People love a storyline, and the big thing that came out of Liverpool’s last Champions League win against Atletico Madrid was their manager, Diego Simeone, who refused to shake Jürgen Klopp’s hand after the game. The post-game handshake is a tradition meant to show sportsmanship, but also serves as a barometer of how angry a manager is at the final score.
When Liverpool scored a narrow and late win at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium, Simeone ignored the habit and instead ran into the tunnel, clearly frustrated.
With the Argentine coming to Anfield on Wednesday, both managers have been asked to discuss the incident again.
Simeone mocked the exercise as false, saying: “I don’t like the handshake greetings after the game because it’s the emotions of two different sides in different emotional minds. So I don’t like that post-game greeting. I know it’s a habit in the UK and it’s all about chivalry, but I don’t share it and I don’t like the falsity. So I act the way I feel.
“I don’t know Klopp as a person, but he is a great coach and has been great everywhere. I don’t give an opinion about other teams, we are coaches and we all have to respect that.”
As for Klopp, who himself is no stranger to spontaneous rage during and after matches, the Liverpool boss brushed aside the incident that took so many digital columns two weeks ago.
“I have a lot of respect for him,” Klopp said. “We don’t know each other but I respect what he does at Atletico, absolutely exceptional against strengths year after year. Very impressive. The handshake? If I knew he wouldn’t do it I wouldn’t try. We were both emotional [after the game in Madrid] but now I know he doesn’t like it, so no problem.”
So there we go. Obviously, both men are ready to put that little interaction behind them and focus on the match instead.