Christmas is a time for reuniting with family and friends that you might not see during the rest of the year. Sometimes there are good reasons for why you don’t see those folks, but for the most part it’s a special time shared with special people.
While his contributions to the team had been few and far between in his latter seasons at Anfield, José Enrique was and is a beloved figure among Liverpool fans. Some remember him as a tireless defender who could put in a shift when he was healthy. Others miss his social media shenanigans. While his departure from Liverpool— and his eventual signing with Spanish second division outfit Real Zaragoza— was the right move for all parties, Enrique made a real impression with the fans and, especially, with his teammates.
But while the business of football continues to churn, the bonds of friendship aren’t so easily broken. Which is why Enrique paid a visit to Liverpool this week to spend time with former teammates for the holiday.
Enrique dined out at a restaurant this week with Philippe Coutinho, Alberto Moreno, and Lucas Leiva, along with their partners and several small (and altogether too adorable) children. While the Liverpool contingent are still in preparations for a very busy week of football— starting Tuesday when the Reds host Stoke City— Zaragoza is on winter break with the rest of Spanish football, giving Enrique time to head back to Merseyside and reunite with close friends.
Football is a business and players are co-workers, and there’s no obligation for anyone to be friends with each other outside of work. But it’s heartwarming to see such deep bonds of friendship form regardless of professional circumstances, and to see those connections persist even when players move on to other clubs. Business realities aside, footballers are still people, and the holidays draw everyone closer together.
And on that note— Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate from all of us at Liverpool Offside. Cheers!