Jürgen Klopp questions the quality of the turf for the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris. In the Parc des Princes, the field was only laid on Thursday, because another concert was being held in the stadium.
“Normally it’s good news when a field looks new,” Klopp said on Friday at the forward-looking press conference for the Champions League final. “But this field has been there since yesterday and that is not good news.”
“The ball bounces normally,” Klopp then elaborated. “But you can still see the lines that connect the turf and that is not normal. The idea of laying the field only a day ago is very interesting.”
The reason for the bad timing is explainable, because it was only announced in February that the final would take place at the Paris Saint-Germain stadium. Originally, the final was to be played in Saint Petersburg, but that was canceled due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Klopp said it was a good decision. “It is probably the best signal you can give to Russia. Life goes on even if you try to destroy it. We are playing the final not only for ourselves, but also for everyone in Ukraine.”
For users of the app: tap the tweet above for a bird’s-eye view of how the Parc des Princes was converted.
Klopp shifts favorite role to Real Madrid
Klopp had good news from the infirmary in the run-up to the final. In addition to Virgil van Dijk, the German trainer also expects Thiago and Fabinho to be available. The pair suffered an injury at the end of the Premier League season, but just took part in the final training session.
With the fit selection, Liverpool hopes for revenge against Real Madrid, which defeated ‘The Reds’ 3-1 in the final in 2018. The Madrilenians are playing their fifth Champions League final in nine seasons, partly due to a number of impressive comebacks.
“If you look at the way Real Madrid have always fought back, I would say they are the favourites,” said Klopp, referring to the clashes with Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City. “But it’s about being completely ourselves on Saturday.”
The final between Liverpool and Real Madrid starts on Saturday at 9 p.m. in the Parc des Princes. The game is led by the French referee Clément Turpin.