'The most special trophy I have ever won' - Jurgen Klopp overcome with emotion after Carabao Cup final

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp hailed Sunday's Carabao Cup victory as the "most special trophy" he has ever won during his illustrious career. 

The Reds were without an entire starting lineup of injured players heading into the final against Chelsea, with Darwin Nunez, Mohamed Salah and Dominik Szoboszlai amongst those sidelined.

Diogo Jota, Alisson and Curtis Jones were also missing for the Reds, who relied heavily on academy players from the bench to help the club win a record tenth League Cup.

Ryan Gravenberch was another casualty in the first half after a nasty challenge from Moises Caicedo, while the Reds also saw Virgil van Dijk's second-half strike ruled out for a harsh offside call.

However, the Reds eventually got their hands on the trophy, with Van Dijk popping up in the 118th minute to head Liverpool to a 1-0 victory and their first piece of silverware of the season.

Jurgen Klopp was visibly emotional come the full-time whistle, with the German having announced that he will leave the club at the end of the season.

Given everything that was against Liverpool at Wembley, Klopp hailed this Sunday's Carabao Cup as the "most special trophy" he has ever won - a bold statement coming from a man who has won the Champions League, Premier League and Bundesliga.

"In more than 20 years it is easily the most special trophy I have ever won. It is absolutely exceptional," said Klopp after his side's special victory against Chelsea.

"Sometimes people ask me if I’m proud of things and it’s really tricky, I wish I could feel pride more often but tonight is an overwhelming feeling.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp lifts the winning trophy as he celebrates with his team during the Carabao Cup final match between Chelsea and Liverpool at Stamford Bridge, London, England on 25 February 2024. Copyright: xAndyxRowlandx PMI-6111-0002

"I was proud of everyone involved in everything here: I was proud of our people for the way they pushed us, I was proud of the staff for creating this kind of atmosphere surrounding where these boys can just do what they are best at.

"I was proud of our academy, I was proud of my coaches, I was proud of so many things. It was completely overwhelming. It was nothing to do with it being maybe my last game at Wembley."

The German added: "Can you create in football stories which definitely nobody will ever forget? It’s so difficult because this happened before, this happened before: this tonight, if you find the same story with academy players coming on against a top side and still winning it, I’ve never heard of it.

"I loved it. What we see here today is so exceptional. We might never see again. Not because I’m on the sidelines but because these things don’t happen in football.

"I got told there’s an English phrase ‘you don’t win trophies with kids’. I didn’t know that."

Sunday's Carabao Cup was the eighth title Klopp has won during his days on Merseyside and the first competition he has won twice as Liverpool boss.

The Reds have three more opportunities to add to Klopp's trophy cabinet, with the club still going strong in the FA Cup and Europa League, while also topping the Premier League standings.

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