Feeling like a champion every day has made Georginio Wijnaldum even more determined to scoop silverware with Liverpool again as soon as possible.
The Netherlands midfielder returned to pre-season training on Saturday six weeks on from the Champions League triumph over Tottenham Hotspur in Madrid.
Wijnaldum carries the buzz of that night, and the victory parade that followed, with him still – and he considers that feeling ideal motivation to make success happen again.
“Because I know how it feels right now, I want it again,” the No.5 told Liverpoolfc.com. “That’s why I came back hungry, the guys also came back hungry to achieve even more.
“It’s a good feeling and it’s the feeling you want to get used to, winning trophies like that. That’s why everyone is hungry to do even better this year and win more.”
Wijnaldum got his pre-season programme under way a week later than the first group of players having represented his country in the UEFA Nations League in June.
And though the 28-year-old was pleased to enjoy a break after an extended campaign, it wasn’t long before he was itching to get back to club duty.
“Especially at the end,” explained Wijnaldum. “It was a good vacation I had. I had a lot more days than the years before.
“You always look forward to coming back and especially because we won the Champions League, you want more this season. So you’re really hungry to start.”
The Dutchman was not involved in Sunday’s 3-1 win at Bradford City but is in line to travel on Liverpool’s tour of the United States this week.
With three seasons already under his belt at Anfield, Wijnaldum has a firm understanding of the size of the club and its fan base across the world and he expects more of the same in America.
“It’s a really big club,” he said. “Everywhere you go people know Liverpool. On my vacation a lot of people came to me and congratulated me for the Champions League.
“Sometimes you don’t realise how big the club is; the club is in Europe but even when you travel abroad to Asia or America you see how big this club is because a lot of people support Liverpool and a lot of people know the club.”
Rhian Brewster and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have bolstered the first-team ranks after long-term injuries, with Jürgen Klopp describing the pair as ‘new players’.
Wijnaldum echoed the manager’s sentiments as he welcomed the addition of the quality he knows both possess.
“We already knew they were quality players but unfortunately they were injured last season and had more or less their own programme,” he added.
“But before they got injured we knew how good they are. The manager said they are like new players and it’s also [the same] for us. We’re going to add their quality to the squad so it’s going to be even better than before.”
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