'Istanbul? Book the hotel!' Klopp vows Liverpool will bounce back from final heartbreak

Premier League club defeated 1-0 by Real Madrid in Champions League final

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Jurgen Klopp said Liverpool deserved more from the Champions League final after losing to Real Madrid on Saturday, but insisted the club will quickly bounce back to challenge for the trophy next season.

Real claimed a record-extending 14th European Cup with their 1-0 win in Paris after Vinicius Junior scored just before the hour with the Spanish champions' only attempt on target. By comparison, Liverpool had nine shots on target but were repelled by an inspired performance from Real goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois.

It was Real's fourth Champions League title in seven years, improving their impressive record in the competition with their eighth victory in as many finals.

"We had more shots on target but the most decisive stat is on Madrid's side," Klopp said. "They scored a goal and we didn't. That's the easiest explanation in the world of football. Hard and harsh.

"When the goalkeeper is man of the match then something has gone wrong for the other team. We could have played better football and they could have but they didn't. The stats are 50-50 but, apart from the goal, they did not have a shot on target."

Courtois made a string of superb saves that protected Real's lead from the 59th minute, with Liverpool having 23 goal attempts to Real's three.

"We saw we did a lot of good things but it was not enough," said Klopp, who has guided Liverpool to three Champions League finals and one victory in 2019. The first final, in 2018, also ended in defeat to Real Madrid.

The Merseyside club, who a few weeks ago were aiming for a quadruple, end the season having won both domestic cups but missing out on the Premier League and Champions League. They also failed to score a single goal in any cup final this season, having beaten Chelsea on penalties in both the League Cup and FA Cup.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp with captain Jordan Henderson after losing the Champions League final. EPA

"Madrid had one shot on target and it was a goal," Klopp said. "We played a good game but when you lose 1-0 it was not good enough. I told the boys in the changing room I feel the pride already.

"These boys played an outstanding season and the two competitions we couldn't win we didn't win for the smallest possible margin."

Liverpool missed out on the Premier League after finishing a point behind champions Manchester City.

Champions League final player ratings

"The boys will realise how special it was what they did (this season)," he added. “It’s obviously a different kind of success, not the success you want to have, but I have the strong feeling we come again.

"The boys are really competitive, we have an outstanding group together, we will again have an outstanding group together and then we go again.

"Obviously we have to try a bit more often than others, but no problem. Where is it next year? Istanbul? Book the hotel!"

Updated: May 29, 2022, 6:36 AM
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