Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed how Jurgen Klopp gave his 2018 Champions League final pre-match team-talk – in Cristiano Ronaldo-branded underwear.
The charismatic German manager was seemingly intent on calming the nerves ahead the Reds’ mouthwatering showdown with Ronaldo’s Real Madrid in Kiev.
And so, rather than opt for the traditional approach in such nerve-racking circumstances, Klopp went for a light-hearted approach.
The Reds boss hilariously stuffed his top into his Ronaldo pants before delivering his rallying call, a move that left the Liverpool players in stitches when they realised the ‘CR7’ branding.
Wijnaldum told The Athletic : “We saw he was wearing the boxer shorts of Cristiano Ronaldo .
“He did the meeting with his shirt stuffed inside his ‘CR7’ boxers. The whole changing room was on the floor laughing their heads off.
“That really broke the ice. Usually in those situations, everyone is serious and concentrated. But he was relaxed and made this joke.
“He’s done hundreds of jokes likes that. If you see that your manager is really confident and relaxed, it will have an effect on players.
“He is a father figure in those things for the players. With his jokes and his body language, he takes the pressure off players.”
Liverpool ultimately suffered heartbreak in that game after goalkeeper Loris Karius made two howlers and Gareth Bale scored an incredible bicycle kick to hand Madrid a 3-1 win.
However Klopp’s men made amends in this year’s final when a Mohamed Salah penalty and Divock Origi’s late called secured a 2-0 victory over English rivals Tottenham .
Wijnaldum and his Reds team-mates will now look to repeat their exploits in the league this season when they battle with Manchester City for the Premier League title.
They got their title challenge off to the perfect start with a 4-1 victory over promoted Norwich on Friday and now turn their attention to the Super Cup showdown with Chelsea on Wednesday night.