Liverpool lucky charm Ibrahima Konate senses more final joy and wants to help Reds lift the FA Cup
Liverpool’s lucky charm Ibrahima Konate has a 100% scoring record at Wembley… but the French revelation is happy to give up his impeccable tag to help Jurgen Klopp’s quadruple chaser lift the FA Cup against the Chelsea.
- Stylish defender Ibrahima Konate has been Liverpool’s lucky omen this season
- The French summer signing has a good 100 per cent scoring record at Wembley
- I would happily lose that to see the Reds lift the FA Cup on Saturday afternoon.
Ibrahima Konate has been Liverpool’s lucky omen this season, but he will happily lose his 100 per cent scoring record at Wembley to lift the FA Cup.
The France Under-21 international has settled quietly at Anfield following a £36m move from RB Leipzig last summer and is expected to join Virgil van Dijk at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, as he did in the semi-final against Manchester City.
Konate opened the scoring that day with a commanding header and also converted a penalty in the shoot-out against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup final in February.
Ibrahima Konate has been the harbinger of Liverpool’s Wembley fortunes this season and he has yet to lose there
The 22-year-old centre-half has quietly become a trusted lieutenant for Jurgen Klopp (right)
He is the only member of Jurgen Klopp’s side to play every minute of his FA Cup campaign, and Liverpool have yet to lose a game when Konate has played.
Extending that sequence on Saturday night will lead to his second medal and it’s that chance, rather than grabbing headlines for himself, that drives the 22-year-old.
This campaign has gone better than he expected and he doesn’t want it to stop.
‘I’m very excited, the whole team is!’ Konate said.
‘It’s a great event. One goal can be enough, whether it’s scored by me or someone else, it doesn’t bother me in any way.
“The most important thing is to go and win, then come back to Liverpool and celebrate a great victory. Never at any time in my life could I have imagined this. I knew I was joining a very big club, a club that has set out to win titles and trophies.
The former RB Leipzig defender, who signed last summer for £36m, is expected to play alongside Virgil van Dijk (left) in the FA Cup final against Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday.
“But this season has been exceptional, historic for the club and it is difficult to explain in words. It’s super exciting to be a part of.
‘My expectation was to come here and work. The club has a very strong work ethic. The coach has placed a lot of trust in me and I’m very happy about it. The thing now is to continue putting in good performances and hopefully get the victories.’
Liverpool had shadowed Konate when he was a youth player at Sochaux but moved for him last winter at a time when Van Dijk was still recovering from cruciate ligament surgery.
There was no prospect of him joining last January during the club’s defensive crisis, as there was no release clause, but he has shown that the wait has been worth it.
Konate scored in the semi-final against Man City and has a 100 per cent scoring record at Wembley.
Now, alongside Van Dijk, who Konate explains has been an inspiration and role model, he is showing why, with his speed and strength, Liverpool were so eager to sign him.
“The whole team defends, to be honest,” Konate said.
‘It’s not just the rear four. The midfield and even the attackers, they all have a role to play in allowing us to do what we do. We can only defend with that level of support from the front.
“As for Virgil, he gives me some advice for the big matches, but he also has that quality where we have this great relationship and he allows me to decide in every match, make decisions. He lets me play with my own qualities, and I think that’s a very good aspect of his leadership.”