Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp says his “smartest decision in life was not to use social media,” after hitting out at the “crazy” treatment of his goalkeeper Loris Karius and Germany midfielder Mesut Ozil. Karius posted a message on Instagram at the weekend, shedding light on the “anger and hate” directed at him following his error-strewn performance in the Champions League final defeat against Real Madrid in May. Ozil called time on his international career with Germany this week, citing similar negativity and hostility following the publication of a photograph of him standing alongside Turkish president Recep Erdogan.
And Klopp, speaking exclusively at the team’s New Jersey hotel ahead of Wednesday’s game against Juventus, said he simply cannot understand the online abuse which public figures now experience. “Look, I think my smartest decision in life was not to use social media,” Klopp said. “I don’t read it if people criticize me on social media. They can write whatever they want and it never would faze me because I don’t know it. I don’t read it, so I don’t feel it. “I never really thought it right if you listen to people, they don’t show you their face — if you want to tell me you’re not happy with me, tell me now, but don’t go out and write it on your smartphone and put it on Facebook, Instagram, whatever.
“That’s the crazy part of the world, obviously, but we all are not really bothered about it as long as we are not involved. “We accept it like that’s how the world is now, but the moment when you’re in the middle of the storm, then you will think, ‘Wow, that’s really different to how it was in the good old times.’ “Obviously, in their rooms when they write, they don’t care about the person. Not only Loris — [they care] about nobody. They don’t care. It’s like they have a lot of power in that moment and they use it, but power is two things. When one has power, the other one who feeds it and so I really would say it’s a good idea in life to really don’t get in these things. “I’m not sure that it will happen, but maybe one time, we can start talking again and don’t write messages to each other.”
Karius, who faces a fight to save his Liverpool career following the £66.9 million signing of Roma goalkeeper Alisson, has also been subjected to mockery for a mistake made during the warm-up before a preseason friendly against Tranmere Rovers. Footage of the error went viral on social media, prompting Klopp to defend his under-fire keeper. “Football is like it is, but Loris is still a really good goalkeeper,” he said. “Did I like what the fans in the preseason games did and they start kind of making noises in the moment when he gets the ball? I never understood people doing that, but if they think it is part of the game, yeah, then do it.
“It still doesn’t say anything about you as a goalkeeper — it’s a preseason game and all the players on the pitch made mistakes.” Klopp, meanwhile, insisted Ozil was within his rights to end his Germany career in the wake of the criticism he shouldered following the World Cup. “I read all the things and heard all the things,” Klopp said, shaking his head. “I really don’t think that anybody’s said the 100 percent right thing about it, and I don’t have the right thing to say about it. “It’s a personal decision and, first of all, you don’t want to play for Germany — other players did that as well. He had 92 games.
“All the rest, I don’t really understand it 100 percent. Yes, the picture [with Erdogan] was more than unlucky. That’s how it is, 100 percent. “But all rest is then you can find true things in what he wrote and you will find a few things that obviously that the rest of the world would say, ‘No, that’s not exactly like it is.’ “But it’s a personal opinion, not more. It’s his opinion that it happens like that and that’s why he stepped back. So his decision, absolutely, and he has the right to do so.”