Gini Wijnaldum: Jurgen Klopp Gave 2018 UCL Final Team Talk in Ronaldo Underwear

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2019

Liverpool's German manager Jurgen Klopp (L) celebrates on the pitch with goalscorer Liverpool's Dutch midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum after the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester City at Anfield in Liverpool, north west England on December 31, 2016.
Liverpool won the game 1-0. / AFP / Paul ELLIS / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  /         (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
PAUL ELLIS/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is famed for his jovial demeanour, and Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed the Liverpool manager's upbeat attitude extends to even the most serious of occasions. 

According to the Dutch midfielder, in order to relieve the tension ahead of Liverpool's UEFA Champions League final clash with Real Madrid in 2018, Klopp sported some Cristiano Ronaldo-branded underwear.

Ronaldo was then part of the opposing Real side, and Wijnaldum said the prank in the pre-match team meeting helped ease the atmosphere ahead of the final in Kiev, Ukraine, per Raphael Honigstein of The Athletic (h/t Goal's Stephen Darwin):

"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."

A passerby watches an advertising poster for an underwear brand, showing a picture of Juventus' Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo in a shop window, on October 9, 2018 in downtown Rome. - Cristiano Ronaldo faces rape allegations after US police on Octob
ALBERTO PIZZOLI/Getty Images

Liverpool went on to the lose the final 3-1 as Madrid secured their third successive Champions League title after a brace from substitute Gareth Bale.

The Reds' very presence at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium confirmed their return to the European top table, though, and they subsequently won the famous trophy for a sixth time in 2019's final against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.

It would be no surprise to see Liverpool back in the Champions League final for a third successive year next May, when it will be Istanbul's Ataturk Olympic Stadium, site of the Reds' remarkable comeback win in 2005 against AC Milan

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