Loris Karius: A Dream Football Career Eclipsed By A Nightmare

Loris Karius

Loris Karius is an infamous German goalkeeper who was once on the way to a legendary career but for a fateful night in Kyiv. On the grandest stage of club football, Loris Karius’ howlers led to Liverpool’s 1-3 defeat at the hands of Real Madrid in the 2018 Champions League Final. Unfortunately for Loris Karius, most people will just remember him for that night. However, there is a lot of good in his career as well. In this post, we will take a look at his career in its entirety, and not just focus on the Champions League debacle. Let’s get started.

Loris Karius: A Football Life

When was Loris Karius born?

Loris Karius was born on June 22, 1993, in Biberach an der Riss. 

Where did Loris Karius study?

Karius attended the Pestalozzi High School in Biberach until 2009. After joining Manchester City’s youth team, he was tutored by a private tutor after training. From early 2019 to mid-2021 he was in a relationship with actress Sophia Thomalla.

Loris Karius: Football Career

Karius started playing football at SG Mettenberg and switched to the youth team at SSV Ulm 1846 in the fall of 2001. In July 2005 he moved to the youth team of VfB Stuttgart until he left the club in July 2009 and moved to England to join the Manchester City U18 team. From 2010 Karius was part of the Manchester City reserve team, for whom he made his debut on 13 April against Wigan Athletic reserves. In the 2010/11 season, he was repeatedly nominated for games in the reserve.

FSV Mainz 05 

In August 2011, Karius became the starting goalkeeper of FSV Mainz 05. He was regularly used in the second team, so he was committed in January 2012 as number three behind Christian Wetklo and Heinz Müller and received a contract that initially ran until 2014. By the end of the 2011/12 season, he played ten more times in the second team. On January 22, 2012, Karius was called up for the first team in the game against Bayer 04 Leverkusen but didn’t get minutes.

In the 2012/13 season, Karius was the second goalkeeper behind Christian Wetklo after Heinz Müller was injured. After Wetklo was sent off on December 1, 2012, in the game against Hannover 96 (2-1), he came on for Shawn Parker in the 52nd minute and made his debut in goal for Mainz. His second Bundesliga assignment was almost a year in coming and took place under the same auspices. After an injury to Müller and Wetklos’ suspension, Karius was in goal for the first time for 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on November 10, 2013, the 12th match day of the 2013/14 season. In the period that followed, he was promoted to the role of first choice goalkeeper, although he had only gone into the season as the third goalkeeper. His contract with Mainz 05 ran until 2018. In total, he made 96 competitive appearances for the Mainz professional team, including two games in qualifying for the 2014/15 Europa League.

Liverpool FC 

For the 2016/17 season, Karius moved to Liverpool in the Premier League. He was given a contract that ran until 2021. In a friendly match at the end of July 2016 against Chelsea FC, he broke his hand and only made his debut for Liverpool FC on the 6th matchday.

In the 2017/18 Champions League, Karius kept six clean sheets until the final. This was the best of any goalkeeper. In the final against Real Madrid, two goalkeeping mistakes were the key factor in Liverpool’s 3-1 defeat. Immediately before conceding the first goal, Karius suffered a concussion after contact with Sergio Ramos ‘ elbow, which resulted in visual-spatial dysfunction. 


In August 2018, Karius was loaned to Turkey at Beşiktaş Istanbul for two years. For the Turks, the German made 67 appearances in national competitions and in the Europa League as a regular keeper. In early May 2020, he terminated his loan contract due to the club’s failure to pay wages.

Karius returned to Liverpool FC for summer preparation in 2020. There he was the fourth goalkeeper behind Alisson, Adrián, and Caoimhin Kelleher.

Union Berlin

At the end of September 2020, he moved to the Bundesliga with FC Union Berlin on loan until the end of the 2020–21 season. Here he was not initially used in the Bundesliga as the second goalkeeper behind Andreas Luthe; he made his debut in the DFB Cup game on December 22, 2020, in which FC Union lost 2-3 to SC Paderborn. On January 30, 2021, he finally made his Bundesliga debut for the Irons in a home game against Borussia Mönchengladbach, when he came on in the 69th minute when the score was 1-1 for his injured goalkeeper colleague Luthe and secured his team the draw. 

Two weeks later, on February 13, 2021, the 21st matchday, he was in the 0-0 home game against FC Schalke 04 for Union Berlin in the Bundesliga starting line-up for the first time, as Luthe was not available for personal reasons. Overall, Karius played in four Bundesliga games and one DFB Cup game for Köpenicker, who qualified for participation in the UEFA Europa Conference League with seventh place in the table.

Return to Liverpool

He returned to Liverpool for the 2021/22 season. There he was the fifth choice behind Alisson, Adrián, Kelleher, and Marcelo Pitaluga and therefore had no chance of being used. Karius has only been on the training ground that season but has won the English Cup and League Cup as a squad member. At the end of the season, Liverpool didn’t renew Karius’ contract and he was released.

Newcastle United 

On 12 September 2022, Karius joined Newcastle United. He signed a short-term contract until December 31, 2022, with an option to extend until the end of the 2022–23 season. With Eddie Howe’s team, he was set to act as Nick Pope’s backup between the goalposts. Karl Darlow was injured and Martin Dúbravka was loaned out to Manchester United just before the end of the transfer window. Thus, only Mark Gillespie, who only had experience in the third-rate EFL League One and in the Scottish Premiership remained behind Pope in the goalkeeping team.

National Team 

Karius progressed through various German junior national teams but was often overshadowed by Timo Horn of FC Köln. He made his debut for the U16 national team on September 16, 2008, in a 5-0 friendly win against Belgium. He played three games in total. With the U17 team, Karius took part in a four-nation tournament of the U17 national teams in 2009, where he played once against Serbia, and the game ended 1-0.

In Germany’s U18 national team, Karius played once on March 24, 2011, against France’s U18 (1-2). After playing for the U19 selection against the Netherlands (2-2) on September 4, 2011, he made his first appearance in the German U20 national team on November 14, 2012, in a game against Poland (1-2) when he came on for Patrick Rakovsky in the second half. 

What happened to Loris Karius in the 2018 Champions League final?

Playing in the Champions League final is the dream of most footballers in the world. However, for the German Loris Karius, it was a nightmare due to two personal errors that cost Liverpool, the team he played for, the title against Real Madrid in 2018.

His first gaffe came when he botched a simple clearance which Karim Benzema pounced upon and scored for Real Madrid. Then Gareth Bale came on as a substitute and scored a spectacular bicycle kick (no fault of Karius in this). However, it was Gareth Bale’s second goal, which was shocking. Bale tried a long range shot which seemed to be destined for the keeper’s hands without any issue. Inexplicably, Karius was unable to hold on to the ball and it went through his hands into the goal, snuffing out any chance of a Liverpool comeback into the match.

From there, Karius did not have a good time; He left Liverpool for Besiktas in Turkey, then he was on loan to Unión Berlin and before signing with Newcastle in England, he returned to Liverpool where he had no minutes.

By 2018 he was the undisputed goalkeeper for Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, but what happened that night in Kyiv was catastrophic in his career, because he really had a bad game However, as it usually happens in football, he had a new opportunity and today he is guarding the Newcastle goal, a team that gave him the opportunity after being ignored by Liverpool, a club in which he never had any more options.

The German recently reappeared in an interview with ESPN and, as expected, they asked him about that terrible day against Real Madrid. The goalkeeper was direct and sincere and he explained that this was a thing of the past and that he did not like to remember that moment.

“I already said what I had to say about that game, for me it is exhausting to keep talking about it. These things happen in football,” said the athlete.

The goalkeeper, now playing for Newcastle United, also assured “he doesn’t think about it anymore” and assured that the pressure that was exerted on him after that day took its toll on him: “In football, four years is equivalent to eight or twelve of the normal life”, he said, referring to that 3-1 debacle against Real Madrid on May 26, 2018.

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