Before the EUROs, Gini Wijnaldum told the press that he would open up about why he left Liverpool. Well, today is that day as he’s done an exclusive with Henry Winter from The Times. Most fans were expecting there to be juicy gossip about Fenway Sports Group or something, but it turns out the real reason why Wijnaldum left the club on a free was because social media is full of toxic assholes.
“Every day in training and in the game I gave everything,” Wijnaldum told Winter. “Liverpool meant so much to me. There was some moment when I didn’t feel love and appreciated there,” he adds. “Not by my team-mates, not the people at Melwood. I know they all loved me and I loved them. It was not from that side, more from the other side.”
“The fans in the stadium and the fans in social media were two different things,” he continues. “In the stadium, I can say nothing bad about them. They always supported me.”
If Gini’s quotes were to end here, we’d all take a victory lap about how Liverpool fans are the best fans in the world. While that’s probably true, there’s toxic assholes on Football Twitter with player avatars and anonymous account names”
“On social media if we lost I was the one who got the blame — [claiming] that I wanted to leave.” Gini said. “There was a moment when I was like, ‘Wow, if they only knew what I was doing to stay fit and play every game.’ You cannot complain because that is your job. But other players might have said, ‘I’m not fit.’ You get players in their last year who are like, ‘I’m not playing because it’s a risk.’ I did the opposite. I didn’t always play good but after the game I could look in the mirror and say, ‘I trained hard to get better.’
“There was a moment when I didn’t feel loved. In the last two seasons I had it a few times. The media didn’t help. There was a story like I didn’t accept the [Liverpool] offer because I wanted more money, and the fans made it like ‘OK, he didn’t get the offer so he doesn’t try his best to win games.’ Everything looked like it was against me. Some moments it was like, ‘Wow, me again?’
There’s been a narrative for months on social media that the reason Gini didn’t sign a new contract was because the Liverpool owners are cheap. Those same assholes who tweet the stuff like that are the same ones Gini is talking about here. Congratulations, you drove away one of the most important players.