Monday, October 3, 2022

Henderson and Klopp pay tribute to ´Liverpool legend´ Origi before Anfield farewell

SoccerNews in English Premier League 20 May 2022

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Divock Origi will leave Anfield a “Liverpool legend” with tributes from Jordan Henderson and Jurgen Klopp, who described the striker as “one of the most important players I ever had”.

Despite being a fringe player for much of his time on Merseyside, Origi has become a Liverpool icon thanks to a series of vital goals.

Most notably, the Belgium international scored twice in an epic Champions League semi-final comeback against Barcelona, before making sure of the Reds’ final triumph with another strike versus Tottenham.

Origi has also enjoyed a sensational record in derbies against Everton, scoring six times in the Premier League – twice as many as he has netted against any other team in the competition.

However, his contract is up at the end of the season, and while James Milner, in the same situation, could yet stay at Liverpool, Klopp confirmed the imminent departure of an Anfield favourite.

Asked if Origi and Milner could expect special receptions against Wolves in the final home game of the season, Klopp said: “We can only do that if we know it definitely.”

But he added to his press officer: “I think that’s only Div, right?”

Captain Henderson had suggested as much in his pre-match programme notes, published ahead of Klopp’s news conference.

Pointing out Origi had scored the winner in the reverse fixture at Wolves, Henderson wrote: “It looks like today [Sunday] will be Divock’s last at Anfield for Liverpool, so I hope he gets the kind of send-off he deserves.

“Actually I know that he will because he has been such a special player for us, but he is also an incredible person who has taken this city and its people to his heart. 

“His legacy will be his achievements for this club, but it will also be the good causes he has supported, like the local students he is helping to put through university.

“Today should be a celebration no matter what happens, and as club captain I will certainly be celebrating Divock and wishing him all the best for the future. The big fella deserves nothing less.”

Klopp added: “I expect Divock to get a special reception or farewell or whatever. He is and will be for me forever a Liverpool legend, one of the most important players I ever had.

“That sounds completely strange [with] the amount of games he had, but it is and was a pure joy to work together with him. It’s not over yet, just because it’s the last Premier League game.

“He deserves all good thoughts we can generate somehow for his future. Wherever he will go, he will be a success 100 per cent.

“He is an outstanding player, outstanding boy, everybody in the team loves him. He’s such a relaxed guy, a lovable guy

“It will be a harsh moment when he actually leaves. For us, it will not be now, but whenever he leaves, it will be harsh. Since I’m here, Div is here.

“I remember so many things about Div that are incredible. Important goals, injuries, bad injuries, all these kind of things, ups and downs, so he is a Liverpool legend, no doubt.”

Klopp had been asked about the possibility of other exits, with Takumi Minamino among those on the fringes, and he replied: “I don’t want to see anyone leave, but that’s life, that’s the situation.

“Nobody came to me and said, ‘I want to go’, no agent called me. We will see what happens. Honestly, it’s not the time.”

Indeed, Klopp said he has “no idea who wants to go” and urged focus instead on the final two matches of the season, which could yet add Premier League and Champions League titles to their EFL Cup and FA Cup wins.

Henderson said: “The final home game of the season is always a special occasion. It’s something that the players, staff and our families all look forward to, particularly if it has been a decent campaign, because Anfield feels even more festive than usual. 

“It is also something that is especially true today as we head towards the last game of a season which will go down as one of the most incredible in the history of this great club.

“As things stand, it is not yet incredible in terms of trophies. Up to now we have won the two domestic cups and, while that is absolutely brilliant, we still want more, and we are also well aware that previous Liverpool teams have won more.

“But in terms of playing every possible game in every competition, fighting to the very end in all four, and creating stories and memories that will live with all of us forever, it could only be described as incredible.”

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