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Loris Karius still at Liverpool, four years on from Real Madrid blunders

A dejected Loris Karius walks past the Champions League trophy after his mistakes in the 2018 final for Liverpool against Real Madrid.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Loris Karius was inconsolable after his two dreadful mistakes cost Liverpool the Champions League final against Real Madrid in 2018.

The German goalkeeper gifted Real Madrid the lead when his throw was intercepted by Karim Benzema and although there was nothing he could do to keep out Gareth Bale's wonderful overhead kick after 63 minutes in Kyiv, he later let a long-range effort from the Welshman slip through his fingers and into the net.

After the final whistle saw Real Madrid 3-1 winner in Ukraine, Karius was in floods of tears as he apologised to the Liverpool fans and cut a forlorn figure as he trudged dejectedly past the Champions League trophy.

Karius has not played for Liverpool since. He spent the next two seasons on loan at Besiktas, before a spell back in Germany with Union Berlin last term.

In the meantime, Liverpool have enjoyed spectacular success with Alisson Becker as first-choice goalkeeper, winning six major trophies since the 2018 defeat to Madrid.

Remarkably, though, Karius remains a Liverpool player. The German is currently fifth-choice at Anfield, behind Alisson, Caoimhin Keller, Adrian and Marcelo Pitaluga.

Liverpool had hoped Karius would leave in January, but no move materialised. His contract is now up this summer and he will depart on a free transfer.

Klopp, who once admitted he thought about sticking by Karius and not signing Alisson in light of the criticism the player received in 2018, defended his compatriot again in the Champions League final pre-match press conference on Friday.

"Karius had a concussion," he said. "It was proven afterwards. Nobody talks about that."

Studies by a hospital in Boston a few days after the final showed Karius had suffered "visual spatial dysfunction" following a clash with Madrid captain Sergio Ramos early in the game.

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Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.