Liverpool News

Inspired Ibou Konate striving to build on 'big dream'

Ibrahima Konate sees inspiration all around him at Liverpool. 

By Charles Cornwall

Ibrahima Konate sees inspiration all around him at Liverpool. 
Ibrahima Konate sees inspiration all around him at Liverpool. 
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Which perhaps goes a long way to explaining why the centre-back’s motivation for the forthcoming season is stronger than ever, after a debut year at Anfield that he describes as ‘a big dream’. Signed from RB Leipzig last summer, Konate integrated himself into Jürgen Klopp’s set-up swiftly enough to appear in almost half of the Reds’ 63 games in 2021-22, including 26 starts.

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The last of those came in the Champions League defeat against Real Madrid in May, the final outing of a season that saw Liverpool lift the Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup while also narrowly missing out on the Premier League title. Personal consolation for Konate soon arrived in the form of a first call-up to the France national team and subsequent debut for his country in June.

Plenty for the defender to be proud of, then, but certainly not to dwell on. As catches up with the No.5 in an extended interview, he is already gazing into the future, seeking success and self-improvement. “I was very happy to be back,” he says of returning for pre-season. “The holiday was good, and long. I rested very well and a lot. I am very happy to be back to see the players and the new players.

The conclusion

“Last season was a great season but the end was not very good for us. This season, we come back with a lot of things and I hope we will do a great thing this season. “Last season was a big dream. But I worked a lot for that. I think I deserve all of that. But what happened last season is behind me, now I am focused for the next season and for the future.”

As Klopp recently acknowledged, Liverpool’s last campaign did not truly end with the disappointment of the European Cup loss in Paris. The conclusion – the abiding memory – was the end-of-season parade the following day, attended by 500,000 supporters and serving as both healing experience and inspiration refill. Konate’s fluent English rarely skips a beat, but he’s briefly lost for words when asked to recall the impact that day had on him and his teammates.

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