hours after the match, the £25,000-a-week goalkeeper had to contend with hundreds of hate-filled messages on social media, including death threats and Nazi taunts.
Loris Karius’s shocking errors led to two of Real Madrid’s goals in their 3-1 Champions League final win on Saturday night, and the German goalkeeper made a tearful apology to supporters inside the stadium in Kiev
The Liverpool goalkeeper took to Twitter to apologise to fans for his two howlers that cost them chance of victory
The abuse became so bad that Merseyside Police confirmed they had launched an investigation.
The heavily tattooed Karius – who was seen in the departure lounge at Manchester Airport last night – gifted Real Madrid the lead when his weak underarm throw rebounded into the net off Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
He later dropped a long-range shot by Madrid’s Welsh winger Gareth Bale into his own net.
Karius, 24, posted a grovelling apology on Twitter yesterday, writing: ‘Haven’t really slept until now… the scenes are still running through my head again and again.
In disgrace: Loris Karius covers his face as he disembarks at John Lennon Airport in Liverpool
‘I’m infinitely sorry to my teammates, for you fans, and for all the staff. I know that I messed it up with the two mistakes and let you all down. As I said, I’d just like to turn back the time but that’s not possible.’
Last night, a police spokesman said: ‘We can confirm officers are aware of a number of comments and threats made towards football players via social media.
‘The force takes social media posts of this nature extremely seriously and any offences identified will be investigated.
‘Merseyside Police would like to remind social media users that any offences including malicious communications and threatening behaviour will be investigated.’
Within minutes of the game finishing, there was banter on social media from rival fans, referring to the German as ‘Real’s 12th man’.
Former Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson, a Chelsea fan, tweeted: ‘Oh dear. I think the Liverpool goalkeeper should spend less time at the hairdressers and more time practising goalkeeping.’ But the sarcasm quickly morphed into vile abuse.
One man wrote: ‘Karius, go top yourself, Nazi pony-tailed Instagram model ****.’
Karius, pictured, apologised to Liverpool fans who travelled to Kiev after his two errors cost the team the game
There were also threats to harm Karius’s girlfriend – although it is unclear if he is dating anyone. He has recently been linked with a string of women, including lingerie model Ianthe Rose, who has appeared on reality TV show Made in Chelsea. Miss Rose’s family, who live in a £1million house in Twickenham, south-west London, declined to comment.
Karius has also been linked with blonde American model Daniella Grace, an ex-flame of Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
In contrast to the abuse he received, many Liverpool fans praised Karius – who was initially comforted by Real Madrid players rather than his own teammates – for staying on the pitch after the match ended and apologising to supporters for his mistakes.
Karius pulled his jersey over his head and lay on the ground as he contemplated his role in Liverpool’s defeat in Kiev
And he also received support from an unlikely source, former Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall, who said: ‘I feel sorry for Karius but it’s how you bounce back. I have been there.
‘It’s a dark place to be… I hope he comes through it. Stay strong. Believe in yourself.’
German goalkeeping legend Oliver Kahn – who was Karius’s inspiration as a youngster – revealed he fears for the Liverpool man’s career.
He said: ‘I’m lost for words. I can’t remember having experienced something more brutal from a goalkeeping point of view than in this final. An evening like this can destroy a career.’
Taking to Twitter this afternoon, Karius addressed his fans and teammates, apologising once again
Karius lay on the ground after misjudging Gareth Bale’s second goal of the night weakly palming the ball into his own net
‘Haven’t really slept until now,’ he wrote. ‘The scenes are still running through my head again and again.’
‘I’m infinitely sorry to my teammates, for you fans, and for all the staff. I know that I messed it up with the two mistakes and let you all down.
‘As I said I’d just like to turn back the time but that’s not possible. It’s even worse as we all felt that we could have beaten Real Madrid and we were in the game for a long time.
‘Thank you to our unbelievable fans who came to Kiev and held my back, even after the game. I don’t take that for granted and once again it showed me what a big family we are. Thank you and we will come back stronger.’
The goalkeeper admitted he felt his errors cost his team the game but, despite his heartfelt apology, fans took to Twitter to attack the German 24-year-old.
This girl gathers her thoughts outside the stadium in Kiev having witnessed Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid
‘My Liverpool boys fought hard and I’m proud of them. Except for Karius, he can die in a hole,’ wrote one Liverpool fan.
‘Hope Karius f*****g dies,’ said another appalling comment.
Some tweets called the German keeper a Nazi, while others directed vile threats towards his family.
One sickening football fan threatened: ‘Get out of our club or die.’
After the final whistle blew Karius had made his way over to the stands where he apologised to fans who had made the 1,500-mile journey to Kiev – only to see their team lose.
Karius received a torrent of abuse and ridicule overnight
‘If I could go back in time, I would. I feel sorry for my team. I know I let them down,’ he said in the wake of the match.
‘It’s very hard right now but that’s the life of a goalkeeper. These goals cost us the title, basically.’
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp insists Karius will deal with his calamitous night.
‘I have only had very few words [with Karius] after the game but there’s nothing to talk about in the moment,’ he said.
‘It’s really hard for him. Nobody wants that. The mistakes were obvious. We don’t have to talk about them. He knows it, I know it, you all know it.
‘Now he has to deal with it, we have to deal with it. We will be with him, no doubt about that.’
‘I’m sorry for everyone – from the team, from the whole club – that the mistakes cost dearly.’
But the torrent of abuse continued this morning with Liverpool fans throwing intimidation and abuse at the goalkeeper and his family.
‘Shame on you’: Social media users slammed Liverpool fans overnight after they directed a torrent of abuse at the team’s keeper
However, among the threats were voices speaking out in defence of the 24-year-old.
Liverpool fans were slammed for the continued torrent of abuse.
One social media user leaped to his defence, tweeting: ‘Karius made two horrendous errors which he’ll never forget.
‘But all these people tweeting him that they hope he dies, or kills himself or that his sons get cancer. You should take a real good look at yourselves.
Liverpool fans gathered inside Anfield but their dreams of victory were dashed by two goalkeeping howlers
‘This world is really full of totally f****d up horrible tossers.’
Another added: ‘The people who are tweeting Loris Karius saying they hope he dies are not Liverpool fans; they are disgusting human beings.’
Social media users also commended the Real Madrid players for comforting Karius in the wake of the match.
As the final whistle blew, viewers at home noticed that it was players from the opposing team who were the first to go over and console Karius.
Devastated: Dejected Liverpool fans slept on floors and benches at Kiev’s Boryspil International Airport as they waited for the flight home after seeing their team lose
A Liverpool fan weeps by himself outside the stadium following his team’s 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid last night
Social media users blasted the Liverpool keeper’s fellow stars for not also rushing over to their teammate.
One wrote: ‘Not a single Liverpool team-mate is consoling Karius, only the Real Madrid players. So much for ‘you’ll never walk alone’.
Another added: ‘Karius has to be picked up by Real Madrid players. No Liverpool team-mates in sight. Poor sod.’
Others described Liverpool’s post-match behaviour as ‘utterly classless’, with one noting: ‘Real Madrid players go over to console Karius. Not one Liverpool player comes near him.’
A Liverpool fan gazes around at empty seats in the Olympic Stadium in Kiev after the UEFA Champions League Final
Liverpool FC’s fans displayed an outpouring of grief in the fan zone in Kiev
Another use took to Twitter to say: ‘Poor Karius. Leaving him there crying into the turf. Real Madrid players coming to support but NOBODY from his own team. This is the worst moment of his life.’
And Karius will have to live with his mistakes ‘for the rest of his life’, according to former Liverpool goalkeeper Ray Clemence.
It’s just as well the German superstar has a Made in Chelsea girlfriend to come home to.
The keeper is believed to be dating lingerie model Iante Rose, who appeared in series four of Made In Chelsea and Olly Murs’s music video for Wrapped Up.
Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius has fueled rumours of a romance with Ianthe Rose after multiple appearances together
They were first spotted together in Cheshire after he returned from Liverpool’s warm weather training camp in Marbella
Rose studied at Esher College and went on to the Chelsea College of Art
The 26-year-old is best known for her work as a lingerie model
Rose is a former partner of Calum Best, son of Manchester United hero George
The pair have snapped together on multiple occasions.
Rose has previously dated Calum Best, the son of Manchester United legend George Best, for ten months.
Karius, signed for Liverpool from German side Mainz 05 in 2016 for £4.7m.
He had been capped at international level for Germany at youth levels up to the Under-21 side.
However, he had never played for a senior side until he arrived at Liverpool. He was installed by boss Jurgen Klopp ahead of Simon Mignolet earlier this season.
Former players including Rio Ferdinand and Gary Lineker were among those to comment on Karius’ ridiculous mistake.
Distraught Liverpool fans begin to arrive home at John Lennon Airport
Disappointment: More than 30,000 Liverpool fans began the long journey home after a shocking defeat at the hands of Real Madrid
Goalkeeper Karius’ error certainly won’t be forgotten by devastated Liverpool FC fans in a hurry
Former Manchester United defender Ferdinand seemed shocked by Karius’ mistake, while Lineker remarked: ‘What an extraordinary error from Karius. Intelligent from Benzema but wtf?’.
Karius attempted to throw the ball to his team-mate Virgil Van Dijk but Benzema took advantage of his mishap to put Real in the lead.
Ex-England cricketer Michael Vaughan also had his say on the incident. He wrote: ‘Karius will receive the Freedom of Manchester on Monday at a civic reception !!!’
Karius went on to make another high-profile mistake later in the game as he was unable to hold Gareth Bale’s shot, which made it 3-1.
It was the goalkeeper’s first error, however, which received the most criticism.
Karius attempted to throw the ball out, but it struck Karim Benzema, who went on to score
The score is 0-0 in the 51st minute when Karius collects a long ball intended for Karim Benzema and goes to roll it out to one of his defenders
In an apparent brain freeze, Karius rolls the ball in the direction of a defender but apparently without noticing that Benzema is stood just a few yards away
Benzema, who is alert to the possibility and hasn’t taken his eyes off Karius, stretches out a leg to intercept the throw
Karius bizarrely appeals to the officials that Benzema is too close to him as the ball heads towards the unguarded net
Benzema, realising the ball is just going to creep inside the post, runs off in celebration as Karius continues his protestations
Dua Lipa entertained the crowd at the stadium in Kiev ahead of the crunch Champions League final
One user, El Jefe, called it the ‘stupidest goal ever’, with Karius’ blunder leading to the goalkeeper receiving much criticism on social media.
MUFCHolic questioned comparisons between Karius and David De Gea, which had been made by some Liverpool fans earlier in the season. He wrote: ‘Remember when they said Karius was better than De Gea because he played well for a month?’
Another user, Loso, wrote: ‘Even if Liverpool win Karius cannot show his face in Liverpool after tonight’.
Meanwhile, MFinzi tweeted: ‘Imagine travelling all the way to Kiev to have Karius make the biggest mistake of his career. Actual tears.’
Karius arrived at Liverpool from Mainz in 2016 and endured some difficult moments early in his spell at the club as he made some high-profile mistakes.
The 24-year-old has shown some significant signs of improvement this season and firmly established himself as Jurgen Klopp’s first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Simon Mignolet.
However, Karius’ major error on the biggest stage in club football certainly won’t be forgotten in a hurry.
A nervous-looking Loris Karius arrived in Kiev ahead of the match that may define his career
The Liverpool goalkeeper was left devastated after his major mistake saw his side go behind
Karius had gifted Madrid their first goal after throwing the ball directly into the path of Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
Sadio Mane equalised four minutes later, but Gareth Bale restored the Madrid lead with a spectacular overhead kick, with little over half an hour remaining.
With five minutes left on the clock, Karius made a second blunder, this time from Bale, by palming the Welsh wizard’s long range shot into the back of his own net.
Karius had to be consoled by Liverpool’s goalkeeping coach John Achterberg and Madrid’s Gareth Bale after the final whistle