On the eve of Liverpool’s first game against former star Luis Suarez since his move to Barcelona, Liverpool’s up-and-coming young striker Divock Origi discussed Suarez’s legacy on the team and what it means to play against him on Saturday.
“He made a great impact here,” Origi told the official site. “I used to watch him play a lot. I think he is a very intelligent player, a very big player and I think his mental strength is one of the biggest aspects of his game.
“He’s a winner, he meant a lot to this club and it will be great to play against him. I have always enjoyed watching the top-class, world-class players and I think I learned a lot from this. As a young player you have to look a lot at the experienced players, but you also have to go into this game yourself knowing that you can do something.”
Liverpool haven’t yet bounced back from losing Suarez in 2014, but the appointment of Jürgen Klopp as manager and the recruitment of players like Roberto Firmino and, indeed, Divock Origi, has begun to rectify that, though there’s still plenty of work to do.
More work or not, Liverpool still play Barcelona on Saturday, and Origi likes his team’s odds in the clash.
“I think we can win - we have the quality, so it’s a big chance for us to show how we stand,” he added. “It’s a good test, so we just have to give everything and then we’ll see where we stand, but we will be ready for this game.
“[Facing Barcelona] is very good because it gives us a big test and you are always happy when you can play in the big games.
“We have a very good and large squad so everybody wants to play and it makes our level go up. We have worked hard in the pre-season and now everybody wants to play, so that’s a good thing. For us, it’s very important to be together because we have some new players and we have to blend in everybody.
“You can see everyone has the same idea, the same plan. To execute it, of course it’s not perfect and it needs some time, but in every training session we can see improvement and see our confidence grow, and obviously you can show what you’ve learned in games.”
In the end, this game is just a pre-season friendly, and the team showing improvement and an adherence to Klopp’s vision is the real goal. Still, a win against one of the best teams in the world would certainly go a long way towards building the team’s confidence one week before the start of the season.