Jurgen Klopp reveals "cool" Conor Masterson reaction to Champions League call-up
"Coming from Lucan to Anfield, it's just a different ball game."
Conor Masterson had one of the best seats in the house, at Anfield last night, as he witnessed his Liverpool teammates tear Premier League champions-elect Manchester City to shreds.
Named on the Liverpool bench, the 19-year-old defender was able to quell his own personal nerves by sitting back and enjoying goals from Mo Salah, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Sadio Mané in a 3-0 Champions League quarter final victory.
Masterson previously captained Liverpool's U18s and has done well this season with their U23s. He was drafted in as defensive cover after injuries to the likes of Joel Matip, Joe Gomez and others from the senior squad.
While he did not see any game time, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp spoke highly of him to RTÉ after his side's impressive victory.
"Conor is a good boy," Klopp began.
"Very confident, I’m not sure if that’s typical for Ireland.
"But when I said to him, this morning, that he will be in the squad, he said 'I'm ready man', so that’s cool."
Masterson broke ranks with "Klopp" when telling RTÉ's Tony O'Donoghue he found out about his promotion to the bench on Tuesday night, not Wednesday morning. As for his bold, confident statement, the Lucan native replied:
"I like to come across confident, it’s a good thing to have, I think. That’s just the way I am, I’m just being myself and I think that’s key to success."
"It was an unbelievable experience," Masterson added. "Even just going out to warm-up and to see the fans and the atmosphere, it was just surreal, really.
"The team was unbelievable with the performance - 3-0 against the best side in the country, well, they're going to be - it was just... unbelievable."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been impressed by a confident Conor Masterson pic.twitter.com/uT3yv727ES
— RTÉ Soccer (@RTEsoccer) April 4, 2018
Reminded of his days with Lucan United and the incredible journey he is currently on, the Ireland underage star said, "You come from your roots and that's where it started.
"I have to thank Lucan United and everybody there who got me here."