‘I’m sorry’: Karius’ heartbreaking final horrorshow
WITH two devastating errors, Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius wrote his name into Champions League infamy and will take with him memories that, sadly, will haunt the young German for the rest of his career.
In the fallout from an extraordinary final that will be remembered for Gareth Bale's stupendous bicycle kick, the image of a sobbing Karius is one which will haunt Liverpool's fans for a long time.
The 24-year-old made two terrible howlers - and he tearfully owned them immediately after the match.
"My mistakes have lost the team the final," he told talkSPORT.
"I'm sorry... sorry to everyone."
Karius' first blunder was a gift to Karim Benzema, who opened the scoring when he stuck a boot out and connected with Karius' attempted clearing throw.
It was baffling and indefensible. But also it was quickly erased, with Sadio Mane equalising for Liverpool a mere four minutes later.
Karius' nightmare didn't end there, however, when Bale - who had already stunned the world with his magnificent bicycle kick - shot from distance.
From 35 metres out, the Welshman's swerving effort appeared to be comfortably covered by Karius as Liverpool desperately clung to hope they could conjure another equaliser in the final ten minutes.
Instead, Bale's shot burst through Karius' hands and the keeper was picking the ball out of his net, teary-eyed, for a third time.
"On a human level you feel sorry for him," said champion England and Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard.
"But mistakes at this level shouldn't be happening.
"I can't believe what we've seen but it's a horrible, horrible evening for him."
Liverpool lost 3-1 and inevitably Karius' two errors will be painted as the difference, but as images of him sobbing in the post-match while apologising to Liverpool's travelling fans the mood turned from anger to one of concern for the youngster.
"You do feel sorry for him," said former England and Manchetser United defender Ferdinand.
"I'm concerned for his future. He needs people around him to comfort him."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp struggled to find the words to explain Karius' twin blunders, while it was noted that after his second error he was consoled by several Real Madrid rivals - but none of his own teammates.
"What can I say? Loris knows it, everyone knows it. That's it," Klopp said.
"It's a shame it was in a game like this, after a season like this. I really feel for him, a fantastic boy.
"The second one is because of the first one. It's really difficult to get rid of bad thoughts you have in your mind.
"It was not the best script for us tonight."