Joe Gomez has described Wednesday evening’s Champions League meeting with Sevilla as the sort of game he hoped to take part in when he moved to Liverpool in 2015.
The Reds bring an end to a two-season absence from Europe’s premier cup competition on Wednesday when they begin their group-stage campaign against Eduardo Berizzo’s team.
Having played a part in the qualification play-off clash with Hoffenheim, Gomez is eyeing up what would be a debut in the Champions League proper.
And the 20-year-old says playing any part in the game would see him realise a lifelong ambition.
“That’s what you aspire for [when] you come to a club like this. It’s the level that everyone knows the club should be at and playing at,” Gomez told Liverpoolfc.com.
“For me, personally, it’s something I’ve always dreamed of as a kid and just to be part of the club going into a competition like this is special.
“Champions League nights are always special, especially at Anfield. So hopefully it’s the start of a good campaign for us.
“I think it’ll have a different feel because it’s the start of the group stage and we know that it’s a massive game - we’re actually in the Champions League now.
“I think it’s going to be a great atmosphere and hopefully it’ll be a good result as well.”
Jürgen Klopp’s side go into Wednesday’s game off the back of a 5-0 defeat to Manchester City in their last Premier League outing.
For Gomez, the quick turnaround is beneficial for him and his teammates as they look to produce an instant response to that disappointment.
And he explained that a short run-up to the game has made little difference to the manner in which the Reds have prepared.
The England U21 captain added: “That’s one of the positives about the busy schedule is that when the game doesn’t go your way you can quickly get over it and just focus on the next one. That’s what everyone’s aiming to do.
“It’s not easy because it reduces the time you have to prepare for the game and to prepare for the opposition but it’s part of the schedule and you just have to get on with it, really.
“Every game we prepare the same. Obviously we look at the opposition and ways to exploit them but it never changes the lead up or the preparation for a game.
“It’s crucial it stays that way so we treat every game as a big game and the boys prepare similarly.”
Of course, Sevilla were the opposition as Liverpool suffered the heartbreak of defeat in the Europa League final in 2016.
But Gomez insists the squad don’t need the motivation of revenge over their Spanish opponents because Wednesday’s fixture is important enough as it is.
He continued: “Everyone knows it was disappointing for us to lose against them in the Europa League final but now it’s like a new phase, a new era, and I don’t think it adds to our desire.
“Everybody has already got that for this game and I don’t think just because it’s against Sevilla it makes it any bigger, I think it’s a big game regardless.
“Under Berizzo they’re unbeaten this season and they’re in good form in the league. They’ve had a lot of new players and a couple of changes of manager since we last played them so I’m sure they’ll be a different side.
“They’ll be a good challenge for us and obviously they’re a big side in La Liga so we’re definitely not underestimating them, we know their capabilities.”