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Soccer Football – League One – Wycombe Wanderers v Bristol Rovers – Adams Park, High Wycombe, Britain – February 8, 2020 Wycombe Wanderers’ Adebayo Akinfenwa celebrates scoring their first goal and reacts to Bristol Rovers fans Action Images/Adam Holt
(Reuters) – Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp said he has invited Wycombe Wanderers’ Adebayo Akinfenwa to their Premier League title parade shortly after sending the forward 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 English second-tier for the first time, Akinfenwa had joked in his post-match interview that Klopp could “hit me up on WhatsApp”.
The German manager had responded with a video message and said during a news conference on Tuesday 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.
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“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 soccer’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.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Robert Birsel
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