Simply thinking about Saturday evening is horrifying in its own way, never mind speaking of it. In a hugely upsetting manner, the greatest show on earth came down to two mistakes by one unfortunate footballer, who will take some time to recover from the events that took place just a few days ago. Hopefully all at this wonderful club can see past the disappointment and bitterness and come together for a young man who has proven his ability this season, but the anger of many will take just as long to disappear after Gareth Bale broke Liverpool hearts in a simply incredible Champions League final.
Real Madrid, under the ingenious and skill of Zinedine Zidane, demonstrated all their guile, all their trickery and all their inventiveness in more ways than one to do what they do best and win. Winning comes in all shapes and sizes, and Sergio Ramos and Co. proved they can do it in their own special way.
For Liverpool, on the other hand, a horror show is quite simply all that can be said of the poor Loris Karius, whose disasters between the sticks arrived at the worst possible time, yet the Liverpool faithful should certainly try and look for the positives in what was a phenomenal European journey.
Goalkeeping aside, the men at the back must take the plaudits for such an immense display, particularly the back four who, each in their own way, proved just how important they are to the club and indeed to the city of Liverpool. Virgil van Dijk will has all the potential to become a Reds legend. The Dutch international has already won over Anfield hearts despite only recently arriving at the club, but his leadership, ability and mere presence is a true sight to behold, and so don’t be surprised to see him captain this wonderful club in the near future.
Dejan Lovren. A central defender who has been attacked for his performances in recent years, admittedly at times through no other fault than his own, yet on Saturday evening, against the greatest force in world football, the Croatian puffed out his chest and put on an immense display on the biggest stage in club football.
Either side of the centre and both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson can hold their heads high after a stunning Champions League campaign, with the former impressing at such a young age against one of the greatest footballers on the planet, with the latter equally slowly but surely etching his name into Liverpool greatness. Both have become immediate fan favourites, and both have shown tremendous determination and perseverance to make that first team spot their own, and will hopefully be wearing red for many years to come.
Mohamed Salah’s withdrawal not only changed the outcome of the game on a massive scale, swaying the tie in favour of Madrid by having a drastic effect on the entire Liverpool team, staff and supporters, but it emphasised just how poor the Reds are in terms of squad depth. Madrid’s almost outrageously talented squad was light-years ahead of their counterparts on the evening, yet the Merseyside outfit showed all their class in fighting the battle with the limited resources made available to them.
Nabil Fekir is a name that is currently exciting many Liverpool fans throughout the world, and the Lyon star would undeniably be a fantastic addition to an already hugely attacking squad. A goalkeeper is a must, and while Klopp would be respected for showing loyalty to a much-improved Karius, the margins in football are too fine to allow such mistakes to, in the end, lose you a Champions League final. Goalkeepers win you football games, and a top name must make their way to Anfield next season for the club to keep progressing in the right direction.
Enough about the heart-breaking turn of events on the pitch, but off it, huge respect must go to the travelling Reds, who time and time again sang their hearts out in an attempt to spur on their players and drive them forward into the unthinkable and, in the end, unachievable. UEFA ought to be ashamed, but quite simply won’t be, and quite simply won’t bat an eyelid at rallying cries for such an illustrious event to be staged in a much more appropriate and logical location. As long as the rich stay rich, UEFA will continue to benefit from what is after all a game of football, and what is after all nothing without the loyal fans who pay money to attend such events. Fortunately, Madrid will play host to the final next year, yet the upcoming World Cups in Russia and Qatar signify that UEFA are not football’s biggest problem, with FIFA following suit and staging precious events like these in the most outrageous corners of the planet in order to please those who pledge allegiance to money.
This summer is a huge one for Liverpool Football Club. On and off the pitch improvements are there to made, and it must surely be time for Klopp to be victorious in a cup final, hopefully once again in the greatest club competition on the planet. Players will leave, but more importantly, those coming in will represent the commitment and desire that Klopp’s current squad do.