Like other internationals, Naby Keita left his club to represent his country, Guinea during the September FIFA international break.
A day before a scheduled FIFA World Cup qualifier between Guinea and Morocco in Conakry, the capital of Guinea, a coup broke out that led to the capturing of Guinean President Alpha Conde.
Immediately after the coup on Sunday morning, September 5, the coup plotters shut down the borders of the country which made it impossible for both the home and away team to be evacuated.
World football governing body, FIFA and Africa Confederation of Football (CAF) had to cancel the World Cup qualification match that was slated for last Monday.
Moroccan players and coaching staff were able to leave the country on Sunday night. Before they left Guinea, the head coach of Morocco, Vahid Halilhodzic told L’Equipe that “gunshots could be heard all day” while at the country.
After the successful evacuation of the Moroccan national team, the attention of the football world was shifted to how Naby Keita and the rest of his teammates could leave the country.
After a series of negotiations, Liverpool succeeded in evacuating the 26-year-old midfielder back to England on Tuesday, September 7, 2021.
Ahead of Leeds United vs Liverpool Premier League game which is scheduled to kick off at 4:30, Jurgen Klopp said though the midfielder is in England, he was not at the club’s training center on Wednesday.
“Naby is fine,” said Klopp. “Yesterday (Wednesday) he was not here [at the club’s Kirkby training base] but he was in Liverpool again. I will have a chat with him today [Thursday], but from what I know from all the calls and talks we had, he’s fine.”
Jurgen Klopp confirms that Virgil van Dijk is 200 percent fit for the Leeds United game
The manager of Liverpool football club, Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that the club’s defender, Virgil van Dijk is “200 percent” fit to play against Leeds United on Saturday.
Virgil van Dijk suffered a knock during the Netherlands World Cup qualifier against Turkey on Tuesday night. In the game which ended 6-1 in favor of the Netherlands, the prolific defender was seen limping off the pitch.
“With Virgil, that was obviously a scary moment, you can imagine,” Klopp told Liverpool’s club website.
“I sent him a message after the game, ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Yes’. ‘100 percent?’ ‘200 percent’. ‘Come on, send me a video of you without limping…’ ‘I’m only limping off’.
“So he called me from the bus and said, ‘Boss, I’m fine!’ I said, ‘Why are you limping then?’ He said, ‘My wife asked the same!’ So, yeah, that was a bit of a tricky moment but apart from that, no, all fine [for the other international players].”
Recall that Virgil van Dijk spent most of the 2020-2021 season battling a knee injury. His absence in Liverpool’s squad made things difficult for Jurgen Klopp.
His return ahead of the 2021-2022 season is seen as a huge boost for Liverpool. So far this season, the Dutch defender helped Liverpool to beat Norwich City 0-3, Burnley 2-0, and draw with Chelsea 1-1. All things being equal, Van Dijk might be in action against Leeds on Saturday.