Jurgen Klopp vowed to bounce back and “go again” next season after Liverpool lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid at the end of a mammoth campaign.
The Reds won the Carabao Cup and FA Cup with penalty shoot-out victories against Chelsea, then took the Premier League title race to the final day before Manchester City pipped them by a point.
Liverpool had hoped to end the season with the club’s seventh European Cup but Real Madrid were crowned continental champions for a record 14th time in Paris.
Vinicius Junior’s second-half goal secured Carlo Ancelotti’s side a 1-0 victory at the Stade de France, where kick-off was delayed by 36 minutes due to security issues outside the ground.
“These boys played an outstanding season,” said Klopp, whose side will go on a parade through Liverpool on Sunday.
“The two competitions we couldn’t win, we didn’t for the smallest possible margin: one point, 1-0.
“City during the season, they were one point better and tonight Madrid was one goal better. That says nothing about us.
“The difference between 2018 and now is that I see us coming again.
“In 2018, I wished it but I couldn’t know, but these boys are really competitive, they have an incredible attitude. It is a fantastic group. We will go again definitely.
“Tomorrow we will celebrate the season. It is good we don’t have to do that immediately but after a night’s sleep and maybe another speech from me, the boys will realise how special it was what we did.
“Even if nobody on this planet would understand (why) we have a parade tomorrow, we still will do it.
“I really hope everybody has a chance to get to Liverpool tomorrow to celebrate together with us a fantastic season that didn’t end as we wanted. That’s fact but the club is in a good moment, we will go again.”
Klopp congratulated Madrid for their win in the French capital and acknowledged that playing every match this season was not ideal as they pushed for an equaliser.
But Thibaut Courtois put in a man-of-the-match display between the sticks on a night when Ancelotti’s men emerged victorious.
“They scored and we didn’t,” he said in the post-match press conference. “That’s now easy to say.
“We could have played better football but Madrid could have played better football but they didn’t and Madrid won anyway.
“I think Madrid played already a lot of games better. We cannot say they played exactly like to. Fine. That’s how we play a final.
“The stats is 50-50 possession so it was not that they never had the ball absolutely but apart from the goal they didn’t have a shot on target. That’s a good sign for my team. We had nine shots on target.
“That’s really a good number but the problem is they scored with one shot and we didn’t score with nine.”
The final was marred by the issues outside the Stade de France, which led Liverpool to officially request a formal investigation “into the causes of these unacceptable issues” midway through the final.
Klopp was aware problems were afoot but was still not completely au fait with the situation when he faced the media in the post-match press conference.
“Not a lot (to say),” he said. “I couldn’t speak to my family yet but I know families had real struggles to get into the stadium with the reasons I don’t know yet.
“What I heard that there will be an investigation to figure out what’s going on there. I heard a few things. They were not good, not nice.
“Obviously it was pretty tricky out there I don’t know more about it.”
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe