Despite a rocky start to the season and an injury list that could compete for a title of its own, Liverpool find themselves top of both their domestic and continental league tables, and the reigning Premier League champions will be looking to rectify their early exit from Europe last year when they take on RB Leipzig in February.
Despite getting knocked out by Atletico Madrid in the round of 16 last season, though, the Reds are still considered among the top of the European elite, and at tonight’s FIFA FIFPro awards, that was plain to see.
Four Liverpool players were selected for the FIFPro Eleven, although Thiago earned his spot there by winning the Champions League with the other dominant team on the continent, Bayern Munich. Joining the Brazilian was his compatriot Alisson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, and Virgil van Dijk, while Andrew Robertson, Jordan Henderson, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané missed out to Alphonso Davies, Joshua Kimmich, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
On top of a strong showing on the player side, Liverpool took home an individual award, as Jürgen Klopp was voted manager of the year for the second time running, seeing off competition from Marcelo Bielsa and Hansi Flick.
“We have a [message] group obviously and ‘we won it again’ was the message pretty much,” said the German. “That’s clear – without them I would not be here and we wouldn’t have the success we had and all that stuff. Without the boys, the players, it would not have been possible.
“A world-class team helps,” he continued. “And I have that, thank God. I work in a sensational club, get all the support you need, have only great people around me. So we come here, even in difficult times, every day with a smile on our face.
“It all makes it easier and makes it possible. I said a couple of times I’m not the biggest believer in these kind of individual awards for coaches but meanwhile I learned we just take it for all of us.
“We can obviously not change the world – one face gets the prize but it’s for all of us and I’m really proud of that.”
Hopefully, the Reds can defy their injury troubles and make proper runs at both titles again this year, ensuring another strong showing at the FIFPro awards in 2021.