After a successful autumn campaign with PSV, Cody Gakpo left his home for a new challenge at Liverpool in the winter transfer window. He is going to make his UEFA Champions League debut for the club in tonight’s round of 16 1st Leg for the Liverpool vs Real Madrid game. The young and talented dutch striker talked to UEFA.com about settling in at Anfield and taking on the 14 times European champions.
Liverpool vs Real Madrid: UEFA’s Interview with Gakpo
Reason for choosing Liverpool:
“When I heard it was an option, I didn’t have any doubts or thoughts about anything else. I had a good feeling about it. Of course, it’s a big club, and as far as I’m concerned, it all made sense.” – he said.
Changing clubs in the mid-season is always hard for players, especially for those who have to join a club in a different country and league. “It’s quite exciting when you’re in a new place, you don’t know the people and you have to get used to things, but I have to say that everyone at the club has been very helpful in making me feel at home. It’s a very warm club, and the fans are amazing. It really does feel great to be here.”- he said to UEFA.com
Dressing Room & Team Mates:
He lost his words during describing his frontline players, Mohamed Salah & Darwin Núñez. “They are fantastic, of course. It’s great to try and score goals together. I think we’re starting to get used to each other more and more every day. So, I think we’re going to be alright.” – he said.
Cody thinks they are going to be the next big thing in Europe. Liverpool has struggled continuously this season but in the last 3-4 games, it is safe to say that they are coming back for claiming their positions once again.
“I think we’re getting more and more in sync. That’s just something that takes time. As I said, normally, it all happens during pre-season, when you have time to get to know each other, but in this case, we didn’t have that time, so things went a bit differently than usual.” – he said.
About Himself & what he can offer to the Liverpool side:
“What Liverpool can expect from me is, of course, my goals and my passing. I can take the game from midfield into the attack. I can switch between the lines with the ball and then sprint toward the goal. That’s one of my qualities, and that’s one of the things that I can give to this club.” – he said
He is not wrong about his playing style. The talented dutchman can play anywhere in the frontline. Everyone witnessed his style of play during the world cup games. He can play as a no 9 or as a winger to drift wide or he can carry and supply balls continuously with the same intensity and perfection to the attackers as a no-10.
“I’ve been asked a lot before what my favorite position is. In the last three seasons, I’ve mostly played on the left, but during the World Cup, I also played more in the middle, as a No10. I think it’s just important that I play. When I play down the middle, I get more chances to move forward with the ball. That’s maybe less the case when I play on the left, but it’s not really a preference that I have. I’m just happy to play.”
His Opinion and take on Liverpool vs Real Madrid game:
The opening match is a very important one. As they say in the Netherlands, “the first blow is half the battle.” If you can get off to a good start at home and win by as many goals as possible, your starting position for the second leg will be so much better. Of course, it’s never that easy, especially against Real Madrid, but that’s our aim, of course. – he stated.
He understands the situation they are in and the opponent they are facing in the Round Of 16. Real Madrid and Liverpool both had issued to be dealt with this season and they failed to do it in the winter market. Real Madrid somehow is still in the title race for Laliga and for obvious reasons, they are always a big threat to any club in the Champions League.
On the other hand, Liverpool is backing their form recently. They are not yet perfect as they need players in the midfield and in the defense but this is going to be an interesting battle to witness.
“They have a very experienced, mature team and lots of individual quality, especially up front with [Karim] Benzema and Vinicius [Júnior] and in midfield with [Luka] Modrić and [Toni] Kroos. All of them are very good players. They’ve got lots of individual quality, but so have we. I think it could be a great game” – he stated.