In a recent interview, Liverpool star Gini Wijnaldum revealed how manager Jurgen Klopp eased the pressure in the dressing room before the 2018 Champions League final, by addressing the team wearing Cristiano Ronaldo-branded boxer shorts.
“We saw he was wearing the boxer shorts of Cristiano Ronaldo,” 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,” he further added.
“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,” Wijaldum concluded.
Unfortunately, Klopp’s little trick did not do matter much to Real Madrid, who won the match by a scoreline 0f 3-1 – thereby lifting their third successive European trophy and thirteenth overall.
Klopp’s easygoing body language also went on to have a larger impact on the Reds, as they went on to finish the 2018-19 Premier League as runners-up just one point behind champions Manchester City.
Their biggest achievement, however, was the 2018-19 Champions League which they won by defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2-0 in the final – just a year after suffering that heartbreaking defeat to Real Madrid.