UNO, laughs and hard graft: The inside account of LFC's Austria training camp

RevealedUNO, laughs and hard graft: The inside account of LFC's Austria training camp

By Glenn Price in Austria


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The competitive nature within Liverpool's squad stretches to card games in their downtime.

Indeed, UNO is the current craze for the Emirates FA Cup and Carabao Cup holders during their stay in Austria for a week-long training camp.

The sessions on the pitch so far have been intense and full of desire to be the very best, and the same can be said for the Reds' activities in their living quarters.

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"I've only played one time and I finished last!" Kostas Tsimikas revealed to from the team hotel in Salzburg. "But in my opinion, I think one of the best is Lucho [Luis Diaz] or Thiago. These two guys are top professionals at UNO.

"Of course everything we do is very competitive, always we try to win. But at the end, only the smile is on our faces and I think this is most important.

"We didn't play table tennis [yet]. At the moment we played UNO but I think the next days maybe we will play a little bit of table tennis because last year we also made the tournament and everybody will want to win [against] Mo because obviously he is first."

This is Tsimikas' third pre-season as a Liverpool player after arriving from Olympiacos in the summer of 2020. It was here in Austria, during his first trip away with Jürgen Klopp's men, that the Greece international's close friendship with Mohamed Salah began.

The card games and gentle joshing that inevitably follows is vital, Tsimikas believes, in forming a connection within a side that can withstand the ups and downs a long football season brings.

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"It's very, very important because it gives us time to know each other," the No.21 continued. "The way we play, the way he is thinking even if it is not in football.

"It makes you come a little bit more close to each other and I think it is very, very important for the year.

"When we are close together we are like a family. We fight for each other. It's very important.

"We always look after our colleagues and we want the best mood for them. That's why we achieved so many things last year and hopefully this year we can achieve even more.

"I'm close with everybody but normally I sit with Latin American players; Thiago or Adrian, or Mo of course. Or Joel. We sit all together, having fun. But with everyone we chill together and we speak about everything."

Tsimikas is speaking not long after completing a gruelling running session in the sun on Sunday morning.

The day before, he and his teammates were put through two workouts, as preparations for the upcoming campaign intensify, with the FA Community Shield less than a week away.

As a result, some of Tsimikas' colleagues have – understandably – been opting for brief naps whenever they can for recovery purposes.

Watch the Reds' intense endurance running in Austria

"Personally, I can't sleep before the training because if I sleep, I can't move," the 26-year-old said. "I try to relax myself, to chill, to watch some movies and to be ready mentally for the second session."

He added: "If you've never done this pre-season, you can't feel us, you can't understand how tough that is.

"But at least the only thing it can give you after is to be 100 per cent ready for the challenges physically, because this is what we need at the moment. We have a very tough season and we have to be 100 per cent ready.

"It's very hard, as always. Very tough, very competitive. All the boys, we work very hard.

"We set our goals, like last year – we will go for it and that's why we work towards it.

"I think everybody is absolutely ready for the upcoming challenges and we are looking forward to it."



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This article has been automatically translated and, while all reasonable efforts have been made to ensure accuracy, some errors in translation are possible. Please refer to the original English-language version of the article for the official version.