Liverpool’s failure to get past the Champions League’s last 16 for the first time in three years is expected to cost them more than £30million.
Jurgen Klopp had won all 10 of his previous knockout fixtures as Liverpool manager and the financial rewards of reaching the Champions League final in 2018 – then winning the tournament 12 months ago – have been huge.
They received £54.7million in prize money for beating Tottenham last June but elimination at the first knockout stage will have a considerable impact – last year’s figures showed they pocketed a combined £31.1million for beating Bayern Munich, Porto and Barcelona on the road to Madrid.
Liverpool have been through their most difficult month of the campaign, with Atletico Madrid beating them home and away in the Champions League and Chelsea knocking them out of the FA Cup. Watford also ruined their hopes of going through the Premier League season unbeaten.
It should not be forgotten, though, that Liverpool are only six points away from being crowned domestic champions for the first time since 1990 and Virgil van Dijk insists the disappointment of losing in Europe will not have a lasting impact.
‘We’re talking about six points,’ said Van Dijk. ‘But we’ll be playing Everton away, a very tough match, and Crystal Palace at home, always a tricky opponent, and then City. And an international break in between. Anything can happen. But we should stay very confident.
Had Adrian not made such a glaring error, Liverpool would – in all likelihood – have beaten Atleti 2-0.
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The Spaniard will remain in goal at Goodison Park on Monday night and his team-mates are not holding the mistake against him.
‘Anyone can make a mistake,’ said Van Dijk. ‘It happens. But Adrian’s misjudgement seemed to turn the game around. I’m not going to say anything about that. You win together, you lose together. Things happen in matches. We lost. That’s tough to take.’
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