Ibrahima Konate hails ‘unforgettable moment’ after making Liverpool debut in Stuttgart mini-friendly

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New £35m signing Ibrahima Konate made his Liverpool debut against Stuttgart in Austria (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
New £35m signing Ibrahima Konate made his Liverpool debut against Stuttgart in Austria (Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Ibrahima Konate made his eagerly-anticipated Liverpool debut on Tuesday night as Jurgen Klopp’s side began pre-season with a pair of hard-fought matches in Austria.

The French defender - a £35million high-profile early summer arrival from RB Leipzig - started the second of two shortened 30-minute consecutive mini-friendlies in Salzburg, helping Jurgen Klopp’s side to a 1-1 draw against Bundesliga outfit Stuttgart.

“Yes, I am very happy,” Konate told Liverpool’s official website afterwards.

“It’s an unforgettable moment for me. 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.”

Kostas Tsimikas teed up Sadio Mane for Liverpool’s equaliser against Stuttgart after they had fallen behind courtesy of Philipp Forster, while Divock Origi’s penalty was cancelled out by Ronivaldo in the opening fixture against Austrian minnows Wacker Innsbruck that also ended 1-1.

“It was a workout and it was good,” Klopp said of the two short friendlies.

“Physically it was all that we wanted to see, we had to do it and it was an important test for that. From a football point of view, obviously a lot of space for improvement.”

Liverpool take on one of Klopp’s former clubs Mainz in a 60-minute encounter in Grodig, Austria on Friday before facing Hertha Berlin in Aachen, Germany on July 29.

They then round off pre-season with home friendlies against LaLiga duo Athletic Bilbao and Osasuna, to be played on successive days at Anfield across the weekend of August 8/9.

Deposed Premier League champions Liverpool open the 2021/22 top-flight season away against newly-promoted Norwich at Carrow Road on August 14.

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