Loris Karius will never have fond memories of the 2018 Champions League final. He made two huge mistakes in Kiev and gave Real Madrid two goals. Liverpool then lost 1: 3 and the fans saw Karius as the obvious scapegoat.
That game had a clear favourite. Real Madrid had captured the Champions League twice in a row and were aiming for a golden hat-trick. A team led by Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Karim Benzema and Sergio Ramos was on top and it seemed no one could stop it.
Liverpool, which Jürgen Klopp had remade in his own image, wanted to try, but at the time it was still not the juggernaut it is today. That’s why Real were the clear favourites, but they were made incredibly easy by Loris Karius.
Liverpool, in fact, had great strength in almost every position. Mohamed Salah dominated the attack in his first season at Anfield Road, seconded by Sadio Mané and Roberto Firmino. In midfield, Klopp relied on Henderson with Milner and Wijnaldum, but the defence was a bit shaky, but it was raised incredibly by Virgil Van Dijk after his arrival.
So the Reds walked into the final knowing they had everything they needed to win the title. But they forgot one of the most important positions, the goalkeeper. Loris Karius’ world and virtually his entire football career came crashing down that day.
The first half ended in a goalless draw, and it all started after the change of sides. Kroos’s pass to Benzema was too long and Karius caught it easily on the edge of the box. He wanted to play the ball, but he didn’t know Benzema was lurking next to him. The French shot-stopper stuck his foot in the box and the ball bounced into the net.
Moments later Sadio Mané equalised, but then substitute Gareth Bale took the lead. In the 64th he laid into Marcelo’s centre and scissor-kicked beautifully to give the Spanish side the lead.
Liverpool were keen to equalise and apply the final pressure, only for another huge fumble from Karius. In the 83rd minute, Bale committed to a shot from distance, the shot was floated but flew into the middle of the goal. Only, Karius couldn’t palm the ball and it chewed through into his net.
Karius’ career never went back to where it was after that. He was practically banished by the fans immediately in the summer to Turkish Besiktas, but he didn’t quite shine there either.
He spent one year after that at Union Berlin, but only played 4 games in the Bundesliga. The 2021/22 season he didn’t catch anywhere at all, last summer he headed to Newcastle as a free agent after his contract ended, where he fills the role of number three.
Source: Twitter, UEFA
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