If you’ve followed Liverpool at all this season, it’s been easy to tell that this is a group of men who genuinely enjoy each other. And if you haven’t been following Liverpool all season -- it’s weird that this is the first thing you’ve clicked on, but hello, I guess.
In the past, social media has been a minefield for sports players who had to be careful what they said to their millions of followers. But this season, it’s been a delight to watch James Milner embrace his nerdiness on Twitter and Instagram to make fun of himself and his teammates. The budding bromance between the unlikely duo of Mohamed Salah and Dejan Lovren has a more compelling story arc than most relationships on television right now. And Loris Karius’s ‘spontaneous’ selfies that show him dramatically backlit as he ties his shoes are works of art. The point is, the players are in high spirits and have clearly enjoyed this season as much as the fans have.
Now that we’re only a week away from Liverpool’s historic Champions League final against Real Madrid, and as the players wind down their relaxing bonding/training sessions in Marbella, captain Jordan Henderson has opened up about how the closeness of the team has helped on the pitch.
“We are a close group and I think you can see that on the pitch,” he said. “I think that’s important when you want to go far and you want to be successful. You’ve got to be close on and off the pitch, and I definitely think we’ve got that. It’s a special group of players. Now, we’ve just got to go and win trophies.
“It means so much to the players, to me, to the manager, and to everybody - you can see how much it means to us when we play football. You’ve [also] seen how much it means to us off the pitch, after getting to the final in Rome when we were celebrating with the fans.
”So it’ll be a huge night, but we want to remember it for the right reasons, and we want to go and win it.”
In the end, it’s clear that Liverpool have to win in Kyiv, because in these trying times, the world needs Trent Alexander-Arnold’s proud, happy baby face. It needs Roberto Firmino’s weirdo goal celebrations, with Sadio Mané rushing in to copy him. And it needs the fierce joyousness of our brave captain himself.