Champions League final: Tottenham v Liverpool
Venue: Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Madrid Date: 1 June 2019 Kick-off: 20:00 BST
Coverage:Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live; live text commentary on BBC Sport website and app.

Jurgen Klopp’s record of getting teams to finals is excellent – but his success rate in them is less impressive.

The Liverpool boss goes into Saturday’s Champions League showpiece with Tottenham seeking to end a six-match losing run in finals.

Two of those disappointments have been in the Champions League – so this weekend the German is trying to avoid an unwanted hat-trick.

This is the 51-year-old’s eighth major final as a manager and the fourth in his third full season in charge at Liverpool.

BBC Sport takes a closer look at how Klopp’s teams have fared in major finals.

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‘It’s the most incredible thing that’s happened to me’

12 May 2012: German Cup final – Borussia Dortmund 5-2 Bayern Munich, Olympic Stadium, Berlin

It started so well for Klopp.

Having already delivered back-to-back Bundesliga titles for Borussia Dortmund, he secured the club a third German Cup after demolishing Jupp Heynckes’ Bayern Munich in Berlin.

Robert Lewandowski, who would later move to Bayern, scored a hat-trick and Dortmund’s other goals came from Shinji Kagawa, who later moved to Manchester United, and Mats Hummels, who would also move back to the Munich giants.

“That was a cup final that no-one from Dortmund could have better imagined,” an ecstatic Klopp said after the game. “It’s hard to put into words what has happened to us.”

It was Dortmund’s first German Cup triumph for 23 years and came shortly after they were crowned league champions after finishing eight points ahead of Bayern.

“The double, it’s the most incredible thing that’s ever happened to me,” added Klopp.

Late heartbreak at Wembley

25 May 2013: Champions League final – Borussia Dortmund 1-2 Bayern Munich, Wembley

Having got the better of Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid in the last four to reach a first Champions League final for 16 years, Klopp’s Dortmund headed to Wembley confident of becoming champions of Europe for a second time.

“People have tried to reach Everest in the past and had to turn back with 10 metres to go,” said Klopp on the eve of the all-German showdown with Bayern Munich.

“It could be the same for us, but this is our chance. We have to win the final. That’s the only story I’m interested in.”

Yet a pulsating game ended in tears for Klopp and Die Schwarz-Gelben as Arjen Robben scored an 89th-minute winner after Ilkay Gundogan’s penalty had cancelled out Mario Mandzukic’s opener for Bayern.

“It was a really hard season for us and I saw that from 75 minutes on,” Klopp said afterwards. “We deserved to be in the final. That is not the most important thing, but it is important.”

Guardiola comes out on top against Klopp

17 May 2014: German Cup final – Borussia Dortmund 0-2 Bayern Munich, Olympic Stadium, Berlin

Another season, another final – and another meeting with Bayern Munich. This time, however, there was a difference.

While Heynckes had been in charge of Bayern for the previous two finals between the sides, it was Pep Guardiola who was in the opposite dugout to Klopp for the 2014 German Cup final.

Jurgen Klopp

Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski, who had agreed his move to Munich at the end of the season, was excused from some training before the final as a precaution to injury.

“We were very careful with him,” said Klopp before the game.

Unlike the Champions League final 12 months earlier, Klopp’s side at least forced extra time before falling to goals from Robben and Thomas Muller.

“It’s a painful defeat because it’s a big competition. Both teams pushed each other to the limit,” he said afterwards.

Klopp’s Dortmund farewell ends in defeat

30 May 2015: German Cup final – Borussia Dortmund 1-3 Wolfsburg, Olympic Stadium, Berlin

This was Klopp’s final game with Dortmund after seven years in charge of the club.

He had already announced his decision to leave at the end of a difficult campaign, even though Dortmund managed to salvage a seventh-placed finish despite being bottom of the table in February.

“I always said the moment I believe I am not the perfect coach for this extraordinary club I will say so,” said Klopp, after asking to be released from a contract that had been due to run until 2018.

“This club deserves to be coached from the 100% right manager. It’s not that I’m tired. I’ve not had contact with another club, but I don’t plan to take a sabbatical.”

Klopp’s last Dortmund game ended in more final heartache – future Manchester City playmaker Kevin de Bruyne was among the scorers as Wolfsburg came from behind to win the German Cup after scoring three times in the space of 16 first-half minutes.

“I’m going to need time to get over this loss,” said Klopp, before saying farewell to Dortmund for the last time.

Jurgen Klopp applauds on the sidelines during Borussia Dortmund's 2015 German Cup final defeat by Wolfsburg

‘Only silly idiots stay on the floor’

28 February 2016: League Cup final – Liverpool 1-1 Man City (Man City win 3-1 on pens), Wembley

Four months after replacing Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool, and three years after Dortmund’s Champions League defeat in the London stadium, Klopp was back at Wembley for another final.

It was, however, another familiar outcome for the Reds’ boss.

Willy Caballero saved from Lucas Leiva, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana to win the League Cup for Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City after it had gone to penalties following a 1-1 draw.

“We feel down but now we have to stand up. Only silly idiots stay on the floor and wait for the next defeat,” said Klopp afterwards.

“We have felt how it is to lose. We will go on and we will get better. There is light at the end of the tunnel.”

Manchester City keeper Willy Caballero saves Adam Lallana's penalty during the shootout

‘I take the blame’

18 May 2016: Europa League final – Liverpool 1-3 Sevilla, St Jakob-Park, Basel

Three months after finishing League Cup runners-up, Liverpool reached the Europa League final after a run that included a thrilling 5-4 aggregate win over Klopp’s former club Borussia Dortmund in the quarter-finals.

It looked as if the German’s losing run in finals might come to an end when Daniel Sturridge put the Reds ahead against Unai Emery’s Sevilla in Switzerland.

But a dramatic second-half collapse saw Liverpool’s Spanish opponents claim the trophy for the third season in succession – and the Reds miss out on a place in the Champions League.

“This could have been 4-1 or 5-1 in the end. Liverpool completely lost it,” said former Reds defender Mark Lawrenson on BBC Radio 5 Live.

Klopp accepted responsibility for the result and told fans to blame him, adding: “There is no criticism and I have spoken to my players.”

Salah injury, Karius nightmare

26 May 2018: Champions League final – Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool, Olympic Stadium, Kiev

Gareth Bale scored one of European football’s great goals and Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius suffered a personal nightmare as Klopp lost his sixth straight final.

The Reds had already lost leading scorer Mohamed Salah to injury when Karius inexplicably threw the ball against Real striker Karim Benzema, who was not even challenging with urgency, and watched in despair as the ball rolled behind him into the net.

Sadio Mane equalised but Bale came off the bench to score a wonder goal, before Karius fumbled Bale’s hopeful 30-yard shot behind him to seal Real’s win.

Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius in action during the 2018 Champions League final

“The plan is only to play to win, nothing else, not a lot to say,” said Klopp, who later sent Karius on a two-year loan to Turkish side Besiktas.

Twelve months later, and after narrowly missing out to Manchester City in the Premier League title race, Liverpool are back in the Champions League final after an extraordinary semi-final comeback against Barcelona.

Can Klopp end his run of final defeats… or will he suffer a seventh straight loss?


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