For the first half of last season, before Covid-19 impacted football around the world, Marcos Llorente had found himself in and out of Atletico Madrid’s starting eleven.
Diego Simeone is notoriously hard to please, and Llorente had been working to fully win his manager over, following his transfer from neighbours Real Madrid.
There were suggestions in the Spanish media that perhaps Llorente wasn’t the right type of player for his coach, and then everything changed with a Man of the Match performance against Liverpool at Anfield.
Georginio Wijnaldum and Roberto Firmino had put Jurgen Klopp’s side ahead, and then came the Llorente show.
Scoring twice and providing an assist in a 3-2 victory, the 25-year-old was largely responsible for his side progressing to the next stage of the Champions League, and it helped change his situation with the rojiblancos.
Speaking to TMW this week, Llorente has explained just how important that performance against Liverpool was for him personally: “The match at Anfield was a great turning point for my career, indeed it literally changed me life. I always say, however, that in football you have to confirm yourself every day. I know that I had a good performance against Liverpool, but the important thing is to maintain this continuity of performance over time. I am succeeding and I am very happy with what I am doing.”
A few months after the match there reports the footballer had bought himself a new dog, and named it Anfield to help him remember that special night.
TMW asked whether it’s true, and Llorente explained the truth is a little different: “The dog belongs to my mother, not mine. That day was really happy for her: my mother has always followed me with great affection and, when we gave her a dog a few months later, she decided to call it that. The brace against Liverpool gave her unforgettable emotions.”