Manchester United faced off against Villareal CF in the UEFA Europa League final, and drew 1-1. The game went to a shootout where Villareal inexplicably finished every penalty in a 11-10 shootout. On the bench for Villareal was Champions League and Europa League winner, and former Liverpool FC left-back Alberto Moreno.
The former hoverboard enthusiast took to Instagram Live after the victory and gave a shout-out to his former club.
The former Liverpool man then continued his celebrations back in the locker room, where he repeated his chant of “Vamos Liverpool”, and for Manchester United fans to get out of his stream.
Alberto Moreno, you’re one of our own ❤️pic.twitter.com/CfABn0EIs4— Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) May 26, 2021
In a recent piece with Sid Lowe of The Guardian, Moreno reflected on his previous Europa League final, playing for Liverpool against his current manager Unai Emery, then managing Sevilla. A 3-1 defeat saw Liverpool’s hopes of silverware and Champions League go up in smoke, and Moreno in particular was singled out.
“I still don’t understand the amount of criticism,” he admits. “On the first goal they nutmegged me, sure. But I’m a defender. Players get past Sergio Ramos, the best centre-back in the world. Why can’t it happen to me?
“To this day I don’t understand why I got so, so much criticism, when the whole team didn’t play well. The finger was pointed at one player and …” Moreno shrugs. “I don’t think that’s OK. People blame you. Only you. It was like I lost the final. It’s hard. You can’t get it out of your head. You look at the paper, at social media – I don’t usually pay much attention to social media because it’s all so false – and read things. ‘Alberto, Alberto, Alberto, Alberto.’ I’ll go to my grave not understanding why I got all the blame.
He also spoke about being dropped for James Milner for a season, and Andy Robertson’s emergence:
“And that’s the start of a year without playing.” Did you feel that Jürgen Klopp protected you? “My relationship with Klopp was perfect and, with Unai, he’s the best coach I’ve ever had. He knows how to squeeze the best out of you, what to say at any moment, how to get the group to go out and ‘eat’ the opposition. But protecting me would have meant keeping faith, giving me chances which didn’t happen. I don’t know if that was Klopp or the club.
“After the final against Sevilla, James Milner played left-back. If the coach puts a right-footed central midfielder there, then he doesn’t want me. But the following year pre-season started and he played me. I got back in the Spain squad after three years and just then, I injured my ankle. That was when Andy Robertson had his chance.” Moreno gestures to the ceiling. “He played at such a high level and that was it; I didn’t get any more chances.”
Moreno was one of those players who showed glimpses of his brilliance but could just never put it all together for a long enough stretch of time. However it’s clear he still has love for the club, and we’ll always remember his vivacious personality and his celebrations after the Champions League win. Congratulations Alberto! You’ll never walk alone.