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Football: Karius opts out of Rio to fight for Liverpool first-team spot

Reuters , Thursday 14 Jul 2016
Karius
Liverpool's Loris Karius warms up before the match (Reuters)
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Loris Karius has sacrificed his Olympic dream to try and replace Simon Mignolet as the first-choice goalkeeper at new club Liverpool, the 23-year-old German has said.

Karius, who has represented his country at the under-21 level, joined Jurgen Klopp-managed Liverpool in May from German side Mainz 05 and will vie with current number one keeper Mignolet for a starting spot.

"I spoke with the manager and we said that it doesn't make sense for me to go to the Olympics as I would miss the first two league games of the season and of course I want to play in them," Karius told the British media.

"We agreed together I wouldn't be going (to Rio). First I spoke with Jurgen and then together we spoke with the German people who wanted me to go.

"The priority is the club. It's more important that I am available for the start of the season."

Mignolet, 28, joined the Merseyside club in 2013 and was handed a contract extension in January that would keep the Belgian international at Anfield until 2021.

"Of course I know that a club like this has more competition," Karius said. "It's a bigger club and better players means more competition.

"But I am not scared of anything. I'm not a keeper who hasn't shown his ability."

The 16-team Olympic football competition is restricted to under-23 players with only three overage players allowed. World champions Germany have been paired with 2012 Olympic gold medallist Mexico, South Korea and Fiji in Group C. 

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