The Dalglish family have tonight released the following statement to supporters regarding Sir Kenny Dalglish.
Sir Kenny was admitted to hospital on Wednesday April 8 for treatment of an infection which required intravenous antibiotics.
In keeping with current procedures, he was subsequently tested for COVID-19 despite having previously displayed no symptoms of the illness. Unexpectedly, the test result was positive but he remains asymptomatic.
Prior to his admission to hospital, Sir Kenny had chosen to voluntarily self-isolate for longer than the advised period together with his family. He would urge everyone to follow the relevant government and expert guidance in the days and weeks ahead.
He would like to take this opportunity to thank the brilliant NHS staff, whose dedication, bravery and sacrifice should be the focus of the nation’s attention at this extraordinary time.
He would also ask that they are given the space to do their jobs during what is an extremely challenging time for them and that his own family’s privacy is respected.
He looks forward to being home soon. We will provide further updates as and when it is appropriate.
"What the boys made of this difficult game was exceptional," said Jürgen Klopp. "We scored incredible goals."
Five of them, to be exact, on an early December night when the boss' five changes to his team paid off handsomely in a thrilling 5-2 defeat of Everton at Anfield.
Merseyside derby specialist Divock Origi helped himself to two, supplemented by strikes from Xherdan Shaqiri, Sadio Mane and Georginio Wijnaldum, as the Reds made it six successive Premier League wins in emphatic style.
Relive the highlights of that victory in the latest instalment of our Replayed series on YouTube, which looks back on each 2019-20 league match every weekday.
We continue our weekly series on Liverpoolfc.com as we get to know the Liverpool FC Women's squad.
Each member of Vicky Jepson's team will tell us their footballing background, their inspirations, what it's like to represent the club and more.
Next up is a relatively recent addition to the team, all-action midfielder Rachel Furness...
What year did you sign for Liverpool FC Women?
What made you choose to be a footballer?
I had two older brothers and my dad was football-mad. I just wanted to do what my brothers did, so I was the annoying little sister that wanted to join in. From then I didn’t look back.
Who is your footballing idol?
I am a massive Newcastle fan, so growing up I just wanted to be like Alan Shearer.
What is the best football match you’ve watched to date?
It has to be December 26, 2012 – Newcastle v Manchester United. Newcastle won 3-0 on the night in front of over 52,000 and it was fantastic. I remember Demba Ba, Cabaye and an amazing own goal. The atmosphere was excellent that night and it was good to get one over on old rivals. More recently I would have to say Liverpool v Barcelona in the Champions League. I think it’s the best ever comeback I’ve seen and will see in a very long time. I’ve always enjoyed watching Liverpool and the way they play, so I remember being a Liverpool fan that night.
Best LFC Women’s goal of the season so far?
This is a tough one because I’m not normally big headed but people were raving about my goal against Arsenal! That was a good one. Having only joined halfway through the season, it’s hard to tell. So I’ll say Rinsola’s against Arsenal. The kid deserved a goal and has been working so hard. So to see it eventually come was nice to see. It meant a lot to her and the team, so I’ll be nice and go for that one.
What’s the best thing about representing LFC?
For me, the fans are always the most important thing about representing a team. The passion, the support through good and bad. Turning up on a cold and wet midweek game and hearing songs being sang from the stands, this is why I play football. The people in Liverpool remind me of home. From the coaching staff to the players showing belief in each other, I’d run through brick walls for them all.
Describe yourself in three words?
Funny, nutter, foodie.
Favourite TV show?
I’d have to say Friends – any time, any day, it’s such an easy watch.
Favourite all-time film?
Favourite music artist?
Bob Marley – Three Little Birds. It’s uplifting and puts me in a good mood.
If you weren’t a footballer you wanted to be…
A police officer if I wasn’t involved in sport at all. I’d now say a coach or manager when I finish playing.
Funniest player in the squad?
Fran [Kitching] is funny and Kirsty [Linnett] is funny because of just being Kirst. People who know will understand.
Best singer in the squad?
I haven’t witnessed it just yet but I’ve heard Jess Clarke can belt out a good note.
Liverpool and Manchester United target Kai Havertz is set to reject a move to the Premier League and join Bayern Munich once the transfer window opens, according to reports in Germany.
The 20-year-old is highly sought-after by clubs all over Europe after a scintillating breakthrough campaign for Bayer Leverkusen last season in which he scored 20 goals and registered seven assists, earning him a call up to the Germany national team.
Kavertz hasn't quite recaptured those same standards this season but is still a top priority in the Bavarian's plans for a new-look squad and the attacking midfielder is eager to make the move happen, according to Sky in Germany.
Full story: MailOnline
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
The agent of Philippe Coutinho has suggested the former Liverpool star is open to a Premier League return this summer.
And Coutinho's representative feels the Brazil international could also be available at a cut-price fee.
The 27-year-old left Anfield for Barcelona in January 2018 for what was the biggest transfer fee ever received by a British club at £142million, but he struggled to consistently replicate his form at Camp Nou.
Full story: Liverpool Echo
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
Liverpool transfer target Diego Carlos is known in Spain as 'The Beast' - and has been compared to highly-rated Napoli centre-half Kalidou Koulibaly.
Carlos has been identified as a possible summer target for Liverpool, with manager Jurgen Klopp reportedly believing the Sevilla defender can complete his back four playing alongside Virgil van Dijk.
The 27-year-old has been linked with Real Madrid and Barcelona and has declared he would only leave Sevilla for "a much bigger club" - but world and European champions Liverpool certainly come into that category.
Full story: Mirror
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.
[unable to retrieve full-text content]Follow all of the latest LFC-related transfer rumours and newspaper speculation in our Media Watch section.
Mario Gotze has confirmed he will leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the season, amid transfer speculation linking him to Liverpool.
The German World Cup winner’s current deal expires at the end of the current campaign and he has announced his intention to move on a free transfer.
Gotze, who scored the winning goal in the 2014 World Cup final, has switched to top agent Reza Fazeli from International Soccer Management (ISM), who have been tasked with finding him a new club in the summer.
Full story: Metro
Red Neighbours launched its 'Breakfast Clubs to You' initiative this week to help support local families during the coronavirus outbreak.
The club’s local community programme usually welcomes hundreds of local residents to breakfast clubs at Anfield throughout school holidays, but has been unable to do so this Easter break due to the current UK lockdown.
Instead, the Red Neighbours team delivered food parcels to 10 school hubs for distribution to vulnerable families throughout the Anfield and Kirkby areas – each containing enough breakfast items to feed a family of five for up to three days.
An additional 20 parcels were also divided between Northwood foodbank in Kirkby, local Northwood residents in need, and various charities within Anfield and Kirkby.
In total, 220 parcels, which will feed around 1,100 local people, were delivered this week, with the team aiming to repeat the donation during the second half of the holidays.
Forbes Duff, Red Neighbours’ senior manager, said: “With it being half-term, we would usually be opening our doors for local families to enjoy our breakfast clubs at Anfield.
“With the current situation, this hasn’t been possible, but we didn’t want those residents to miss out – we decided to bring the breakfast clubs to them instead.
“Each of the packs we put together not only contained three days’ worth of delicious breakfast items, but also activity packs for children and a personal letter of support from the Red Neighbours team.
“We wanted to let our local residents know that we are here for them during the crisis and we will continue to support them however we can.”
Leipzig CEO Oliver Mintzlaff has played down rumours that Timo Werner could be on his way to Liverpool and says he is 'deeply relaxed' about the forward's situation.
Werner, 24, has emerged as one of Liverpool’s top targets ahead of the summer transfer window, with Jurgen Klopp desperate to strengthen his attacking options to ease the pressure on Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
The Germany international has had an exceptional start to the season in the Bundesliga, netting 21 times in 25 games, and his barnstorming form in front of goal has also seen him linked with the likes of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester United.
Full story: Metro
We asked throw-in coach Thomas Gronnemark to analyse three goals Liverpool scored this season that originated from throw-in situations.
The Danish coach has been working with the Reds since the summer of 2018, with Jürgen Klopp keen to take advantage of the specialist information he offers.
Take a look at Gronnemark's analysis below...
Roberto Firmino's finish at Southampton on August 17
"We had a really good pressure situation with Sadio Mane and Bobby Firmino [on] the Southampton defence. Then Sadio got the ball, passed to Firmino and scored.
"I have approximately 40 different throw-in tools, I'm working with three different zones too and then I have specific assignments for every player. It's much more complex [attacking] than when we are defending.
"On top of that, [I try] to put the player's own creativity and the player's own fantasies, so there's like millions of options. Of course you'll never use every one of them and it's not like an NFL playbook, where we have to do this, this and this. It's much more like, 'We try to do this and then if the opponents are covering us, we know we can unlock other options.'
"On one hand it's much much more complex than most people think, but there's also simple things. Working with the players, they're really good.
"From 17-18 to the 18-19 season, when you can go from No.18 in the Premier League at throw-ins under pressure to No.1, then we have done something right."
The 84th-minute winner at Molineux against Wolverhampton Wanderers on January 23
"As you can see, we did some movements and Bobby Firmino used that space we had created. Then it went on to Mo Salah, to Hendo and Bobby scored it at the end.
"If you measure every minute then, of course, I'm working with Trent and Robbo more because they are full-backs, but I work with many players in many of the sessions. Often I'm working with all the players at one time.
"It's really that, first of all, everybody knows the strategy, knows what to do, knows what options we have.
"But it's also important that all the players are able to take a throw-in - not only with good precision and decent length, but knowing when to throw fast, when to wait, when to wait for the right space to be created."
Firmino goal secures victory at Tottenham Hotspur on January 11
"It's not the same but it is similar to the Wolves one. It's just how we express [ourselves]. We just had another set-up to create space and Bobby Firmino used it again to score a goal.
"I've heard a lot of people saying that throw-ins are marginal gains. I don't think that throw-in coaching is a marginal gain because you normally have between 40 and 60 throw-ins in a match, sometimes less but sometimes more.
"The throw-in situations just before the throw-in and the following situations normally take between 15 to 20 minutes of the whole game. So it's actually a really big part of the game.
"For me, it's been a big part of the game but just underestimated for the last 140 years of playing football!
"Some people say, 'It's only a throw-in', but losing the ball in a throw-in has the same consequences if you lose the ball with your feet in the middle of the pitch - it can change the game dramatically.
"The important thing is that when you have a throw-in, the game is standing still and if you have the throw-in yourself, you can decide yourselves and that's a big advantage.
"It's been fantastic to work with Liverpool. I had this knowledge about the long, fast and clever throw-ins for like 10 or 12 years, but all the other clubs before Liverpool only wanted my knowledge on long throw-ins. The club has been very open-minded - the gaffer himself and also the players."
Patience is certainly a virtue for Paul Glatzel.
Nine months of careful rehabilitation from the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered last summer have brought the Liverpool striker close to a return to the pitch.
The 19-year-old was on course to begin training again this month, a symbolic step on the long, emotionally challenging road back to playing football.
That stage of his recuperation has, by necessity, been delayed by the current COVID-19 outbreak and the requirement for players to maintain fitness by following individual programmes at home.
But Glatzel is handling the circumstances with characteristic perspective; a mindset shaped by injuries past and present.
“I’m basically at the end of my rehab,” he tells Liverpoolfc.com. “I was meant to be back training, I should have been back around now but obviously with what is going on it’s not possible at the moment.
“So I’m just making sure I do my fitness stuff I’ve been sent from the club and just waiting for all this to take its course and then be back on the pitch when we’re allowed.
“The sessions have been adapted obviously to what I’m able to do; I’ve been given running programmes for my fitness and strength programmes and I’ve been given equipment to be able to do those sessions. I’m staying at home and I’m not allowed to go to the club or Melwood, but I’m still getting on with my work and doing well.
“I’d hope to be able to get a few training sessions in pretty soon when we come back. I’ll probably have to do a little bit more rehab and then hopefully get back into training. Then wait and see what happens.
“Hopefully I can get a few minutes but I’ll just have to see what happens and focus on getting back to full fitness.
“I think I’ve got quite a good mindset to be able to carry out my sessions every day because I’ve had a few injuries in my past and I’ve seemed to do well dealing with that. I’m kind of used to it a little bit more than maybe other players.
“I try to just make sure I get things done, even if I’m not feeling as motivated as other days I still grind and get the session done. To be fair, I like to do my sessions as well because it makes me feel like I’m getting better and getting closer to fitness.
“I don’t really have many days that I’m down because I’m always trying to work hard and improve and get back to where I need to be.”
At the moment, Glatzel’s daily schedule begins around 9.30am with a pre-activation routine conducted via video call alongside the U23s squad.
Once suitably warmed up, running sessions consolidate his core fitness levels before strength exercises – once more, in tandem with his Academy teammates – take place mid-afternoon.
“We try to have a structured day and get as much work done as we can,” Glatzel, captain of the FA Youth Cup-winning U18s in 2018-19, explains.
“It’s not great to be away from the boys, we all like to be together and like to make sure we do our sessions together. At the moment it’s not possible. It’s good to see the lads on the screen, even if it is only for half an hour or however long it takes.
“You just need to make sure everything you do, you do properly even though you are at home and you might not have the right circumstances for what you need to do. You still need to carry on and make sure you get everything done.”
Glatzel’s long-term rehabilitation has been coordinated by the club’s medical department at Melwood after Jürgen Klopp personally called for him to undergo treatment at the first-team base following the incident at Tranmere Rovers last July.
His relationship with the physios tasked with leading his recovery programme, which is designed to maximise the youngster’s durability far beyond an initial comeback, is crucial.
Because the natural desire to be out on the grass again must be tempered by an understanding of the bigger picture.
“The injury I’ve had has been a long injury, I’ve not kicked a ball since the start of pre-season,” Glatzel reflected.
“It has been a tough one to take because I was doing quite well before that. I’ve just got to make sure I get my sessions in and be patient because time is a healer in this sense.
“I just need to wait for my injury to be sorted and to heal properly so that when I come back the risk of me getting injured again is much, much lower and I can just focus on my football again.
“It’s always important to have a good relationship with physios, especially when I’ve been injured for a while now. And I think I’ve got that.
“They’re always looking after me, even now when we’ve got to stay at home; they’re staying in touch over text and making sure I’ve got everything I need. They’ve made sure I’ve got all the equipment and I’m basically able to do my session without a lot of problems.
“They’ve been really good. They check in every day to see how my session was and how I’m feeling, just making sure I’m OK.”
The lay-off has, however, presented some opportunities for the forward, who was born in Liverpool to German parents, both of whom work for the National Health Service.
Specifically, the chance to study first-team matches with an analytical eye, to look more closely at the patterns and movements that made Klopp’s side European Cup winners, world champions and Premier League leaders.
“With me not being able to train, watching games is quite a big part of me being able to learn about the game and about our specific style of play,” he states.
“I’ve been looking at the games differently than I was before because I need to keep learning and keep evolving because otherwise everyone else catches you up when you’re not allowed to do that on the pitch.
“Watching games has been quite a big part of my learning development at the moment, because that’s all I can really do. I’m focusing on games and not just watching to see the scoreline but to see how they’re playing and what I need to be able to do when I come back.”
Glatzel’s gaze is often drawn to one particular player in the team.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s recovery from a similar serious injury sustained two years ago, and his achievement in reproducing the standards he showed before being sidelined, provide perfect inspiration.
“I quite like to see how he is doing,” said the teenager, scorer of 28 goals last term. “When he plays well or has a good game, it fills me with confidence because I know what he’s been through and I know he’s been out for a long time but he’s been able to bounce back.
“He has been playing well and scoring goals, so I just hope when I get back I can do the same. It’s good to have someone like that to look up to and see they’ve been there and done that. Hopefully I can do that too.
“Agility is pretty much what I need for my game, to be able to turn quickly and change direction. I can see that in Ox’s game, he’s not focusing on the knee problems he’s had in the past.
“He is just playing normally, changing direction smoothly and is doing all he can do and all he needs to do without really having any thoughts about the injury he has had in the past.”
Football pales in comparison to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis affecting the whole world and Glatzel has added perspective there, too.
His father, a GP, is working from home and his mother is fulfilling extended hours in her role as an anaesthetist in hospital at the most challenging of times.
“You’ve got to appreciate what they do,” said Glatzel. “They’re my parents, so I’m proud of them whatever, but they are working hard – as are all the NHS staff, which is really appreciated by everyone.
“It’s such an important thing that they look after everyone and they’re doing it as much as they can. The round of applause at 8pm the other day was a really nice touch, it was lovely to see that everyone is appreciating them.
“It’s so important to stay at home and not go out and do things you might want to do. If you do, it puts more stress on the NHS and my parents. You just need to be prepared to stay at home for as long as it takes, to make sure fewer people are affected. You need to stay indoors.
“You also need to make sure you still stay connected with your family and friends, with the technology – webcams, texts or phone calls – because you need to make sure your mental health is good as well and you need to be healthy.
“Just stay indoors and stay safe.”
Mohamed Salah's awareness and ability put Liverpool on the verge of a Champions League semi-final on this day in 2018.
In the second half of their last-eight second leg against Manchester City, the Reds trailed 1-0 on the night but led 3-1 on aggregate.
As City pursued a comeback in a pulsating showdown, the visitors launched a counter-attack and Sadio Mane's surge saw the ball run loose in the penalty box.
Salah swooped onto it, rounded goalkeeper Ederson and deftly lifted a finish into the net - just in front of the jubilant travelling supporters to his left.
Watch the moment again below.
Virgil van Dijk scored twice as Liverpool defeated Brighton and Hove Albion 2-1 in November.
The centre-back headed in two fine Trent Alexander-Arnold deliveries in quick succession to put the Reds into a commanding lead midway through the first half at Anfield.
Alisson Becker's dismissal for handling outside his area, coupled with Lewis Dunk's goal from the resulting free-kick, made it a nervy final 10 minutes or so.
But Jürgen Klopp's side held on to reach 40 Premier League points after just 14 games this season.
Relive the highlights of the game below via YouTube as part of our Replayed series, which is looking back on each of Liverpool's league fixtures in the 2019-20 campaign on weekdays.
Witnessing one of Anfield's greatest ever nights up close and personal has given Billy Koumetio even more determination to reach the pinnacle of the game.
The Academy defender happened to be allocated the role of ballboy on the night of Liverpool's iconic Champions League comeback over Barcelona last May.
"It was [blows cheeks]... amazing, unbelievable," he tells Liverpoolfc.com. "I could see the big boys, the big players, in front of me. It was a great experience for me.
"That drives me a lot. When I was sitting so close to the pitch and saw the big boys, they really inspired me.
"I was motivated to work really hard and [in order] to go to that level."
As such, Koumetio has now garnered a taste of first-team life.
Aged 16, the France youth international was included in the matchday squad for the Carabao Cup fourth-round tie with Arsenal at Anfield back in October.
"It was a great day," the now-17-year-old remembers, five months on. "When I knew that I was going to be with the first team, that was, wow... I was shocked.
"I was happy because I thought it was from my hard work – I had worked really hard. That night, I was more motivated to work harder and harder to get more chances to go there with the best players in the world.
"[Jürgen Klopp] inspires me a lot. He's quite interested in the players of the Academy. Melwood works closely with the Academy, so that gives players a lot of inspiration."
It was a significant milestone for the centre-back, having not long been at the club. Koumetio arrived at the Kirkby Academy during the 2018-19 season from French side US Orleans.
Born in Lyon, he was part of the youth ranks at Olympique Lyonnais prior to his switch to Orleans.
Already having experienced separation from home and family, Koumetio found his adaptation to life on Merseyside considerably easier.
As did possessing a strong desire to learn the language and having fellow French-speaking Academy players Yasser Larouci and Abel Rodriquez around to help, too.
"Before I came to Liverpool I was playing for Orleans," he says in excellent English. "I was there for six months and it's five hours away by car, so I was getting used to being away from my family. So when I came to Liverpool I was quite ready for this.
"But I live with house parents now and they are very good. They're like my second family, so I feel very good there. I stay in touch every day with my family."
The left-footed Koumetio has been described as a 'real imposing figure at centre-back' by U18s boss Barry Lewtas.
Lewtas would then highlight Koumetio's desire to defend on the front foot, his ability in possession and traits as a leader in the dressing room.
"On the pitch, I'm competitive, really competitive," Koumetio states. "Off the pitch, I would say I'm a happy person, always happy. I smile all the time, even if things don't go very well.
"When I used to play for Lyon, I was playing left winger. Then I played left-back, too. I think it was U14s and at the end of the season the coach put me at centre-back – I think because of my height.
"Now I'm very happy because I think it's my position and it's better for me.
"I was trying to get my own style but at the moment Virgil van Dijk really inspires me. I go to the game most of the time and I like watching Virgil doing his game very, very well. Sometimes I'm trying to copy him."
Koumetio's progress was halted in November when he sustained an untimely groin injury. But now fit again, he's out to earn further opportunities to train alongside Van Dijk and co.
He finishes: "I was off for three months. I had an injury in my left groin and have done rehab with the physio and the fitness coaches.
"I'm ready to play again and I'm happy with that. I will be able to play again and work really hard to train again with the first team."
Ferran Torres would make the perfect signing for Liverpool - and would be a cheaper alternative to Jadon Sancho.
That's the view of one La Liga expert as Liverpool look to strengthen in a bid to stay at the top of world football this summer.
Liverpool are widely regarded as the best team in the world right now as they head towards the Premier League title having been crowned world and Europan champions in the last 10 months.
Full story: Mirror
Sadio Mane and Naby Keita are in full agreement about the positive impact Jürgen Klopp has had upon their careers.
In an exclusive interview in the latest edition of the monthly Liverpool FC magazine published this week, the pair offer insight into how working with the Reds boss has helped enhance their respective games.
In a snippet from the Q&A, Mane and Keita began by discussing what it’s like to work under Klopp’s tutelage…
Mane: “He is somebody that is full of life, he is somebody who makes us all responsible as players, which is very important for a player on the field. He is a coach who knows how to handle you off the field, too. Sometimes he can be hard with his players, but it’s for positive reasons and that’s helped us a lot on the field. It is quite impressive, in fact, if you got to know him to understand all of that.”
Keita: “Yes, and he will always defend his players because for him all the players are the same. There is no difference to him. He’s always there to explain things to you, such as if you haven’t played the best in a game, which is hard for coaches to do. But that’s a choice he has to make and it helps us fight harder on the training field to push hard so you can be playing at the weekend. He communicates with us all equally and that’s what I really like about him. During training he will stop you and give you advice and explanations…”
Mane: “But if you lose the ball, he can certainly shout ‘Naby! Naby!’”
Keita: “But that’s quite normal and he would also give you the same treatment!”
Mane: “Yes, but I just give this little look [does comic glare].”
On how Klopp has contributed towards improving them as players, the duo add…
Mane: “I believe it’s the fact that he makes you responsible on and off the field. I think that football is in the head but then you’ve got to transfer that to the body. He’s always there to be able to give you confidence. Overall for a player it’s all about confidence.”
Keita: “Yes, overall he is a coach that gives you confidence and he is the motivating factor before a match, but you’ve also got to be motivated on the field. When you see him on the sideline and you’re on the field, it’s as if he’s playing with you and that gives you a lot of desire to do better. He’s always there for his players, he’s almost like a best friend but he’s a coach who can communicate with all his players. When I arrived I had to try to settle in and be able to integrate with the team. I respect his choices, so I was there to work every day. He is somebody who is able to give you explanations on the field, and that helps a lot and when you play of course you don’t ever doubt yourself. That’s coaching and he sees everything. I think I have now improved a lot, apart from my injuries which have kept me out of several matches. He’s somebody who communicates a lot and a coach who explains everything to all his players.”
The full interview can be read in Issue 93 of the Liverpool FC magazine, available from selected supermarkets and newsagents this week. You can download the digital edition at https://pocketmags.com/liverpool-fc-magazine.
Enjoy a vintage Robbie Fowler goal on the occasion of the Liverpool legend's 45th birthday.
With Aston Villa's Steve Staunton having been bamboozled by his ingenious turn, Fowler thumps a long-range, left-footed drive that is still rising as it whistles into the corner of the Kop-end net.
Goalkeeper Mark Bosnich is rendered helpless by the purity of a strike that put the Reds 2-0 up within the opening five minutes of this game back in March 1996.
Watch a textbook example of Fowler's goalscoring brilliance below.
As the driving wind pelts icy rain into the windows that overlook the grounds of Melwood, Adrian makes a comparison.
“Liverpool actually reminds me a lot of Seville because you have two big teams in the league – there it’s Real Betis and Sevilla, here it’s Everton and Liverpool – so obviously everyone loves football,” the goalkeeper tells Liverpoolfc.com during a conversation that took place in the warmth of the training ground’s canteen prior to the ongoing suspension of Premier League football.
“It is a football city, every weekend one team is playing here, so it’s nice. It’s a good atmosphere and I really enjoy living here and my family are enjoying it.
“I lived for the last few years in London and then came to Liverpool. Yes, it’s a different city but it’s more like a family for me: the people are more close to each other, they like to talk to you and ask you about this and about that.”
There is one notable difference between Adrian’s hometown and current city of residence, however.
“Yes! The temperature is different and the sunshine is a bit different as well. But with the people and the feeling between them, it’s quite similar.”
Last summer, Adrian couldn’t have been further away from the freezing Merseyside weather – well, figuratively speaking, at least.
It’s widely known that, having left West Ham United upon the expiry of his contract, the 33-year-old returned to southern Spain.
“I knew I was leaving West Ham and we had some interest from different clubs but nothing on the table, no paperwork to sign, just interest and talking but not anything really close to signing,” he recalls of his final few months at London Stadium.
“We knew we had to wait until the end of the season, I finished my contract on June 30 so we finished the season and started looking for a new club.
“We had great options to go back to Spain and other options in different countries like Turkey, Mexico and Saudi Arabia, but my feeling inside was like ‘Wait, wait a bit and something big will come’ because I was ready and had enough experience in the Premier League.
“We had good options but none of them made me full of confidence to sign so we were waiting and after that, as you know, I finished the season and went on holiday with my family. I really enjoyed most of June on holiday, but at the beginning of July I needed to start my own pre-season.
“I was in Seville and I have a great relationship with the goalkeeping coach who used to work with me at Real Betis. He was not working and I called him and said: ‘Listen, I need to get fit and we need to train as hard as possible because one of my options will be signing somewhere and I need to be ready 100 per cent.’
“So we spent that month of July just training by ourselves in the facilities of a third division team from Seville, Union Deportiva Pilas. They opened the facilities just for me, they even gave me a key to train there every day and I was training in the morning, sometimes at night, sometimes in the afternoon, just waiting for a good option to sign.”
Single-minded professionalism, coupled with an unwavering belief that the aforementioned ‘big’ offer would eventually arrive, sustained Adrian during this individual regime.
“I knew someone was going to come with an offer because I spent my last six years at West Ham, then before I played for Real Betis in La Liga,” he continues.
“I performed quite well so I was trusting in my options and it was just about making my body fit, to train as much and as early as possible and obviously to be ready for the moment when I signed.
“Every session that we did there in Seville, we were talking on the phone afterwards with the agents. I had many messages and phone calls talking about the situation and about possible contracts, but I knew that by being ready any opportunity could be my decision so I would be happy.
“But then the best one came and called me in the beginning of August…”
It was, Adrian recalls, something of a whirlwind.
“Someone from the club called my agent and she called me straight away,” he recounts. “It was an afternoon when I was at home and she told me: ‘Listen, Liverpool have called me.’
“So, I said ‘OK, let’s listen’ because it was the option I was waiting for, to go to a big club, to get different targets. It was the option I wanted so after that, in 48 hours, we signed everything. I came to London and did a medical and straight away I was here, on August 5.”
Just four days later, when Alisson Becker hurt his calf during Liverpool’s season-opening win over Norwich City at Anfield, the self-imposed dedication of recent weeks meant Adrian was prepared – both mentally and physically – to be thrust back into Premier League action.
“To be fair, with now having enough time to think about it, that pre-season that I did by myself was probably the best one I did because as I say, I needed to make my body ready. Imagine if I was not fit enough and I needed to play on the Friday?” he wonders.
“It was obviously an unlucky injury for Ali and the goalkeeper’s life is sometimes like this: be ready for the opportunity and I was more than ready for that Friday night, starting my career in Liverpool and showing that I was in a good level and am in the team to try to help us get the biggest target that we have.”
And then? A real-life ‘dream’ in Turkey.
“To be fair, if I could dream a game before a game, that was it! It was the dream game for me,” Adrian smiles.
“It was my first time in the starting XI for Liverpool, playing in the European Super Cup in Istanbul, in a stadium full of Reds in the crowd.
“It was a very long game, very warm, the weather was nice but the temperature was really warm. Going to extra-time, to penalties and then to save the last one with my foot.
“It was like maximum happiness in that moment and I felt like ‘I am here, I am here to help the team 100 per cent and I showed that’. I signed my contract here for that.”
That victory over Chelsea represented the first of 10 consecutive starts in Premier League and Champions League games; nine of which ended with wins if the shootout success at Besiktas Park is included.
Overall, Adrian has made 18 appearances this season, with Alisson’s excellence meaning the Brazilian is established as the Reds’ first-choice goalkeeper.
That fact, though, changes nothing in terms of his deputy’s approach to his day-to-day work.
“I prepare mentally exactly the same as when I am a No.1 because I never feel that I am a second ‘keeper forever, to sit on the bench and just wait and wait and wait and don’t care about playing,” Adrian states.
“I prepare in every session of training like I was starting because that makes me feel ready – for when any opportunities come, I am ready for everything. I never prepare myself to sit on the bench at the weekend.
“Obviously Ali knows he is No.1 and he is doing well. He is a top ‘keeper, one of the best in the world, and all the prizes he has got he deserves because he showed that he deserves them.
“But I think that the competition is great, the healthy competition between us is better for us because it makes us improve. The comfort zone is not good for anyone anywhere in life – you need to improve every day and keep pushing and keep trying to do the best.
“I think that healthy competition, that good feeling we have between us is great for us, great for the team and great for the manager.”
Adrian thinks highly of the other members of Liverpool’s senior goalkeeping cohort – which is led by John Achterberg and Jack Robinson – too.
“We spend a lot of time training together. As you know, we have different coaches with John and Jack and we have four of us – Ali, Andy, Caoimhin and me – training hard from the beginning,” he says.
“Goalkeepers, we are a different animal! We train alone for a long part of the session, we share a lot of conversations and opinions about goalkeeping stuff.
“The goalkeeping position has changed a lot in the last few years. Maybe 20-25 years ago the goalkeeper just had to save all the balls and kick it away but now you have to start playing from the back and play like an outfield player.
“So we have to be really close to each other and obviously that feeling we have in that moment is great because everyone is pushing by their quality. The feeling between all of us is outstanding.”
And what about the spirit in the squad as a whole?
“It was really easy to adapt to the way the team do things outside the pitch because we have a great dressing room. People can see big names but everyone is a hard worker, no-one feels like he is bigger than the others. That’s the first and most important feeling of the dressing room.
“I look forward to work every day. I love football, I love to do goalkeeper stuff. To be a goalkeeper you have to love to be in goal, love to dive, it doesn’t matter what the weather is doing – if it’s raining or not, windy or not!
“Sometimes obviously the weather helps you more than other days but it’s not about the weather, it’s about the mentality to enjoy doing your profession, to enjoy doing this great job.
“I think it is the best job in the world because we are doing something that we love, and obviously I am still looking for more in training, and to play more games and more seasons.”
It is, then, fair to say Adrian reflects on his choices last summer positively.
“This club has totally exceeded my expectations,” he concludes.
“I think coming here was the perfect decision at the perfect time, to come to the best team in the world right now. I am really happy I took that decision, to have that patience in that moment of the summer and to be here.”
Liverpool emerged 2-1 victors against Crystal Palace in November following a frantic finale at Selhurst Park.
Sadio Mane had given the visitors the lead early in the second half, but this was cancelled out when Wilfried Zaha looked to have rescued a point for Palace in the 82nd minute.
However, the Reds overcame the setback to maintain their eight-point lead at the top of the Premier League as Roberto Firmino poked in five minutes from time.
Relive that Saturday afternoon below via YouTube as part of our Replayed series, which looks back on each of Liverpool’s league fixtures in the 2019-20 campaign on weekdays.