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Liverpool manager Klopp salutes ‘most special’ trophy

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has called his team’s Carabao Cup win over Chelsea the ‘most special trophy’ he has won in his career.

An understrength Liverpool side emerged triumphant after 120 gruelling minutes at Wembley, as Virgil van Dijk’s extra-time goal secured the Reds silverware.

Liverpool headed into the clash without a number of senior names, including Mohamed Salah, Alisson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, and their limited options were reduced further when Ryan Gravenberch was withdrawn before half-time.

 

Academy products Conor Bradley, Bobby Clark, James McConnell, Jarell Quansah and Jayden Danns all featured heavily in the final and Klopp has called his side’s success with an inexperienced team the best of his managerial career.

“What we see here today is so exceptional, we might never see again and not because I am on the sideline, because these things don’t happen in football,” he said at his post-match press conference.

“I got told outside that there’s an English phrase, ‘you don’t win trophies with kids’ – I didn’t know that. Yeah!

“There are longer careers than mine but in more than 20 years, [it’s] easily the most special trophy I ever won. It’s absolutely exceptional. Sometimes I get asked if I’m proud of this, proud of that, proud of that, and it’s really tricky. I wish I could feel pride more often, I just don’t do.

“Tonight there’s an overwhelming feeling, ‘Oh my God, what’s going on here?’ I was proud of everybody involved in everything here.

“I was proud of our people for the way they pushed us. I was proud of the staff for creating this kind of atmosphere surrounding where these boys can just do what they are best at. I was proud of our Academy. I was proud of my coaches. I was proud of so many things. It was really overwhelming.

 

“It had nothing to do with maybe my last game at Wembley – I checked that, nothing to do with that. It was really because of how everybody contributed, seeing the faces after the game of the kids – Jayden Danns. Can you create in football stories which definitely nobody will ever forget? It’s so difficult because this happened before, this happened before, they won it then, there.

“This tonight, if you find the same story with academy players coming on against a top, top, top side and still winning it, I never heard.”

Read – Van Dijk savours ‘incredible’ Carabao Cup win for Liverpool

See more – Kelleher calls Liverpool Carabao Cup win a ‘dream’

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