Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson Becker has spoken about Loris Karius' nightmare performance in last year's Champions League final, admitting it was 'sad' to see one of his goalkeeping colleagues endure such a difficult night.
The Brazilian prepares to help the Reds make amends and take the trophy home 12 months on, as they prepare for a second successive final against Tottenham on Saturday.
Even with preparations in full swing, however, many in the Reds camp will be cursed with flashbacks to a year ago, when two errors from Karius and a spectacular strike from Gareth Bale allowed Real Madrid to run out 3-1 winners.
Whether as a direct result or not, Alisson was brought in to replace the German months later, and has had a seismic impact on a previously meek defence, winning the Premier League Golden Glove and playing his part in a stellar campaign. He refused to wear the number one shirt this season out of respect for Karius, however, and in an interview with Globo Esporte, he expressed sympathy towards his contemporary, saying that the errors may have 'marked' his career.
“We get sad when a colleague has a moment like this, especially in the Champions League final," he said. "It’s something that marks the player’s career, but we have to go around it, know how to deal with the mistake no matter when it happens.
“It’s inherent in the profession. The goalkeepers are more marked because, when an error occurs, 99% of the time ends in a goal and can decide a match, a championship. It sure gives a feeling of sadness, because we know how much we work and dedicate to make things happen in the best way.”
Karius was visibly distraught after the match, and following Alisson's arrival, he left Liverpool on a two-year loan to Besiktas to rediscover his best form away from the spotlight.
Still a contracted player to Jurgen Klopp's side, he was invited to watch the final alongside his teammates, but according to the Mail, he has opted to remain on holiday, not wanting to serve as a distraction from his parent club's preparations.
Whether or not a Liverpool victory in Madrid would give him a sense of closure remains to be seen, but for Alisson and the rest of the Liverpool squad, it would certainly be the ideal way to round out an impressive debut season and exorcise the lurking demons of a year ago.