Liverpool added their 3rd trophy of the calendar year on Saturday, lifting the Club World Cup after an extra-time win over a tricky Flamengo side.
If you expected Liverpool to cruise through the Club World Cup final on Saturday, you were wrong, and you were silly to think that from the beginning anyways. Flamengo are a side packed to the brim with quality, and they are living proof of how good Brazilian football has become over the past few years. Their star man, striker Gabigol, was the one to watch out for right from kickoff for Jurgen Klopp and his team.
While questionable officiating nearly marred the event, especially from a Liverpool perspective, they ultimately came out on top with a goal in extra-time from Roberto Firmino. Both sides had chances to open the scoring within the original 90 minutes, with Gabigol forcing some good saves out of Alisson, and Firmino hitting the post as well.
The fact that Flamengo managed to keep a win within their grasp until extra-time was even more impressive when considering the fact that Klopp put out a ridiculously strong team for this fixture. While many people downplay the importance of the Club World Cup, those who ply their trade within football, as players, coaches and directors, value the competition a lot.
This was evident when Liverpool decided to field a team of youth players in the Carabao Cup in order to be at full-strength against Flamengo.
Other than Gabigol, Flamengo also has Georgian de Arrascaeta, Filipe Luis, and Rafinha in their ranks, with long-time followers of European Football obviously being able to recognize the latter 2 names.
Now, Liverpool are not just European Champions, but World Champions, as they cap off a stunning 2019 with an important victory. Next up for Jurgen Klopp and the Reds? A first Premier League trophy, and a first English Top Flight title in 30 years.