Jurgen Klopp once wore Cristiano Ronaldo-branded boxers to give huge CL team talk

After becoming Liverpool manager in October 2015, it didn’t take Jurgen Klopp long to endear himself to the club’s fanbase.

Reds supporters immediately warmed to the charismatic German, who impressed them with his infectious passion for the game.

Naturally, though, personality can only take a manager so far. Ultimately, it’s results on the pitch that matter – and Klopp has certainly delivered plenty of success in his time at Anfield.

His first major final on Merseyside, however, didn’t go to plan, as Liverpool were beaten 3-1 by Sevilla in the 2015/16 Europa League decider.

Klopp’s side were back in a European final just two years later, hoping to lift the 2017/18 Champions League trophy by conquering Real Madrid.

Nobody at Liverpool was under any illusions that defeating Los Blancos would be an easy task, though. Zinedine Zidane’s men had already won the competition in the previous two seasons and were hungry to secure a hat-trick of successive triumphs.

MADRID, SPAIN – APRIL 11: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates his side going through to the Semi-Finals of the UEFA Champions League after the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Real Madrid and Juventus at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on April 11, 2018 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

Realising that his side were underdogs against a Real team packed with superstars including Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Luka Modric, Klopp opted to try and lighten the mood in the Liverpool dressing room with his pre-match team talk.

Jurgen Klopp’s unorthodox choice of clothing for his 2018 Champions League final team talk

Speaking in a 2019 interview with The Athletic, former Reds midfielder Georginio Wijnaldum revealed that Klopp had conducted the briefing while wearing a pair of ‘CR7’ boxer shorts – the underwear brand of Real Madrid star man Ronaldo.

A strange choice of attire, undoubtedly, but one that definitely accomplished Klopp’s goal of relaxing his troops ahead of the crunch encounter.

“He did the meeting with his shirt stuffed inside his ‘CR7’ boxers,” recalled Wijnaldum, who moved to Paris Saint-Germain in July of last year. “The whole changing room was on the floor laughing their heads off.

KIEV, UKRAINE – MAY 25: Georginio Wijnaldum of Liverpool laughs during a Liverpool training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid at NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on May 25, 2018 in Kiev, Ukraine. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“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,” concluded the Dutchman.

A tough night for Liverpool

Despite Klopp’s attempts to take the pressure off his players with some light-hearted pre-match humour, the Premier League giants fell to a 3-1 defeat on the night.

A fine second-half brace from Gareth Bale, combined with a nightmare outing for Liverpool shot-stopper Loris Karius, meant that Los Blancos continued their impressive run of Champions League dominance.

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That streak came to an end a year later, though, with Klopp finally getting his hands on a major trophy as Liverpool boss when the Merseyside outfit beat Tottenham in the 2018/19 final.

We somehow doubt Klopp gave his Ronaldo-branded boxers another run out prior to that match.

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