Revealed: Klopp put Lijnders in charge for Liverpool Champions League final win

Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has opened up on his role for the 2019 UEFA Champions League final.

After producing a memorable comeback to knock-out Barcelona in the semi-final, the Reds overcame Tottenham Hotspur in the all-Premier League affair at the Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi.

That is one of 10 trophies Jurgen Klopp has lifted as Liverpool boss, cementing his legendary status at the club as he prepares to manage his final two games - against Aston Villa and Wolves - before bringing his nine-year tenure to an end.

Also leaving Anfield at the end of the season is Lijnders. The Dutchman actually returned to Liverpool's coaching staff ahead of the 2018/2019 campaign following a short-lived spell with NEC Nijmegen in the Dutch second division.

Little did he know upon rejoining Klopp's coaching staff that he would have a major role to play come June 1, 2019.

Prior to the clash in Spain, the German had lost six successive finals across spells with Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool. In fact, he lost two finals in his first season on Merseyside before coming up short against Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League final.

June 1, 2019, Madrid, Spain: Divock Origi of Liverpool is seen celebrating after the UEFA Champions League Final 2019 match between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. Madrid Spain - ZUMAs197 20190601zabs197203 Copyright: xRichardxCalverx

Pep Lijnders' Liverpool role in 2019 Champions League final

So in an attempt to avoid a seventh successive final loss, Klopp turned to his trusted assistant and it's safe to say it all went to plan.

"I felt pressure before the final," Lijnders noted in 'The Reds Roundtable' episode uploaded to YouTube. "And the gaffer reminded me that he lost a lot before. So it was the seven and I remember him saying three weeks before 'Pep I want nothing to do with the planning of this final, I lost the last six, up to you' [with the planning]. Ok, cool.

"I'm really happy that I could work the last 10 years in this club because for me this is the best club in the world and I am really happy to be with the academy director for such a long time, with the manager who changed this club like just a few other managers did in the past so I am really grateful for that.

"The legacy is with the fans, how they feel it, how they live it. We are there to give them emotions, we are there to give them joy and I think that's what we did."

From losing six finals in a row, Klopp is to depart Liverpool having won six of his last seven finals with the Carabao Cup final win over Chelsea back in February set to be the last trophy success - barring an unexpected turn of events in the Premier League title race - of a special era on Merseyside.

Share This Article