Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has laughed off his appalling record in finals by rebranding himself a “world record-holder in winning semi-finals” and insisting he is not the problem.
The German has lost the last six showpiece events he has contested since winning the German Cup in 2012.
He has finished a Champions League runner-up twice (with Borussia Dortmund and then Liverpool last season) as well as losing two more German Cups with Dortmund and League Cup and Europa League finals with Liverpool.
It is a stick which Klopp has long been accustomed to being beaten with but ahead of their meeting with Tottenham in Madrid, the 51-year-old joked about his record when asked whether he believed in fate or bad luck.
“Do you think I have an unlucky career? All my career was not unlucky,” he said.
“My missus always asks me before the season when is the final game of the season, because we are often in it, so I’m not unlucky.
“Since 2012, apart from 2017, I was every year with my team in a final. We came there sometimes with luck.
“I am the world record-holder in the last seven years in winning semi-finals. But if I were to write a book about it probably no-one would buy it.
“If I were to sit in the room and think it is all about me, I am the reason, if I saw myself as a loser, then we would have a problem but I don’t see myself as this.
“If I were to be the reason for losing six years in a row, then everyone needs to worry.”
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino was keeping tight-lipped over whether Harry Kane would start the Champions League final.
Kane has not played since the quarter-final first leg against Manchester City in early April when he suffered a “significant” ankle ligament injury.
The England captain has declared himself fit for the showpiece clash with Liverpool and trained without problem at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid on Friday night.
Kane would likely replace Lucas Moura – the hat-trick hero of Amsterdam – if he was to start and Pochettino is preparing himself for a “painful” decision.
“We have one training session now and then we’re going to decide,” Pochettino said.
“It’s normal that you are asking me, it’s not easy, it is not going to be easy to make that decision tomorrow.
“But it was difficult the last game that we played, the semi-finals, the quarter-finals, the last 16.
“Every single game we need to take a decision. Tomorrow is going to be another decision, a decision when we have all the information and we know every single detail, we are going to take the best decision to win.”