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Football

Jurgen Klopp Concerned About Stade De France Surface, Alisson Spotted Doing 'Special Training Routines' On It

Jack Kenmare

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Jurgen Klopp Concerned About Stade De France Surface, Alisson Spotted Doing 'Special Training Routines' On It

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has raised concerns over the Stade de France pitch ahead of Saturday night's final against Real Madrid, but insists he isn't "moaning" about its current state.

Last week, a French rock band performed a concert inside the stadium and just two days before the Champions Leaue final, a brand new surface was rolled out.

According to France 24, around 500 bales of grass, each weighing between 750 kilos and a ton, were laid down by tractors.


In his pre-match press conference, a bemused Klopp questioned the thought process behind laying the pitch, just days before one of the biggest events in the football calendar.

“Usually when I say the pitch looks new, that is good news," he said. "This pitch is new since yesterday, which is not the best news – but it will be the same for both teams.

“I saw the refs with their session and the good news is, the ball drops normal.

“You can see the lines where they put the pieces of the pitch [together], which is what we aren’t used to.

“That someone thought it was a good idea to bring the pitch the day before to the stadium is an interesting idea."

Klopp added: “But it didn’t kill my mood a per cent. I am really happy we are here, I would have played the game on a petanque [boules] court.

“I think both teams are technical teams and you would wish – in a dream world – that the pitch is the best you ever saw in your life.

“That’s obviously not the case. You will hear the same from Carlo [Ancelotti].

“Definitely, if you win you don’t care about the pitch, that is easy to say. I don’t know how bad or good it is, I only saw it. Maybe it’s perfect but it looks not perfect.

“But I hope no one makes a story about ‘Klopp moaning about the pitch’ – I’m fine. I saw it and it could look different but let’s get a feel of it.

“Normally these kind of sessions are for media, we are made to come, but today I am really happy we are here so we can feel it and pass a few balls on it.”

As Liverpool trained on the Stade de France pitch on Friday, talkSPORT pundit Andy Townsend commented on Alisson's preparations before suggesting he understands why "concerns" are being raised.

“The goalkeeping coaches were firing balls towards Alisson [Becker] from the edge of the box, hitting them deliberately into the floor around the six yard area just to see how it comes off the surface," he said.

“So clearly there’s a concern there, and why wouldn’t there be, of course, a new pitch being laid you’re not quite sure exactly how it’s going to react, you just want to understand the bounce a little bit. 

“They were watering it as the Liverpool players were warming up and going through their routines, they were watering areas of it all around them, so it’s far from ideal. 

“I understand that they feel they had to do it, they feel they had to make those changes, but there’s nothing worse than a brand new pitch particularly if it plays a bit unpredictable and it’s flat in areas.”

Image credit: Alamy
Image credit: Alamy

Thoughts on the current state of the Stade de France surface?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: Liverpool FC/YouTube - Alamy

Topics: Liverpool, Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp, Champions League, Alisson Becker, Alisson

Jack Kenmare
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