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Gini Wijnaldum Knows He Is Valued

It doesn’t matter if the outside world calls him an unsung hero.

Liverpool v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Round of 16: First Leg Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

So, Liverpool have a big game today. Don’t know if you heard. Gini Wijnaldum knows he can be key.

While many outsiders see him as a lesser player in the side, or even give him the backhanded compliment of “unsung hero”, Wijnaldum knows how important he is.

“I’ve heard people say that phrase “unsung hero” about my role and maybe that’s true”, Wijnaldum told the Daily Mail, “but that’s not a problem for me. I know how my team-mates think about me and I know how the manager thinks about me and they really appreciate me.

“They don’t see me how people outside the club see me. So that was not a big deal for me. I feel I’m loved by the other players and the manager so that’s more important.

“Our defending is really stable this year and because we are defending so well, we can attack more, but that will not get praise. The people who score get praised, but one goes with the other.

“Football is a team sport and you have to work to a point where you try to make a team-mate better. We just help each other”.

Speaking a bit about the midfield signings made in the summer, Wijnaldum stated that he “didn’t worry”, adding that “you play for Liverpool. Liverpool is a top club. Even if you do well in your position, if there is another player that does well, every club wants to sign him.

“So also Liverpool wants to sign him because Liverpool is a good club. That’s how it goes in top clubs. They will sign them to make the team better but I have to show the manager that I’m the best one in my position.

“A lot of players think: “OK, they signed him so I’m not needed any more”, but as a player you have to show the manager and force him to put you in the team. Show your quality with the way you train and the way you play.

“The thing that irritated me was that a lot of stories appeared in the media saying I wanted to leave. It didn’t bother me that Liverpool were signing players. When they signed me, they already had good players. It was annoying. I didn’t like those stories.

“I spoke with the manager about it. Actually, he spoke with me. He was surprised about the stories. It was a surprise for me, too. I don’t know if he really thought that I said it. The manager said “you’re not leaving” and I told him I didn’t want to leave.

“I like Liverpool. I like the club and I like the fans. The people appreciate me. That’s the most important thing.”.

We like you too, Gini. Keep up the good work.