Ibrahima Konate explains his "surprise" after facing Cristiano Ronaldo in Liverpool romp

Liverpool defender Ibrahima Konate has admitted he was “surprised” when he first faced Cristiano Ronaldo in October.

Konate played against the Portuguese icon in Liverpool’s famous 5-0 victory against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The 22-year-old has made just three Premier League appearances for the Reds since his reported £36million move from RB Leipzig in July.

Konate has been kept out of Jurgen Klopp’s team by Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip, who’ve both impressed at centre-back this season.

But the 13-cap France U21 international did get a rare opportunity against United and has since recalled that memorable afternoon.

How good is Ibrahima Konate? Let us know in the comments below!

© AFP via Getty Images Ibrahima Konate claims Cristiano Ronaldo is

“I was surprised because he’s one of the best players in the world, but he’s only human like me,” Konate told the Premier League.

“He has two arms and two legs. I had to be focused on my game with the team and it was good, it was ok.”

Konate has also admitted his shock at Liverpool activating his Leipzig release clause in May, before the transfer in July.

The youngster made 66 Bundesliga appearances during his four-year spell in Germany, helping Leipzig reach two DFB-Pokal finals.

“To be honest, when I heard this, I didn’t believe it,” added Konate. “But after I spoke with Klopp, I said ‘Oh!’

“I was so happy, but I could not speak a lot because I still had a lot of important games with Leipzig. I was very surprised and happy.

“When I used to play FIFA, every time I took Liverpool.”

Speaking in May, Klopp expressed his delight at signing Konate. At the time, the Liverpool manager was without three central defenders due to an injury crisis.

“He is someone I’ve admired for a long time, ever since I first became aware of his potential when he was at Sochaux,” Klopp told Liverpool’s website.

“In Ibrahima we are signing a player who will add to the quality we already have here. His physical attributes are very impressive; he is quick, he is very strong and he is dominant in the air.

“He comes to us after playing more than 90 times for Leipzig in the Bundesliga and European football. I’m sure that number would have been more but for some injury.

© REUTERS Ronaldo struggled against Liverpool in October

“But even so that means he already has experience of what it takes to compete in two outstandingly difficult competitions.

“He also played for a team in the Champions League in high-pressure matches, who have a similar football vision to ourselves.

“I am confident we are signing a player who can play for us right away, but he is a boy of 22 years of age who has room to improve because of his massive potential.

“I know that’s something he is eager to work on with us to become an even better player.

“For me, that’s really exciting because I have seen how good he is already and I’m looking forward to working with him when he joins up with us in pre-season.”

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