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Jurgen Klopp's defiant message for Liverpool fans after Champions League heartache

Liverpool were denied a seventh European crown as Real Madrid became kings of the continent once again thanks to Vinicius Junior’s strike

Jurgen Klopp, Manager of Liverpool, interacts with the crowd after the final whistle following their sides defeat in the UEFA Champions League final. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Kevin Palmer

Crestfallen Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp sounded a message of defiance after his side's Champions League final heartbreak in Paris.

Liverpool were denied a seventh European crown as Real Madrid became kings of the continent once again thanks to Vinicius Junior’s strike in a Champions League final sealed a 1-0 win for the Spanish champions in a game marred by chaos outside the Stade de France.

Paris stepped in as host after UEFA stripped St Petersburg of the showpiece following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, but it did not provide a fitting host as European royalty went toe-to-toe in the biggest club match of the season.

Kick-off had to be delayed by 36 minutes due to substantial security issues outside the Stade de France, where Liverpool would be edged out 1-0 in a tense, engaging final settled by Real star Vinicius Jr.

Klopp’s Reds were unable to find a response to the second-half strike as Carlo Ancelotti, managing a record fifth Champions League final just a year after leaving Everton, oversaw the Spanish giants’ 14th European Cup triumph.

"In the dressing room nobody feels it was a great season at the moment. We maybe need a few hours for that," admitted Klopp.

"It was the two decisions against us were the smallest margins possible.

"We played a good game, not a perfect game. I don't think a perfect game is possible against an opponent set up with a deep formation.

"We had a lot of shots but not the clearest. Courtois made two top saves. We conceded a goal from a throw-in. Valverde wanted to shoot, Vinicius was there and that's it.

"The boys tried everything, especially at 1-0 down then we played like we wanted to play before. We had our midfielders too deep. It's a threat they are with counter attacks. We wanted to be more brave in the second half. That's what we said at half-time. We played around them. We should have played more in the formation than around them.

"It feels different. It's not bad to get to the final. It's a kind of success. Not the success you want to have.

"I have a strong feeling we'll come again. The boys are really competitive. It's an outstanding group together. We will have an outstanding group next season."

When asked how his side will respond to this setback, Klopp asked where the Champions League final is being staged next season as he added: "Where's it next season? Istanbul? Book the hotel."

Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard backed up Klopp's comments as he said the presence of the club's manager will ensure the club's continued success.

"The best news Liverpool had all season was Klopp signing his new contract," Gerrard told BT Sport. "So long as Jurgen is there, there is no reason why any player would want to leave as they will be competitive in every competition again next season.

"I don’t think Liverpool did too much wrong in this game. Okay they weren’t clinical and ruthless to take those chances - but a keeper just got Man of the Match against them in a final. Real put a defensive masterclass.

"Their defence across the pitch was magnificent. Over the 90 minutes they were blocking, defending one v one and positionally they defend ever so well.

"Make no mistake, they will bounce back. You have those experiences to learn from. This game is either the best night of your life or one of the worst. They will dust themselves down and go for it all again next year."

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