Klopp on Salah’s AFCON loss: Losing a final is always really hard

L-r: Maine, Salah and Gabaski during the finals

Jurgen Klopp believes Liverpool’s experience of recovering from losing finals to win major titles can provide solace for Mohamed Salah after Egypt’s African Cup of Nations final misery.

Egypt captain Salah lost out to Liverpool team-mate Sadio Mane, who scored Senegal’s winning penalty in a shootout victory in Sunday’s final.

Salah was back in Liverpool just 24 hours later, while Mane is still to return as he soaks up the celebrations in his homeland.

Liverpool lost three finals in the League Cup, Europa League and Champions League under Klopp before lifting the Champions League in 2019 and going on to end a 30-year wait to win the Premier League.

Reds boss Klopp admitted Salah was down on his return to Merseyside, but he hopes the deflating feeling can provide inspiration in future finals.

“Losing a final is always really hard – I can sing that song – but losing the way they lost it was especially hard and that is what he felt as well,” Klopp said on Wednesday.

“We spoke obviously and we will see. He will deal with that, of course, and I hope today will already be better, but yesterday everyone could see he still has the final in his mind.

“When you lose a final, which we are obviously the best example for, it is really, really hard, but if you use it for the next big game or next big tournament then it can at least still be helpful, even if it was really hard.”

Salah is in contention to feature against Leicester in the Premier League on Thursday as Liverpool aim to keep the pressure on Manchester City at the top of the table.

The Reds are still involved in four competitions with the League Cup final against Chelsea to come later this month plus last 16 ties in the FA Cup and Champions League.

But Klopp does not believe Salah needs any more motivation to succeed.

“Greater determination than Mo already had? I am not sure that is human,” added Klopp.

“Yes, that all helps in the long-term, but I don’t think there is a lot of space for more determination in Mo’s mind.”

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