Cody Gakpo has singled out the crucial Liverpool goal that he had rehearsed for years as a budding footballer in his youth.
The Dutchman arrived at Anfield from PSV in January and has gone on to become an integral part of Jurgen Klopp‘s talented forward line.
He has 11 goals in 40 appearances to his name so far in a red shirt, including a brace in the famous 7-0 thrashing of rivals Man United back in March.
The second of those goals is often regarded as the best of the lot from that afternoon, but it was the strike which opened the scoring that the striker says he has worked hardest on.
Speaking exclusively to the club’s official website, Gakpo described the goal that broke the deadlock against Erik ten Hag’s side as something he “really trained on” as a youngster.
“I think the first goal is something that I practised all my life because I played as a winger,” Gakpo revealed.
“Before I came here, I played as a winger like five or six years. And this is something you know, you come from the outside, go inside, find the long corner.
“That was something I really trained on, and I was happy I got the chance to show everybody that I was capable of doing that. The second one, the only thing I could do was this, I think, so it was a split-[second] decision.”
The goal put Liverpool in front shortly before the interval, with a wave of second-half finishes in front of the Kop including the 24-year-old’s clever chip over David de Gea following shortly after.
It was a special way to get off the mark and the importance of the goal wasn’t lost on Liverpool’s No. 18, who compared the experience to cup finals he has been a part of in the Netherlands.
He continued: “I knew obviously the Merseyside derby is a big, big thing. It felt unreal.
“I almost want to say the same as the winning goal in the [Dutch] cup final, but almost the same.”
He’ll make himself a very popular man if he keeps scoring against those two particular teams, that’s for sure!