In all the hubbub after yesterday’s quality entertainment at Anfield I began to wonder if anyone had bothered to get Dejan Lovren’s reaction. The Liverpool defender’s skillset divides opinion amongst the fanbase but the Croatian is a lively fellow and loyal supporter of the club and the guy likes a microphone.
Lovren was flagged down in the victors halls by a club reporter, amongst the waning revelry. Many of his teammates were still in the dressing room or otherwise occupied with post-match primping. But Lovren had remained on the bench as an unused substitute and spent what would have been his shower time waiting on Mo and gleefully roaming the area, filming at least one naked butt.
Dejan did provide a look inside the Liverpool dressing room before they walked out to face a 3-0 deficit to Barcelona. Jürgen Klopp had roused the team with inspiring words, reminding the players of the miracles they had already performed under his management. Barcelona could be beaten 4-0, and this was just the team that could do it.
“Before the game he had an amazing speech, it was something brilliant that he did,” Lovren said. “I think he lifted us up.”
Paraphrasing, Lovren tells a tale slightly different from Klopp’s more humble version of his pre-match talk to the squad.
“‘Boys, just believe. Put in your mind that you can do it.’ It’s something that we never heard before.
”He said like, ‘Boys, believe - one, two goals. Even if we don’t score in the first 15, 20 minutes, believe in the 65, 66, 67 minutes that we can score. With Anfield behind us, trust me, we can do it.’
”We did it once, he said, the [Borussia] Dortmund game - we can do it tonight. And we did it.”
Any player would have been disappointed to miss out on playing against Barcelona in that game. Gini Wijnaldum plainly said afterwards that he had been angry at being left out of the starting XI. Gini eventually got onto the pitch and changed the course of history but Lovren stayed clean and dry.
Dejan’s enthusiasm for his team and our club’s success is just one of 25 examples in Klopp’s squad of the unity and togetherness that has carried Liverpool to another Champions League final. Lovren may have missed the opportunity to play in that historic victory over Barcelona but the joy in his heart is the same as if he had been out there.
“Because I felt it last year,” said Lovren.
“I saw the guys who didn’t play, how they’d been smiling. So, it’s my turn now to give them a boost and the confidence,”
“I know how hard we train and what we did, and I’m really proud of everyone. Everyone deserves to be in the final.”
All for one mentality monster, and one mentality monster for all.