Loris Karius can claim redemption glory in Carabao Cup for Newcastle

Every now and then football throws up a storyline that captivates fans all over the world from Liverpool and Manchester United’s infamous Champions League final comebacks in Istanbul and Barcelona respectively to Denmark’s European Championship triumph in 1992 despite not even qualifying. Now Loris Karius has a chance at writing his own Hollywood script today in the Carabao Cup final – nearly five years on from THAT Champions League final.

Nick Pope’s wild sending off against Liverpool has thrust forgotten man Karius back into the limelight with Newcastle back-up Martin Dubravka cup-tied. The German shot-stopper was thrown to the wolves for his catastrophic errors in Liverpool’s 2018 Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid.

He first gifted Karim Benzema the opening goal after nonchalantly trying to roll the ball to one of Liverpool’s defenders, only for the Frenchman to sneak in and deflect it into Karius’ net. His error was later compounded for Real’s third as Bale’s swirling effort saw Karius fumble the ball into his own goal.

Karius was in tears after the match, going over to Liverpool fans in the stands to apologise. Barely two months later and Liverpool coughed up a then-record fee to sign Alisson from Roma with Karius then being sent out on loan to Turkish side Besiktas.

Karius’ career has failed to take off ever since with neither Besiktas or Union Berlin convinced the German could be their new No 1 on a long-term basis. He was back at Liverpool last season with the Reds unable to find a club willing to take Karius on loan or permanently in the final year of his contract.

Newcastle then gave Karius an opportunity to remain in English football, signing the free agent to a short-term contract, and was named on the bench for their opening seven league matches. He finally made his first appearance for Newcastle in a 45-minute cameo against Saudi Arabia side Al Hilal in December.

And Karius is now set for his chance at redemption in today’s Carabao Cup final between Newcastle and Manchester United.

Footballers aren’t strangers to redemption stories with David Beckham’s comeback from public enemy No 1 for his red card in the 1998 World Cup to helping United to the treble just a year later and Stuart Pearce’s poetic justice by converting his penalty against Spain in the 1996 European Championships, six years after missing the decisive spot-kick against West Germany in the 1990 World Cup.

Each story has its own merit and standing in the redemption chapter, but none would match Karius if he becomes Newcastle’s hero in today’s Carabao Cup final.

No player has spent as long in the wilderness as Karius has and this opportunity wouldn’t have even presented itself were it not for a wild turn of events. Now 29 years of age, Karius has a wealth of experience on his side and he’s already been through hell and back.

Being given a chance on the biggest stage at Wembley may just be redemption enough based on where Karius’ career was seemingly heading. But becoming an overnight hero on Tyneside by helping Newcastle win the Carabao Cup would catapult Karius into football folklore legend as the greatest redemption story of all time.

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