On this day in 2019, Liverpool beat Flamengo to win the final of the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar.
Football fans across the globe have been transfixed by the World Cup that has been taking place in Qatar over the past month.
Argentina won the final against France in dramatic circumstances on Sunday night, to earn their third world title. It was not the first time there was drama in a match in Qatar, as Liverpool can testify.
On this day three years ago, Liverpool faced Flamengo in the final of the FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar. It was the first time since 2005 that the Reds were competing in the fixture, and were striving to lift the trophy for the first time in their history.
Having beaten Mexican club Monterrey in their semi-final, facing Flamengo was never going to be an easy task. In fact, Liverpool needed an extra 30 minutes to be able to complete a 1-0 win over the Brazilian outfit.
In the closing moments of regular time, Liverpool thought they were awarded a penalty after Sadio Mane was challenged. However, after a VAR review it was changed to a free-kick due to the tackle being just outside the box.
“If one is not scoring the other one, or the other two, are scoring. We needed his goals here and I couldn’t be more happy for him,” said Klopp.
“Before the game we spoke a lot about how much this means to Brazilians, and it meant a lot to him. I am really delighted for him.”
Klopp added: “We are exhausted from a very intense game but in moments of like this, I struggle to find the right words, to express my respect for the boys.
was incredible, we did so many good things, everyone was on the edge pretty much and there were so many sensational, good performances.”
Liverpool’s stature in world football has also been recognised, and that was magnified after the club’s Champions League triumph in June 2019. Flamengo’s manager, Jorge Jesus, did not hide his praise of Klopp’s side.
“We shouldn’t forget that Liverpool is the strongest team in Europe and we were equal to Liverpool and didn’t face particular problems in the first 95 minutes, indeed we could control the match for many stretches,” Jesus said.
“But two big teams faced each other and at the end of the day I am very proud of my players and their performance.”
Flamengo did not stop there with their respect for Liverpool and Klopp. After the game, a photo emerged featuring the manager’s from both clubs.
Klopp and Jesus were photographed posing with a Flamengo shirt which had been presented to the Liverpool boss by the Brazilian club as a gift. The shirt had Klopp’s name and the number 40 on the back, too.
It was not all smiles between both sets of players, though. Mane yellow carded following a challenge on Rafinha, a decision that the Senegalese international was not happy about.
Once the half-time whistle sounded, Andy Robertson showed that he would support his team-mate. As the players walked off the pitch, Robertson walked behind Rafinha and pointed in the Flamengo player’s direction as he appeared to say to Mane: “Sadio, I’ll get him don’t worry”.
While winning the Club World Cup may have been a euphoric moment for Liverpool, the night did not go perfectly. In fact, one player ended up suffering an injury during the final, and their post-match celebrations were impacted.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain suffered an ankle injury during the game and was forced to be substituted in the 75th minute. The midfielder would later be forced to wear a protective boot to ensure the injury did not get any worse.
It was certainly enough to affect Klopp’s mood after the match. Even though he had guided Liverpool to another trophy, the news that Oxlade-Chamberlain had suffered yet another injury certainly made Klopp not enjoy the moment as much as he maybe should have done.
“I have spoken to Ox. When he landed, he got a kick and rolled over on it,” said Klopp.
“He feels OK but of course it’s far from perfect. We have to see if it’s a stretched ligament or partly ruptured or ruptured. A big shadow on tonight.”
Oxlade-Chamberlain would be sidelined for around two weeks and miss just three matches over the festive period. A lucky break for Liverpool, in the grand scheme of things.