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‘An unforgettable moment for me’ – Konate revels in Liverpool debut

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The Mali prospect showed signs of what to come having impressed in the Reds’ pre-season fixtures against VFB Stuttgart and Wacker Innsbruck

Ibrahima Konate has described his maiden Liverpool appearance as “an unforgettable moment” as the Reds tried VFB Stuttgart for size in a friendly on Tuesday.

The former France youth international of Malian descent joined the Reds on a £36 million ($50m) switch from Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.

The 22-year-old centre-back made his bow as the English side played out a 1-1 draw against the German elite division side, just as their earlier encounter with Wacker Innsbruck finished.

Speaking through his club’s website, the Mali prospect expressed his joy after playing his first match for the 19-time English champions.

“Yes, I am very happy. It’s an un forgettable moment for me,” Konate said.

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“Yes, without our fans – but I am very, very happy. Just a little bit sad – very sad – because we didn’t win. But it’s ok, I’m happy.

“I was very happy with the team on the pitch; good communication with everybody.

“Step by step we will be better, this is the first time in pre-season. We are waiting for the next game.”

As they continue their preparations for the 2021-22 campaign, Jurgen Klopp’s team square up against Mainz 05 in their next encounter on Friday.

That showdown is expected to be watched by up to 3,500 fans at the Untersberg-Arena in Grodig.

“Of course, this is the best,” he continued. “[It has been] a very long time with the Covid situation, it was very bad for everybody in the world.

“And for the football players, very sad when you play without your fans.

“Now, I think it will be a new level with the fans because the fans were sad to not be here with us. And this will be very, very important to us.”

Konate boasts of plenty of experience in top-flight football after four inspiring years at RB Leipzig – a team he represented in the Champions League semi-finals under manager Julian Nagelsmann.

Klopp will hope that he can also bring out the best in the defender as the Reds bid to fight for major honours again when the new season commences.

They begin their campaign with an opener against newly-promoted Norwich City on August 14.



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