‘Only the start’: Coach Klopp predicts more good times ahead

Madrid: A beaming Klopp revealed after Saturday’s 2-0 final victory over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid that he had received a congratulatory phonecall from Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola. Three weeks ago, the Reds were denied a first league title in 30 years by City, despite losing just once and racking up 97 points, but winning the Champions League makes up for that disappointment. “We promised each other already that we will kick our butts next year again,” Klopp said of his brief exchange with Guardiola in between speaking to the world’s media at the Metropolitano Stadium.

“We will go for everything and we’ll see if we get something.” It was a sentiment shared by centre-back Virgil van Dijk as he spoke after being named man of the match in the final. “In July when we start again, everyone starts on nil and everyone’s working towards their goals,” he declared. “Obviously we want to challenge for every trophy if possible. We have the squad for it, but you’ve also seen it this year, you still have to do it, and hopefully we can challenge Manchester City again next season for the title, because I don’t think they will go anywhere, so we won’t go anywhere either.”

Liverpool had won nothing at all since defeating Cardiff City on penalties in the League Cup final in 2012. A trophy, but not on the same level as this. After losing the Europa League final in 2016 and last year’s Champions League final against Real Madrid, Liverpool seized their chance this time thanks to Mohamed Salah’s early penalty and Divock Origi’s late strike. This was already a club reborn under the German’s management, but such a tangible reward was needed, three and a half years on from his arrival on Merseyside.

“I’m interested really in development, but I get it, we have to win things, and so it’s really important that people don’t ask now all the time about not winning things,” he said. “Now we won something, and we will carry on, we want to win things, 100 percent. “This is only the start for this group, it’s a wonderful age group, they still have the best times in their career still ahead of them, so that’s big.”