Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 August 2020

Jurgen Klopp invites The Beast to title parade after he sits in Wycombe team meeting wearing Liverpool kit

The 38-year-old striker was thrilled when Reds boss responded to his WhatsApp request

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has invited Wycombe Wanderers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa to their Premier League title parade after sending him a congratulatory message for sealing promotion to the Championship.

After Wanderers beat Oxford United in the League One playoff final at Wembley on Monday to secure their place in the Championship for the first time, Akinfenwa - nicknamed The Beast - joked in his post-match interview that Klopp could "hit me up on WhatsApp".

The German manager responded with a video message and said during a news conference that Akinfenwa would also be part of their title celebration when it happens.

"When it's possible, in the future ... he is invited for the parade, 100% ... I saw he was sitting in the team meeting in a Liverpool kit, which I thought was really funny," Klopp said.

"I watched the game ... yes he responded, he sent a video back," Klopp added, without giving details. "At least a few things in life should stay private. It was nice, he was obviously really happy."

Following Monday's game, Akinfenwa had reflected about his journey from being "technically unemployed" after helping AFC Wimbledon reach English football's third tier in 2016 to being promoted to the Championship with Wanderers four years later.

"I just enjoy these kind of stories ... as a player I was in similar situations," Klopp said. "Football meant everything to me before somebody thought 'it's worth giving him some money for it', and that has never changed.

"I always will love this game because you can fulfil your own dreams, it just depends on the dreams."

Akinfenwa responded to official confirmation of his invite by tweeting: “This is getting silly now, I’m smiling like a grown kid.”

Akinfenwa began his football career in Lithuania, going on to play for 13 clubs in England and Wales before finally becoming a Championship player with Wycombe at 38. He now faces another challenge as his contract at Adams Park runs out this summer.

Updated: July 15, 2020 11:21 AM

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