I didn't run away from Liverpool after Champions League final nightmare against Real Madrid, insists Loris Karius

Liam Twomey
The Independent

Loris Karius insists he “didn’t run away” from Liverpool to join Besiktas on loan after his costly mistakes in last season’s Champions League final against Real Madrid.

Two of the three goals Liverpool conceded in a 3-1 defeat in Kiev were the direct result of Karius errors, with the 25-year-old throwing the ball straight to Karim Benzema and fumbling a long-range Gareth Bale shot into his own net.

Karius was reduced to tears at the final whistle and found himself heavily criticised by a section of Liverpool supporters, as well as becoming a figure of fun for rival fans, despite the fact that the club subsequently concluded he had sustained a concussion in a collision with Madrid captain Sergio Ramos prior to the mistakes.

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The arrival of Brazil No.1 Alisson Becker from Roma for £67 million last summer pushed Karius out of Jurgen Klopp’s preferred starting XI, and the 25-year-old is adamant that a desire for regular football was the primary motivator in his decision to accept the offer of a two-year loan move to Turkey.

“I have no problem with Jurgen Klopp, in fact we have a great relationship, he never blamed me [for the mistakes in Kiev]," Karius told German newspaper Bild.

Klopp replaced Karius with Alisson as Liverpool's new No.1 goalkeeper last summer (PA)
Klopp replaced Karius with Alisson as Liverpool's new No.1 goalkeeper last summer (PA)

“I could have stayed in Liverpool and played a few games, but I wanted to be number one and play regularly. Nobody told me to leave Liverpool and I didn't run away.

“I am at an age where I need to play regularly. After Alisson Becker's transfer I decided to move to Istanbul and join Besiktas.

“The pressure got so big at some points from the media and the public that Liverpool had to react, which was not good for my situation, but that happens in football.”

Karius also insisted that he has overcome the emotional trauma of his Champions League final nightmare, though he accepts that his performance will follow him for the rest of his career.

“I know that I will probably be asked a hundred more questions about it, but I can't undo it and I have finished with it,” he added.

“I prefer to do that, rather than thinking about how long the Champions League final will be with me. It was a great season that ended with a very unlucky ending.”

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