KEY POINTS

  • Ibrahima Konate joined Liverpool in the 2021 summer
  • He has played 28 games this season
  • Konate previously played for Sochaux and Leipzig

Liverpool FC defender Ibrahima Konate is thrilled about returning to his hometown Paris for the UEFA Champions League final. 

Konate, who was born in Paris, said he couldn't have dreamt better, referring to his upcoming maiden Champions League final appearance in his birth city. Liverpool are set to take on Real Madrid in the top European final at Stade de France on Saturday. 

The 23-year-old joined Liverpool in the summer of 2021. He has made 28 competitive appearances for the Reds, winning two trophies already: League Cup and FA Cup. A third trophy is on the cards for Konate in his maiden season with Jurgen Klopp and Co. 

"It's unimaginable. If you'd asked me what I wanted, I don't think I could've dreamt of anything better. That said, we know that we'll be playing against a very good Real Madrid team, so we'll need to prepare well. Certainly, when you talk about the Champions League [final] being in my city, I'm honestly speechless, and I don't think I could've dreamt of anything better," Konate said in an interview with UEFA. 

It has been over eight years since Konate left Paris for pursuing his career that took him to Sochaux, RB Leipzig and, last year, to Liverpool.

While his dream now is "to be the best central defender in the world, and to win all the titles going," back then, as a 14-year-old, his ambitions were rather more reserved.

"My dream then was just to become a professional footballer. I didn't have an idea in my head about being at a top club or whatever. It was just about being a pro. I couldn't look beyond that. We didn't have the money. Like most young Parisiens, we couldn't get to see football in proper stadiums, and we didn't play on (proper) pitches, because we didn’t have those opportunities," said Konate.

Ibrahima Konate Ibrahima Konate moved from RB Leipzig to Liverpool in the 2021 summer Photo: Getty Images / DeFodi Images

"But we found ways to play football whenever and wherever we could. We really didn't need much to be happy, we were just happy playing in the streets," the Frenchman added.

The upcoming game is Liverpool's third Champions League final under Klopp. After losing the 2017-18 final to Real Madrid in Kyiv, the Reds went on to clinch the coveted trophy the subsequent season, which was their sixth UCL title.