Liverpool confirm 2018/19 squad numbers

Today, Liverpool have released an official announcement that Alisson Becker and Fabinho have made their decisions as to their squad numbers.

Fabinho, who signed from Monaco at the beginning of the window, will sport the no.3 he has been wearing throughout pre-season.

Compatriot Alisson Becker will continue to don the no.13 shirt, meaning Loris Karius technically remains the no.1 after rumours of a swap.

Elsewhere, young forward Rhian Brewster, who will be promoted to the first-team set-up on his return from injury, will be no.24.

Liverpool squad numbers – in full:

1 – Loris Karius

2 – Nathaniel Clyne

3 – Fabinho

4 – Virgil van Dijk

5 – Georginio Wijnaldum

6 – Dejan Lovren

7 – James Milner

8 – Naby Keita

9 – Roberto Firmino

10 – Sadio Mane

11 – Mohamed Salah

12 – Joe Gomez

13 – Alisson Becker

14 – Jordan Henderson

15 – Daniel Sturridge

16 – Marko Grujic

17 – Ragnar Klavan

18 – Alberto Moreno

20 – Adam Lallana

21 – Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

22 – Simon Mignolet

23 – Xherdan Shaqiri

24 – Rhian Brewster

26 – Andrew Robertson

27 – Divock Origi

29 – Dominic Solanke

32 – Joel Matip

47 – Nathaniel Phillips

48 – Curtis Jones

50 – Lazar Markovic

54 – Sheyi Ojo

56 – Connor Randall

62 – Caoimhin Kelleher

64 – Rafa Camacho

66 – Trent Alexander-Arnold

68 – Pedro Chirivella

73 – Kamil Grabara

The Two-Minute Surf Wave

Pro surfer Koa Smith caught a wave off Namibia’s Skeleton Bay that took him for a nearly a mile! He surfed a single wave for a distance of 1.5 kilometers for two minutes that took him through eight barrels. It was captured on video, both from a drone and from Smith’s own GoPro POV. Both videos are mesmerizing.

My whole day surfing I try to InVision that one dream wave that I want to experience. I picture it clearly. What it will look like. How it will feel. The emotions pouring out of me when the wave is complete. Then this happen 🙂

Juventus Sold $60 Million Of Ronaldo Jerseys In 24 Hours

Juventus reportedly sold $60 million worth of Ronaldo jerseys in 24 hours — almost half his transfer fee.

Juventus, the biggest football club in Italy, sold 520,000 Ronaldo jerseys in just 24 hours, according to Yahoo Italy, The Guardian, and beIN Sports. As official Ronaldo jerseys cost about $120, that would be $62.4 million in total revenue — almost half his transfer fee.

Ronaldo left Real Madrid for Juventus last week in a $129.3 million (£99.2 million) deal, but the Italian club will not recuperate the bulk of the transfer fee from shirt sales alone, as typically clubs receive only 10-15% of the revenue generated by the kit manufacturer (in this case, Adidas). It is therefore likely that Juventus will see about $6 million to $9 million of this money.  Regardless, Juventus is still feeling the effects of acquiring one of the planet’s most famous athletes.

When news of Ronaldo’s intended move broke, Juventus shares popped almost 40%. The club also witnessed a massive social-media boost as its channels gained more than 1.5 million new followers in a single day.

Speaking of his transfer, Ronaldo said he hoped to “take Juventus to an even higher level,” according to the BBC. Meanwhile, The Guardian reported that he also said, “I want to leave my mark on the history of Juventus.”

It looks as if he may have already done those things without even kicking a ball.

The World Cup Ethical Dilemma

Calum Samuelson begins a fascinating article on The World Cup Dilemma, “in spite of the numerous benefits connected with this quadrennial global spectacle, its crookedness simply cannot be ignored or left unchallenged.”

He goes on to write:

Perhaps one of the reasons we’ve failed in our efforts at reform is because we’ve failed in our assessment of the central dilemma: FIFA has successfully monetized the most popular game on the planet. The litany of criticism aimed at FIFA is important and needed, but it all tends to evaporate in the heat of the tournament’s intense allure. Thus, many accusations fail to ‘stick’ because they are frequently quite anemic: the system is bad. But this misses a vital piece of the puzzle: the game is good. We cannot engage the former successfully if we have not understood the way it capitalizes on the momentum of the latter.

Football is not perfect (as the newly implemented VAR is helping reveal), but it is good. There can be no doubt that the World Cup allows people from all around the globe to experience in some meaningful way the vital human needs of camaraderie, competitiveness, and celebration. The slogan of FIFA appears to work towards such ends—“For  the Game. For the World.”—but time and time again, we’ve seen just how profit-hungry this ‘non-profit’ organization is.

In light of this, we need to change our thinking: The World Cup should not be pitched as an ‘economic windfall’ for low-income countries, but carefully managed as a celebration of humanity’s inerasable playfulness; it should be regarded more as a burden of responsibility for wealthy countries than a ‘prestigious opportunity’ for poor ones. This also necessitates a change in strategy: Rather than trying to impress critics with peripheral perks (such as ‘renewable energy’ and ‘knowledge transfer’), let’s focus on achieving the primary aim (enjoyment of a game) without harming civilians.

Go read the full article article to see his suggestions as to how this could be done.

Kangaroo delays football game

A kangaroo delayed the second half of a match between soccer teams Blue Devils FC and Canberra FC on Sunday, when it hopped onto the field and set itself in front of goal.

After a little while, the kangaroo hopped off the field and toward the carpark. Then it returned, again, to interrupt the second half of play.

Liverpool FC’s fixture list for 2018-19

Liverpool’s Premier League campaign for 2018-19 will get under way with a home fixture against West Ham United.

The Reds are set to kickstart their league season at Anfield for the first time since 2014-15 having been scheduled to face Manuel Pellegrini’s team on August 11.

Liverpool will host the first Merseyside derby of the season on December 1, with the return fixture at Everton’s Goodison Park slated for March 2.

Jürgen Klopp’s side will also take on their other great rivals Manchester United at home first, the Anfield edition of that fixture coming on December 15, with a trip to Old Trafford following on February 23.

Newcastle United are set to visit Anfield on Boxing Day, while the Reds will conclude their Premier League programme with a home clash with Wolverhampton Wanderers on May 12.

August

11 – West Ham United (H)
18 – Crystal Palace (A)
25 – Brighton and Hove Albion (H)

September

1 – Leicester City (A)
15 – Tottenham Hotspur (A)
22 – Southampton (H)
29 – Chelsea (A)

October

6 – Manchester City (H)
20 – Huddersfield Town (A)
27 – Cardiff City (H)

November

3 – Arsenal (A)
10 – Fulham (H)
24 – Watford (A)

December

1 – Everton (H)
4 – Burnley (A)
8 – Bournemouth (A)
15 – Manchester United (H)
22 – Wolverhampton Wanderers (A)
26 – Newcastle United (H)
29 – Arsenal (H)

January

1 – Manchester City (A)
12 – Brighton and Hove Albion (A)
19 – Crystal Palace (H)
30 – Leicester City (H)

February

2 – West Ham United (A)
9 – Bournemouth (H)
23 – Manchester United (A)
27 – Watford (H)

March

2 – Everton (A)
9 – Burnley (H)
16 – Fulham (A)
30 – Tottenham Hotspur (H)

April

6 – Southampton (A)
13 – Chelsea (H)
20 – Cardiff City (A)
27 – Huddersfield Town (H)

May

4 – Newcastle United (A)
12 – Wolverhampton Wanderers (H)

Liverpool FC launch new away kit for 2018-19 season

Liverpool FC’s new away kit for the 2018-19 season was launched today.

The New Balance design comes in a deep violet shade, which has never been used before.  Although purple has never been the predominant color of a Liverpool kit, the 2012/13 third kit included purple highlights, including one purple mismatched sock.

The kit adopts the same jacquard linear graphic as on the front of next term’s home shirt, which takes inspiration from the architecture of Anfield’s Main Stand.  It is also accentuated by orange branding that highlights key details throughout the strip, in a nod to last season’s third kit.

The confirmation is no real surprise given the conceptual art had been leaked months ago, and in the past few days the leaks turned into a flood.

The goalkeeper away shirt – as seen below – has been designed in line with the outfield players’ jerseys, with black patterned sleeves, embroidered logo and crest.

Liverpool FC defender Virgil van Dijk said:

“As a player the most important thing is how the shirt feels and performs. This kit gives us confidence to play to the best of our ability away from home. We have the best travelling support in football and I’m excited to run out in front of our fans wearing this strip.”

See the kit up close below…

Kenny Dalglish on his Knighthood

Sir Kenny Dalglish has been speaking about his Knighthood following today’s announcement of the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Recognised for his contribution to football, the 67 year-old said he is “hugely grateful” for the award and immediately dedicated it to Jock Stein, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley.  He said:

“Obviously it was for others with more education and knowledge than myself to decide whether or not I deserved a knighthood and it goes without saying that I am hugely grateful to them for the decision that they have made.”

“All I can say is that from my own point of view I am definitely no more deserving of an accolade like this than Jock Stein, Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley were. I am just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time and I would like to dedicate this honour to them because without the standards that they set at Glasgow Celtic and Liverpool, individuals like myself would not have been able to thrive as much as we did.”

In a hugely successful career in football for over 20 years, he played for Celtic and Liverpool winning major honours with both clubs. Internationally, he remains Scotland’s most capped player with 102 appearances.

During his managerial tenure at Liverpool, he secured three league titles, including a league and cup double in 1986 – the first person to ever achieve this feat as a player/manager. A further league title followed with Blackburn Rovers in 1995.

Dalglish went on to say:

“The most important thing to stress is that this honour is not a reflection of myself.

“It is a reflection of everyone who has played a part in my life and my career. Nobody achieves anything alone, especially in football, and in my case any success I have enjoyed has been due to the contributions made by my family, the players, coaches and managers that I was fortunate enough to work with and the supporters who backed me. This instance is no different.

“The enjoyment that I have derived from being involved in football for as long as I have is outstripped only by the sense that I’ve been hugely fortunate to have the right people around me at all times. None more so than my family whose support allowed me to focus on playing and managing, sometimes to the detriment of their own aspirations and ambitions. They share this honour as much as anyone else because without them none of this would have been possible.

“Similar sentiments apply to those in football who believed in me sufficiently to give me opportunities and who backed me on and off the pitch in a multitude of ways. At Milton Bank Primary, High Possil Secondary, Glasgow Boys, Cumbernauld United, Celtic, Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers and Newcastle United I was fortunate to be supported and accompanied by individuals who gave me a chance to do my job to the best of my ability, whether as a player or a manager. I have always appreciated the roles that they played in my life and that applies even more on this day as it does on any other.”

Dalglish’s Knighthood is also recognition for his contribution off the pitch in support of the Hillsborough families and The Marina Dalglish Appeal.  He has helped to raise over £10 million to improve cancer care across Merseyside.

Sir Kenny has thanked those who nominated him for this honour. He added:

“Last, but by no means least, I would like to express my gratitude to those who nominated me for a knighthood. I don’t know exactly what the process is but obviously something like this couldn’t happen unless someone puts your name forward so thank you to whoever it was who holds me in sufficient esteem that they believe me worthy of such an accolade. It is extremely humbling to have people who think of you in this way.”

Loris Karius apologises for Champions League Final mistakes

It’s been over 24 hours since Liverpool lost the Champions League Final to Real Madrid. It hurts for the club, it hurts for supporters, and it must hurt even more for the players who played. It certainly does for goalkeeper Loris Karius, accidentally, contributed more to the loss than anyone else. It was his two freak mistakes that led to two of the three goals scored by Madrid on Saturday.

He doesn’t need reminding of this.  Liverpool fans don’t need to tell him. He knows. Stop commenting on his Instagram, stop tweeting at him, stop abusing him.

Karius took to Instagram on Sunday following the match to apologise a second time. Of course, the first time happened immediately following the match, when he went over to the supporters section with tears in his eyes and on his face, and apologised.

It needs to be reminded that Karius is only 24 and was instrumental in getting Liverpool to the Final. He’s still so young and has so much to learn. This was his first major final. The squad as a whole’s first major final. To malign him completely is the antithesis of what we as Liverpool fans stand for. The very opposite of what the club stands for.

Given that Simon Mignolet is likely to leave this summer, we still need to buy a goalkeeper, but we don’t need to try and get rid of Karius.  Instead we need to support him, instead of getting rid of him and scapegoating him.

Mohamed Salah may miss World Cup with dislocated shoulder

The shoulder injury Mohamed Salah sustained during Liverpool’s Champions League final defeat to Real Madrid on Saturday evening is ‘serious’, Jürgen Klopp confirmed.

The forward was forced from the field after 30 minutes having failed to recover from a dodgy tackle by Sergio Ramos which saw the Spanish international lock arms with Salah, pull him over, and land on top of Salah’s arm and shoulder, with it appearing that the Liverpool star suffered a dislocated shoulder.  Salah later went to a local hospital in Kiev for assessment.

Klopp told his post-match press conference: “It’s a serious injury, a really serious injury.

“He is in the hospital for an X-ray. It’s either the collarbone or the shoulder itself. It doesn’t look good, that’s it.”

Mohamed Salah’s injury appears to be serious enough that his participation in the World Cup is now in question.

Liverpool FC seal spot in 2018-19 Champions League

Liverpool tied up qualification for the 2018-19 Champions League with a 4-0 victory over Brighton and Hove Albion on Sunday.

The Reds claimed fourth place in the Premier League on the final day of the season through goals from Mohamed Salah, Dejan Lovren, Dominic Solanke and Andy Robertson.

Jürgen Klopp’s team will therefore go straight into the group stage of next term’s edition of Europe’s elite club competition.

Liverpool are set to contest the final of this season’s tournament against Real Madrid in Kiev on Saturday May 26.

Mohamed Salah takes top prizes at LFC Players’ Awards

Mohamed Salah was named Liverpool’s star man for the season as the achievements of the first team, Academy, Ladies, legends and fans were celebrated at the 2018 LFC Players’ Awards on Thursday night.

The No.11, who has so far scored 43 goals in 50 appearances since joining the club last summer, was voted Player of the Season by both the fans – in an online vote on Liverpoolfc.com – and by his teammates at Melwood.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the man who has played the most matches in the club’s history, Ian Callaghan, while the 1978 European Cup-winning Reds side were acknowledged with the Outstanding Team Achievement Award on the 40th anniversary of their triumph over FC Bruges at Wembley.

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s excellent season, which has included 11 games and two goals throughout the Reds’ run to the Champions League final, was rewarded with the Young Player of the Season accolade, and Harry Wilson claimed the Academy Player of the Season honour.

Goal of the Season – shortlisted by supporters and decided by an LFC panel – went to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the midfielder’s stunning long-range blast during the European win against Manchester City at Anfield in April.

Gemma Bonner and Sophie Ingle were presented with the Ladies Player of the Season and Ladies Players’ Player of the Season awards respectively.

And there were special accolades for the Fans Supporting Foodbanks initiative, in the form of the Bill Shankly Community Award, and New South Wales as the official Supporters’ Club of the Season.

2018 LFC Players’ Awards winners

Player of the Season: Mohamed Salah
Players’ Player of the Season: Mohamed Salah
Ladies Player of the Season: Gemma Bonner
Ladies Players’ Player of the Season: Sophie Ingle
Young Player of the Season: Trent Alexander-Arnold
Academy Player of the Season: Harry Wilson
Goal of the Season: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain v Manchester City (April 4)
Bill Shankly Community Award: Fans Supporting Foodbanks
Lifetime Achievement Award: Ian Callaghan
Outstanding Team Achievement Award: 1978 European Cup-winning team
Supporters’ Club of the Season: New South Wales