First the world, next England. Evidently it is not the Liverpool way to take the orthodox route towards global domination. Usually a domestic title is the catalyst for European and intercontinental success. Jurgen Klopp hopes to complete a reverse journey between now and May.
三级成人视频A third trophy in six months is a sequined means to the most decorated end imaginable - ensuring the wait to become Premier League champions is not extended beyond 30 years.
Initial resistance to heading to Qatar had more to do with priorities than ignorance of the status of the Club World Cup. When Liverpool accepted the Fifa invitation, they imagined being in the midst of another foot race with Manchester City. Pausing to fly 3000 miles to collect a Christmas gift no-one was entirely sure they wanted, thus enabling the champions to push on in their absence, seemed a risk.
三级成人视频Instead, the stars aligned on Saturday night. As Roberto Firmino dropped the shoulder to strike the winner against Flamengo and start another party, Klopp’s ten point Premier League lead over Leicester City was being preserved by Pep Guardiola’s team. The delicious irony cannot be lost on both sets of owners, even if Fenway Sports Group will take nothing for granted. No result at The Etihad was guaranteed to be favourable come May, City recognised as more likely to win 15 consecutive games than Leicester and close the gap.
Nevertheless, the switch in fortunes placed Liverpool in the heart of the Arab region, laying claim to the title the world’s best club, while City’s Abu Dhabi hierarchy look on in envy and bewilderment wondering how their era of extraordinary success is being overshadowed by a club bereft of the trophy it most craves.
If Liverpool do become Premier League champions soon, they will enter a stratosphere of global popularity and commercial possibility which - allied to Klopp’s talent and charisma - makes serial trophy collection more likely than anyone dared imagine a few years ago. It has undoubtedly sullied the rivalry with City, who - with some justification - presumed they would trample on all opposition with the combined force of their wealth and Guardiola’s mastery. The Anfield renaissance has not only brought Liverpool a regular parade, it is threatening a torrential downpour on City’s. This fierce competition between the clubs was emerging as the defining one in this era of English football even before Liverpool’s trophy spurt, yet until last June you could understand the champions’ grumbles of one-sidedness. The Merseysiders’ return was modest.
Before the Champions League win, FSG’s only trophy was the League Cup of 2012. It is another measure of the club’s evolution there was no timescale on Klopp to deliver, only the absolute belief that once the first came others would swiftly follow.
T三级成人视频he Club World Cup will be regarded a major honour by Liverpool because of the application and skill required to first compete for it, and now win it for the first time.
三级成人视频No-one witnessing the despair of the Brazilian players and fans and delight of Liverpool’s staff and players will speak disparagingly of this competition again.
And as the players queued up to remark after their extra time triumph, winning is a habit.
“That’s three for 2019,” said Andy Robertson.
三级成人视频“In the calendar year, we have won the Champions League, Super Cup and now this. To win three in any calendar year is special – and these are big ones. The Champions League is absolutely massive. The Super Cup and the Club World Cup are massive to us. We are really excited about it but we have got to take the momentum into 2020. Hopefully there are a couple more of these scenes of us lifting trophies above our head to come.”
This craving for more reflects the fact there is still so much to come for this group of players. By the end of their careers, many will be worthy companions to the legends of the past.
Shortly before leaving Anfield, a former Liverpool manager said: “The club wants to go back to the 70s and 80s’. Fine, not with me.”
Although the reference was more about refusing to return to ageing methods rather than successive titles, he was reflecting a sense those halcyon days could never make a comeback in such a competitive, reshaped football world.
三级成人视频It is an opinion that, at the very least, may need to be reviewed in 2019.
But by the time Klopp leaves Liverpool, whether in 2024 or beyond, he will be regarded as the modern Bill Shankly. He will resist that as he perpetually credits those around him, and there is no question the influence of Sporting Director Michael Edwards and FSG President Mike Gordon - and the shrewdness of John W. Henry and Tom Werner in getting those appointments pitch perfect - is fundamental to facilitating Klopp’s work.
Executives at rival clubs now eager to know how Liverpool have done this are not only seeking their own Klopp, but another Edwards and Gordon.
But everything changed at Liverpool when Klopp walked through the Shankly Gates, just as it did when the man himself arrived in 1959.
“All of us are so proud of what Jurgen and his team achieved today,” said chairman Werner, the congratulatory messages increasingly frequent.
“These were two tough games in the middle of the season, but you never get tired of seeing a trophy lifted. Our supporters around the world are celebrating.”
After Madrid, Istanbul and Doha, Liverpool want the next ticker tape shower to fall on Anfield soil.