Loris Karius could play his first Champions League match since the final in Kiev

Loris Karius could play his first Champions League match since the final in Kiev

Loris Karius has played just one competitive match for an English team since the Champions League final in Kiev. The Carabao Cup final was between Newcastle and Manchester United in February.

Now he may have to go through the fire again.

I played in two finals in a row

Karius signed with Newcastle after the closure of the 2022 summer transfer window, as a third goalkeeper and backup to Nick Pope and then second goalkeeper Karl Darlow. Karius is said to be on a fairly short list of goalkeepers who could be signed outside the transfer window.

In February this year, he played his first competitive match for an English team since that fateful night in Kiev. That match was another final, the League Cup final against Manchester United at Wembley. First choice goalkeeper Nick Pope received a straight red card in the match against Liverpool just before the final, and was suspended. Second-choice goalkeeper Martin Dubravka was on loan to Manchester United for the first half of the season and was therefore unable to play against his former employer.

The match ended in a 2-0 win for Erik Ten Hag. In other words, there was no dream of a return to English football for Karius, but he settled in well between the posts and the two goals cannot be blamed solely on him.

Must win

Tonight, the stage is set for another important match when Newcastle takes on AC Milan. The Geordies need a win to advance in the Championship. The injury of Pope and Dubravka opens the opportunity for Karius to return to the tournament in which he was ridiculed five years ago.

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Dubravka replaced the injured Pope, and now it is Dubravka who missed the last training session with a back problem and Karius is ready with the gloves if necessary.

But manager Eddie Howe has little desire to replace the goalkeeper.

– It’s not a situation I want to roll into. All teams benefit from a consistent goalkeeper and a stable defense. That’s how I operate defensively. We’ll see what tomorrow brings, Howe said in the pre-match press conference.

Newcastle needs to win its match against Milan tonight, while it hopes that Paris Saint-Germain will lose or draw in its match against Borussia Dortmund, who has already qualified for the knockout rounds. If Newcastle and Paris Saint-Germain win their match, the team will get third place and play in the Europa League.

Happiness smiles on you

Sporting-wise, there haven’t been many ups and downs since 2018. He left Liverpool on loan to Besiktas and Union Berlin, with Besiktas’ stay in particular being turbulent when the club did not pay him his salary for several months. He chose to terminate his contract. In Berlin, he made few appearances, and returned to Liverpool in the summer of 2021, without any possibility of further playing time. He remained at the club until his contract expired one year later.

In September 2022, he signed for Newcastle.

But on the private side, things are going very well. Karius is in love with Italian TV actress Diletta Liotta, and together they had daughter Arya in August this year.

In case you missed it – in 2018, Liverpool FC played all the way to the Champions League final in Kiev, led by an unstoppable attacking line in Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino. Real Madrid is waiting in the final.

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Karius was Klopp’s preferred goalkeeper at the time, but the star was elbowed to the head by Sergio Ramos in the 0-0 draw, and reportedly played the rest of the match suffering from concussion. This perhaps explains why the ball was thrown at the feet of Karim Benzema, which could have easily given the Spanish team the lead, and why Gareth Bale’s shot passed between his gloves and into the goal.

Liverpool lost the final 3-1, and Karius broke down in tears after the end of the match and apologized to the fans of the visiting team. Perhaps he will now get the chance to correct the impression Champions League viewers may have of him.

Najuma Ojukwu

Najuma Ojukwu

"Infuriatingly humble internet trailblazer. Twitter buff. Beer nerd. Bacon scholar. Coffee practitioner."

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