How Liverpool keeper Karius has benefitted from Champions League howlers
If you hadn’t heard of Loris Karius before Saturday night’s Champions League final, the chances are you know who he is now.
Few men have the dubious distinction of being known the world over for losing his team the final of club football’s biggest competition, and fewer still are able to claim not one but two ludicrous mistakes in the biggest game of their lives.
Liverpool’s defeat at the hands of three-in-a-row champions Real Madrid is not solely down to Karius, but many certainly feel like it is. The German goalkeeper rolled the ball directly to Karim Benzema for the Spanish club’s first, before fumbling in a fairly tame effort from Gareth Bale 20 minutes later. His two mistakes were the talk of Twitter after the game, and the next morning Karius took to social media to send his apologies to his teammates and fans – though most understand that no-one felt worse than he did.
Haven’t really slept until now… the scenes are still running through my head again and again… I'm infinitely sorry to my teammates, for you fans, and for all the staff. I know that I messed it up with the two mistakes and let you all down. As I said I'd just like to turn back the time but that's not possible. It's even worse as we all felt that we could have beaten Real Madrid and we were in the game for a long time. Thank you to our unbelievable fans who came to Kiev and held my back, even after the game. I don't take that for granted and once again it showed me what a big family we are. Thank you and we will come back stronger.
One interesting side-note to all of this is the role of social media.
We’re used to seeing how it can be a force for bad and for good at the same time. Instant reactions can be broadcast to thousands around the world, even from a relatively small account if the right hashtags and keywords are used. Retweets from bigger accounts can then amplify that reach even further. These can be vitriolic in nature – bitter outbursts spewed in the heat of the moment – or they can be messages of support and love during a tough time. Or they can be everything in between.
On the back of the Champions League final, Italian social media analytics company IQUII Sport crunched the numbers and by their reckoning, in the three day aftermath of the final (26-29th May), Loris Karius grew his social media following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram by a whopping 1.1m.
— IQUII Sport (@IQUIISport) May 29, 2018
That’s a massive jump across all three platforms with the overwhelming majority coming from Instagram – a platform we now know is fast becoming the go-to place for sports fans.
There’s no analysis on what kind of new follower the German goalkeeper has been accruing, though. Are we talking about well-wishers, naysayers or, bless them, those poor souls who just like to gawk at car crashes?
Well in fact, there may well be a fourth constituency, too.
Some who had simply never heard of the Liverpool player before may well have checked out his Instagram feed after seeing his name splashed around the news. If they did, they will have seen quite a number of his snaps; showing off luscious blonde hair, many and various tattoos and designer style in luxury locations. Indeed, if he weren’t a footballer you could be forgiven for thinking that Karius was a lifestyle influencer with a link in his bio.
That’s hardly any consolation to a man who has recently had the worst day of his life played out in the full glare of a sizeable percentage of the world’s population across all digital platforms – during the game as well as after it. But no matter what the reason, making worldwide headlines is a sure-fire way to boost your following: it’s definitely not true, but there’s a reason they say no press is bad press!
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