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

7   //    14 Jul 2016, 15:08 IST
Britain Football Soccer - Tranmere Rovers v Liverpool - Pre Season Friendly - Prenton Park - 8/7/16 Liverpool's Loris Karius warms up before the match Action Images via Reuters / Peter Cziborra Livepic
Britain Football Soccer - Tranmere Rovers v Liverpool - Pre Season Friendly - Prenton Park - 8/7/16Liverpool's Loris Karius warms up before the matchAction Images via Reuters / Peter CziborraLivepic

(Reuters) - 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.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly)

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