Football can be fickle. Players come and go with the seasons; hope rises and fades. Some leave a mark and will be remembered fondly for years or even decades; sometimes that hope turns to glory. But mostly they don’t, and mostly it doesn’t. As fans you try to embrace the possibility while protecting against that reality.
“Ever since I was a kid, I had been a Liverpool fan,” Mohamed Salah told FourFourTwo. “They were my favourite Premier League club. I’ve loved the club since I was young and knew this was a team I wanted to play for. I knew the history that this club has and, as soon as I got the chance, I had to make it happen.”
Not every player leaves prematurely. There are the Dirk Kuyts, the Sami Hyypias. There’s Daniel Agger, who rebuffed the advances of Barcelona. Even amongst those who don’t remain as long, those who were seen to go out on good terms may be remembered fondly. Still, there’s a risk there, as a fan, that they won’t.
Won’t go out on good terms; will burn bridges and salt the earth. Metaphorically, of course. It is, after all, only football in the end. Still, it can be a tricky thing in sport, hope, and when a star leaves badly, it’s normal to hear fans say they’ll never fully embrace it again. Until they do. Because they always do. That’s how it works.
“I’m happy scoring goals for the club I supported as a kid,” Salah added. “That’s all that matters. We want to push ourselves to win something. For us, for the fans, and for the club. That is and always will be our target. A trophy.”