Reds midfielder Gini Wijnaldum has revealed that Jurgen Klopp did the team talk before the 2018 Champions League final against Real Madrid while wearing a pair of Cristiano Ronaldo boxer shorts.
In an attempt to diffuse any tension and relax the players, Klopp made the players laugh, as the Dutch maestro has explained.
Speaking to The Athletic, Wijnaldum said: “He did the meeting with his shirt stuffed inside his ‘CR7’ boxers. The whole changing room was on the floor laughing their heads off.
“That really broke the ice. Usually, in those situations, everyone is serious and concentrated. But he was relaxed and made this joke.
“He’s done hundreds of jokes likes that. If you see that your manager is really confident and relaxed, it will have an effect on players. He is a father figure in those things for the players. With his jokes and his body language, he takes the pressure off players.”
The result in Kyiv did not go the Reds’ way, but Klopp has done small things like this several times, Wijnaldum says. To be able to be so confident and assured in the run-up to a big match – at least outwardly – and make the players feel the same is an excellent ability to have.
It might seem like a small thing, but each and every player will love being involved in an environment like that, and it will help them perform better more often than not.
With another European final to come later this evening, what will Klopp have planned for tonight’s pre-match preparations?