Liverpool’s celebrations stretched long into the night after they became six-time European champions with goals from Mohamed Salah and Divock Origi to beat Tottenham — and the party was set to move to England on Sunday where tens of thousands of fans awaited the team’s return.
The 2-0 win in the sweltering Metropolitano Stadium delivered the first trophy in seven years for Liverpool, and — finally — the first win in seven finals for coach Jurgen Klopp.
The team returned to tabloid headlines declaring the “Joy of Six”, in the Mail and Sunday, and “Six Machines”, in the Sunday Mirror.
The final whistle sparked wild scenes among the Liverpool fans in the stadium and back home in northwest England, where the team will have a victory parade on Sunday.
“We were all pretty much crying on the pitch because it was so emotional, it was so big, it means so much to us,” Klopp said.
For Liverpool, it was sweet redemption after defeat to Real Madrid in last year’s final in Kiev.
Mohamed Salah, who emphatically scored a penalty awarded in the very first minute, revealed he had drawn motivation from the disappointment of that match in which he left the pitch in tears with a shoulder injury.
“Before the game, I looked at a picture of last year and we were so disappointed to lose the final,” Salah said.
“I was very disappointed after that injury, I went off after 30 minutes and we lost the game. It motivated me to win today. When you know how it feels to lose, you say to yourself ‘Let’s go and win that’.”
– Guardiola’s congratulations –
Klopp revealed he had received a congratulatory call from Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola.
Three weeks ago, Liverpool were denied a first league title in 30 years by City, despite losing just once all season.
“We promised each other already that we will kick our butts next year again,” Klopp said of his brief exchange with Guardiola.
“We will go for everything and we’ll see if we get something.”
Liverpool’s sixth success in Europe’s top club trophy — coming after wins in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984 and 2005 — masks the fact they have not won the English title since 1990.
Centre-back Virgil van Dijk, named man of the match, said the team would try to put that right next season.