Half the job is done. Liverpool have secured Champions League football for next season by finishing the domestic campaign in the top four on the last day of the season. If asked back in August, most Red fans would’ve been perfectly content with that gradual improvement. However, another item has suddenly found it’s way onto Liverpudlian wish lists: a Champions League trophy.
A win in Kiev against Real Madrid in less than two week’s time would be the perfect cap on an historic European campaign and an exhilarating season for the Reds, an opportunity that Liverpool midfielder Gini Wijnaldum is eager to seize:
“You can put yourself there with legends that won the Champions League,” the Dutch international said. “That’s what everyone wants.
“That is what makes it really exciting for us because we have the opportunity now to win a big trophy with a massive club waiting for a lot of years for a trophy.
“We are lucky that we can give them one if we win.”
With the season’s continental success arguably ahead of the schedule Jürgen Klopp would’ve laid out, the improbable European run still pales in comparision to Liverpool’s illustrious pedigree in the competition, with the English club sitting only second behind their final opponent in their European trophy haul.
In short, Liverpool fans expect success in Europe, an expectation that Wijnaldum and his teammates plan to use as motivation:
“The only thing we have to do is play our own game and not be nervous,” the 27-year-old continued. “I think then we will make a chance to win the game.
“To be fair it’s difficult to not think about it because everyone is talking about the final. Even before this game against Brighton, nobody is talking about this game.
“When you see people they were wishing me luck for the final. They didn’t wish me luck for against Brighton.”