Champions of Europe: Ali’s Sixth Sense

The worst game you could imagine.

But the greatest result you could ever dream.

Liverpool are champions of Europe again. The match was horrendous but only for the neutrals. Let them be frustrated at the lack of entertainment while we relish in the glory of our football team. The Reds didn’t have to put on a show and give us the most entertaining final in history, they’ve already done that. This was about winning.

There was no enjoying the occasion vibes surrounding the Reds this time. They were cold-blooded mentality monsters with eyes firmly on the prize. We had to win and we did. The talk around Klopp had to stop, the feeling sorry for ourselves had to become a thing of the past. These boys are winners. They had no excuses this time and they didn’t need them.

The greatest trophy in club football comes back where it belongs and Liverpool Football Club is right back on their perch, to the envy of everyone else. It does not get any better than this. No football team will be easier to adore than these. And best of all, this is just the very beginning. We have the best players in the world, and they are yet to hit their prime. Better still, they realize this is the best place for them to be in order to fulfill their potential. These are the glory days. Make no mistake.

Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final : News Photo
Goalkeeper Alisson Becker of FC Liverpool controls the ball during the UEFA Champions League Final between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on June 1, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images)

Special praise for one of these winners though tonight. Both the reason why we won this time and the reason why we lost last year were personified in the performance of one man, Alisson Becker. Last season, a good performance was ruined by a goalkeeper while this time, a terrible performance was saved by a goalkeeper, though he is so much more. He is a word class football player that possesses a presence the like of which I have never seen before in a Liverpool number one.

There was an area that needed to be addressed and Klopp addressed it with the best possible solution. At every stage in the game, Tottenham lacked the belief that they would score and it was mainly down to the aura of the big Brazilian between the sticks. There was no building momentum for Spurs, no “it will come”, no rallying cry. Instead every shot, every chance felt like the end of something.

The end of a move, a loss in possession, heads in hands. They were given absolutely nothing to latch onto. Their hope was gradually and significantly drained by one man, mentally wearing them down by doing everything right. There were no spills, everything sucked in or pushed away out of sight. Every save was a kick in the gut rather than something to build on. Spurs needed something to fall their way and Alisson did not oblige. He was not in the mood for dishing out favors, he had a European Cup to win and his concentration and elite mentality is exactly what won it in the end.

There are many differences between this season and last, it is the consequence of constant improvement. The main one is in the mentality. This is a group of absolute winners, which could not be said 12 months ago. Even months before they had lifted a trophy we could see they were winners, as they continuously showed their mental strength in individual games. We have gone from a quality team who aims to crush you quickly to a force that can crush you in a multitude of different ways. They don’t have to play well, they don’t have to be in good form, things don’t have to go their way, they just win.

That sense of just win. We know how to win, just win. We don’t play well and hope for the best, we just win. Regardless of what animosity comes their way, they deal with it, like true greats. The epitome of this, this time, was Alisson Becker, the best goalkeeper in the world. My hero. One of 20 odd. They are all heroes now, all legends. And they will kick on again.

These boys won’t let up. The season starts again soon and the European Champions will be ready. They will do everything in their power to ensure they’re there again. Because if one thing is for certain it’s that these boys want this team to be successful just as much as we do. In a mad turn of events, we’re in Istanbul next year. This is not a joke, look it up. The 2020 Champions League final is taking place in the Ataturk Stadium, Istanbul. I’m telling you, boys and girls.

Liverpool Parade to Celebrate Winning UEFA Champions League : News Photo
Roberto Firmino, Alisson Becker and Simon Mignolet of Liverpool celebrate on board an open-top bus during the UEFA Champions League victory parade, after winning yesterday’s final against Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid, on June 2, 2019 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

We’re only getting started.

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