The Reds coach has compared his new starting keeper to a fictional boxing legend after stepping up in a penalty shoot-out
Jurgen Klopp has likened Liverpool goalkeeper Adrian to boxing icon Rocky Balboa after the Spaniard became an instant hero by saving the decisive spot-kick against Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup final.
After the match finished 2-2 following 120 minutes of action in Istanbul, Adrian made the only penalty save as he denied Tammy Abraham and gifted the Reds another trophy.
It caps off a big few days for the former West Ham keeper, who has suddenly become Liverpool’s number one shot-stopper following an injury to Alisson.
Stepping up on the big stage when his side needed him most, Klopp compared Adrian to Rocky as he belted out the keeper’s name as it was famously done in the movie.
“What a story. Adrian! Like Rocky after he lost against Apollo Creed,” Klopp told BT Sport post-match.
“He’s really loud in the dressing room already. The Spanish emotions come through.
“It’s so nice for him, I don’t think he’s won a lot in his life, so it’s so nice to win a big one and be an important part in the game as well.
“Both goalkeepers had incredible saves.”
Of course Jurgen Klopp has gone full Rocky Balboa on us 😂
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) August 14, 2019
While Blues keeper Kepa Arrizabalaga also starred for his side with a string of amazing saves, it was Adrian that walked away from the match as the hero, with Liverpool defender Virgil van Djik tipping such an outcome before the match.
“I’m very glad Adrian saved the last one. He should enjoy himself,” van Dijk said.
“I told him before that he could be the hero tonight. I said ‘do it’ and he did.
“I’m very happy for him and for the club as well.”
The Super Cup marks Adrian’s first piece of silverware in his senior professional career and he’ll now be hoping to kick on this season with Allison expected to be sidelined for a few more weeks.
After six seasons with West Ham, the Spanish keeper was allowed to leave the club as a free agent over the summer, with Klopp’s decision to sign him suddenly becoming a crucial bit of business.
Upon joining the Reds, Adrian stressed his desire to become even better at Anfield and provide a good outlet for his side with the ball at his feet.
“I like to help the team from the back,” Adrian said.
“Obviously we need to save goals but now the modern keeper has to be very complete.
“I am still learning at my age, still learning and improving, but I think I have a great level to show and keep showing in the Premier League.”