Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp dedicated Saturday's Champions League final against Real Madrid in Paris to the people of Ukraine, expressing support for the country against Russia's invasion.
The game, a rematch of the 2018 final, had been scheduled for St Petersburg's Gazprom Arena but was shifted to the Stade de France after Russia's Feb. 24 invasion of its neighbor.
"I am happy that the game is here for thousands of reasons," Klopp told reporters. The war is still going on and we have to think about that."
The German said moving the final to Paris was "exactly the right message that Russia should get".
Jurgen Klopp with a poignant message to all Ukrainian people:"Life goes on, even when you try to destroy it. We play this final for all the people, not only but as well, in Ukraine. I am pretty sure there are some who can watch it and we do it for you as well, 100%." ❤️ pic.twitter.com/5synN8fhBq
— Anfield Watch (@AnfieldWatch) May 27, 2022
Moscow calls the war a "special military operation" to demilitarise and "denazify" Ukraine. Kyiv and the West call it an unprovoked war of aggression.
"We play this final for all the people in Ukraine. I am sure some people in Ukraine can still watch it and we do it for you, 100%," Klopp said.
Liverpool hopes to win a third trophy this season after success in the League Cup and FA Cup, while Real seeks to add to their LaLiga triumph and clinch a record-extending 14th Champions League crown.
(Reporting by Dhruv Munjal in Bengaluru; Editing by William Mallard)