CRISTIANO RONALDO had the last laugh after Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp played a prank behind his back ahead of the 2018 Champions League final.
The German had begun his side’s team meeting ahead of the clash in Kiev and intended to lighten the mood and relieve some nerves.
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Real Madrid were experienced in finals, having won the competition three times in the previous four seasons as Klopp posed in a pair of Cristiano Ronaldo’s underwear, stuffing his top into the briefs.
The Liverpool squad were amused by what was going on, after this was supposed to be a serious discussion ahead of the biggest match of most of their careers.
Georginio Wijnaldum has now revealed all on the incident, explaining how it helped him and his team-mates.
“We saw he was wearing the boxer shorts of Cristiano Ronaldo,” Georginio Wijnaldum told The Athletic.
“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.”
Liverpool lost the final 3-1 in Kiev as Loris Karius wrote the headlines for his horror show which cost his side dearly.
But it was a night where Klopp turned Liverpool from doubters into believers, a year later they were sky-high achievers in Madrid, beating Tottenham 2-0 in the final to win their sixth European Cup.
The Dutchman revealed how Jurgen Klopp often uses humour to relax his players and lighten the mood.
“He’s done hundreds of jokes likes that,” Wijnaldum added.
“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.”
Wijnaldum was left on the bench for Liverpool’s semi-final second leg against Barcelona last season, something he did not take well.
He was introduced after the interval and took the game by the scruff of the neck, scoring twice as he turned his frustration into energy to help the Reds pull off a stunning comeback.
Yet Wijnaldum never holds grudges against his manager or his decisions, respecting the way that he operates.
“Since I am at Liverpool, he has helped me a lot. Not only with football, but also as a person, the way you think about things,” he said.
“That is why I enjoy every day of working with him. I can be really mad at him one day. But the next day the anger is gone and we will love each other again.”
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