- Vinicius a Madrid great, Klopp said
- Winger scored winner in 2022 Champions League final
- Poised to start at Anfield tomorrow
WHAT HAPPENED? Vinicius has consistently been on the receiving end of vile racist abuse in Spain this season, with rival fans often yelling insults or even making physical statements towards the Madrid winger. Bizarrely asked whether he felt Vini Jr did something to provoke the abuse ahead of Liverpool's Champions League last-16 meeting with Real on Tuesday, a bemused Klopp denounced the behaviour of those supporters who have targeted him with discrimination. He also dubbed Vinicius a Madrid legend, despite the 22-year-old's relative inexperience.
WHAT THEY SAID: "There's nothing he could do on the pitch that could ever justify that. He's a world-class player. He's already a Real Madrid legend at a very young age," Klopp said in a pre-match press conference.
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Klopp will have to figure out how to deal with Vinicius as Liverpool face Madrid in the Champions League knockout round first leg at Anfield. The Brazilian winger scored the winner when the two teams met in the Champions League final last year.
IN TWO PHOTOS:Getty ImagesGetty
WHAT NEXT FOR LIVERPOOL? Liverpool will be out to avenge May's defeat to Real when the two sides meet on Tuesday night, while Vinicius will be hoping to repeat his Paris heroics.