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Name Joe Gomez
Gender Male
Ethnic English
Job English Footballer
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Affiliation

Org England National Team
Club as Player Liverpool FC
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2019 07 03 Retrieve

[Liverpool defender Joe Gomez claims he would have liked to have been a PE teacher if he hadn’t made it in professional football] PE was my favourite subject in school. I wasn’t bad in school, but I wasn’t the smartest, so I think it was the time that I could just enjoy myself and purely have fun. I think that fun and enjoyment is the main thing in school. If I wasn’t a footballer I would have liked to be a PE teacher. I knew that I couldn’t let my school affect my football by behaving badly and getting detention and all that sort of thing, so I made sure my homework was done. Obviously, at that age, your parents emphasise that it’s important that you do well in school, otherwise they might take away your hobby. It’s really important, not just for the health benefits but just for having fun. Psychologically it’s important that children get a chance to express themselves and sometimes PE is the best way to do that. I found my talents in PE and it gave me a chance to have fun and enjoy time with my friends, so it is definitely important.

[Gomez also talked about learning the basics of sports other than football] You need to have basic coordination, but having the confidence in yourself from that age - that you can do certain skills - is the main thing that helps you when you get older. I loved sports day and all the races, so athletics and running were my other favourite sports. But football is not an individual sport, and if there is no chemistry within the team, regardless of what talent you have, then you are not really going to succeed. I think that shows within the team. Where you have got a good bond, you will all play for each other, play for the manager and play for the supporters. I think it’s important that you are all one - not just within the team, but within the community and the supporters as well. It’s important that we live our lives the right way, not only for performance but to be role models. I think it’s important that we do our best to lead an example for the younger generation. For any kids that want to achieve a dream I think you have just got to ask yourself, is it something you enjoy? That is the fundamental aspect. If you don’t enjoy it, then you are not going to put that extra effort in to be the best that you can

2019 07 08 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez says Liverpool are going to use their narrow title race defeat against Manchester City as ‘motivation’ to go one better next season] Definitely. He [Klopp] said that this morning in the meeting. We can be happy and proud of the achievement but we’ve got so much more work to do and so many ways to improve as well. The Premier League was so close and I think that’s all the motivation we need, that we were so close but so far at the same time in the fact that we didn’t get it. It’s something we want to get this year and to do so we can’t get complacent or dwell on what happened last season, we have to hit the ground running again now

[The 22-year-old is prepared to give his all to the Liverpool cause regardless of his position next season] I’ve played a number of positions over the years I’ve been here. I like to excel in one and nail that spot but I’m happy to play wherever for the team and the manager. It’s just about development in whatever way I can and doing all the extra bits I can to develop off the pitch as well as on it. Hopefully, things fall into place. This is my fifth season now and I’ve had a lot of experience at the club and learned a lot here. But I’m still so young, I’ve got so much left to learn. I’ve got to keep developing, keep progressing and stay hungry

2019 07 22 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez and Virgil van Dijk are best mates these days, as close off the pitch as they are on it] We talk every day, about literally everything. I’ve said it before, but he’s like my big brother

[Let’s rewind, for a moment, to the summer of 2017. The Reds are pursuing a new centre-back, and we all know who their top target is. Their courting of Van Dijk is strong, strong enough to rile Southampton and necessitate a rather public, and rather embarrassing, climbdown. They would get their man eventually, waiting six months before completing a £75 million transfer in January 2018] If he’d have come then. then I’d probably have gone out on loan.

[How to be more like Virgil, you could say] He’s been unbelievable. There are not many people who could come with that kind of price tag and not only live up to it, but go far beyond it. That’s what he’s done. As soon as he came in, it was just clear that he was such a good guy. Everyone can see it. He came for a massive fee, but there’s no superstar status to him. I think that’s why we get along. He’s grateful for what he has, he’s come from humble beginnings and he’s had to work for everything he’s got. He understands that. I’m lucky to have someone like him around. He won’t say it, but he’s the best in the world

[Few would disagree right now. Van Dijk, in fact, is the favourite to land this year’s Ballon d’Or ahead of the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo] It’s only right. The impact he’s had, that’s probably been the biggest factor. It’s one thing to come into a team and perform well individually, but to give the whole team a lift and a confidence like he has, that’s something else. It’s not just the team who feel it, it’s the stadium too, the fans. When Virgil is on the pitch, they feel safe. When the ball goes into the box, you know it’ll be him who gets his head on it. That’s priceless

[Gomez grew up idolising Rio Ferdinand, a fellow South Londoner] There are similarities for sure. I loved watching Rio when I was younger, and I’m lucky now to have someone like Virgil in the flesh, to learn from and to watch every single day. There’s a genuine understanding between us, where I can ask him anything, football or non-football. With the stature that he has, he’s on the way to emulating those kind of players and their achievements. When you win the Champions League, and when you perform like he has for the last few years, you are elevated to that status. He deserves every bit of praise that comes his way. Like I say, I’m blessed to have someone like him alongside me, on the pitch and off it

2019 07 23 Retrieve

[Liverpool star Joe Gomez on mentality, positivity & fatherhood] I’m a strong believer in the idea that everything happens for a reason. I think that’s a good way to be

[Gomez, cerebral as he is, could have been forgiven for questioning that mantra in recent years. He’s only 22, but he’s had enough bad luck to last a lifetime] Me? I’m grateful. I’m not one to moan or dwell on things. I’ve had my fair share of setbacks, yeah, but I’m blessed, I really am. It’s a massive blessing just to be able to play football, let alone play for a club like Liverpool. We are lucky to be able to do what we do, and we should never forget that. I give thanks every day for what I have. I know people who have had real bad luck, people I played with when I was younger at Charlton, people I grew up with whose lives have gone down different paths. They weren’t as fortunate as me. You should always be grateful, you should always appreciate what you have. Even when things are not going well, when you’re injured and in rehab, you’re lucky. You’re at a club like Liverpool with the best facilities, the best treatment, the best staff, the best support. How can you not be thankful?

It’s true what they say, everything changes! But it’s honestly the best experience, so, so special. It’s what life’s about, isn’t it?

[He probably would have started the Champions League final had it not been for the broken leg suffered in a challenge with Burnley’s Ben Mee back in December] It was disappointing but I was buzzing for the boys as well

[Joel Matip performed exceptionally last season and Dejan Lovren still has a big fan in Klopp, but it is the Londoner who looks the best partner for Virgil van Dijk. The pair’s close relationship off the field is mirrored by a strong understanding on it] It’s a privilege for me to have somebody like him around. I watch him and learn from him every single day

[Learning from those at the top of their sport is becoming something of a hobby for Gomez. His interests are not limited to football] I spend a lot of time on YouTube. It’s really learning about people and their mindsets, what they’re made of, how they push themselves, how they handle the ups and downs. I think in football, in sport generally even, it’s the biggest thing. Talent is one thing, but having that mentality to use it and to keep improving and learning, that’s what sets the greats apart

[So who does he admire then?] I’m into my NBA. LeBron James, I love him. He does a lot of stuff for Uninterrupted, and I always like to watch that. I love my boxing, Anthony Joshua is someone I admire and look up to. Athletics, I admire the training and the discipline those guys have to show. I love seeing how people apply themselves to their sport

[On the night Gomez became European champion, the British heavyweight king was having his crown ripped away by the unfancied Andy Ruiz Jr in New York. It was one of boxing’s biggest ever upsets] He’ll come back. That’s sport; when you’re up everyone loves you, and when you’re down people question you. But he knows he’ll be back, he has the mentality to do it and to prove everyone wrong again. I watched the documentary about his life and it’s fantastic, I love it. It gives you a proper insight into what he’s about. I’ve got massive respect for what he stands for, what he’s achieved, it’s unbelievable. That’s what I mean about mentality, about people who push themselves to achieve their dreams

There’s a belief within the side now. Now we’ve actually won something, we feel like ‘we can do this’. We really feel it. I still think there was a bit of a feeling of underdog status last year, in the sense that City were there and had that sort of invincible status. It’s incredible what they’ve done the last couple of years. You look at last season, they’ve won 14 games in a row to win the league. It’s a joke! We were ahead, but they just won game after game, consistency, consistency, consistency. I think we’re different. There’s a fighting spirit within us that has enabled us to come back in games, grind out wins, and that’s given us huge belief.

Probably a lot of fans want to see money spent and big names coming in, but when you look at our team, everyone is committed. Look at the amount of contracts that have been signed in the last 12 months, look at the age of the team. We’re here to stay. And if you look in all the different departments, the quality is there. Training here has been of an unbelievable standard, and we still have Mo, Sadio, Bobby, Ali to come back! Competition is good, but I think the squad has a good balance too. The manager knows best, and if he’s confident in us then why shouldn’t we believe in ourselves?

2019 08 12 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez insists Liverpool are hungrier for more trophies after missing out on the Community Shield] I think [the Community Shield] would have been nice but we lost the way we did, which was unfortunate. I think now that just made us even hungrier to get our hands on a piece of silverware again. I think that’s going to be our aim this year, just to get as much silverware as possible. Hopefully we can do it, but it’s obviously against a tough side and we know it won’t be easy. We’re looking forward to it

Obviously it’s a label that’s given now that we achieved what we did last season. I think the main thing in our minds is that we still see ourselves as underdogs, we still see ourselves as a hungry team that hasn’t achieved what we want to achieve yet. There’s still so much more to do and to surpass what we did last season. I think the main thing is that our mindset is in the right place and whatever is said after that is not up to us

2019 08 16 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez says Liverpool were sloppy in their Super Cup win over Chelsea] I think there were a lot of things we could have done better on a personal note and as a team. There were a few sloppy moments and we obviously conceded two goals which could have been prevented. As a collective, we did not play the best football in the first half and I don’t think we got it down properly. There were phases we know we could have done better but at the end we all dug deep and tried to get the result. I think even not on our best day we can get a result which is what has changed and why we got so close to the Premier League

[Liverpool must put their busy early season slate behind them, and Gomez accepts that is part of the price of success] It is relentless but it is part and parcel to be at the top. You have to play more games than anyone else and if you want to get prime position you have to play more games. We want to do it and we want to work together, do our best for the team, recover, go again

2019 09 26 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez hailed the special talents of Harvey Elliott after the teenager’s eye-catching senior debut for Liverpool at MK Dons] To be 16 and play like that is unbelievable. It is weird for me as I was always the young one and it seems a world away! I was 17 when I made by debut for Charlton (also in the League Cup, against Colchester in 2014) but he is a special player and it is refreshing to see such confidence. His ability is good and he did himself justice out there

[Gomez, still only 22 himself, was one of a number of senior players selected by Klopp, who handed debuts to not only Elliott, but to goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher, striker Rhian Brewster and substitutes Herbie Kane and Sepp van den Berg. Teenage midfielders Luis Longstaff and Leighton Clarkson were also named in the squad for the first time] It was a bit strange! But I have been here a little while and it is nice to be out with the boys who look so hungry. You can see that on the pitch and it is a breath of fresh air

[As for himself, these were much-needed minutes for the England defender, who has not started any of Liverpool’s last five Premier League games, with Joel Matip and Virgil van Dijk established, for the time being, as Klopp’s first-choice centre-back pairing] It was nice to be back out. Obviously, it has been a while for me. It is nice to get the minutes and be out on the pitch and there were a few debuts. It was nice to get a win and a clean sheet. It was a good night

[Asked if it had been a frustrating start to the campaign] Yes, definitely. Obviously I have not been playing and obviously every footballer wants to be playing. But at the same time I understand that we are the European champions and the lads are doing very well at the minute so all I can do is keep my head down, keep working hard in training and keep waiting for the right time. Until then, I have to keep working hard. Credit to them (Matip and Van Dijk). They are doing unbelievably well – as well as the whole team – and as I say, I understand. Obviously it is frustrating for me at the same time because I want to be playing but it is what it is. I have to keep working hard

[Gomez is likely to be back on the bench for Saturday’s league clash at Sheffield United,] Absolutely. You cannot sit there and be down. You have to stay positive and do yourself justice when the time comes. You need to show the good attitude otherwise you will do yourself harm. We have a great set of lads to learn from – Virgil as well who I learn from every day. All the lads were at home resting but we came here in a serious competition and we wanted to win and showed hunger

2019 09 26b Retrieve

[Joe Gomez has admitted to being frustrated at his lack of playing time at Liverpool this season. He doesn’t hold a grudge against Southgate for not choosing him over the last international break] I cannot blame him. He speaks to me and is a great manager but I have to understand that I have to play for my clubs like other players are. If you meet up with England you are expected to be playing so I have to keep working hard. Every footballer wants to be playing. It’s frustrating for me. At the same time I understand we are the European champions and the lads are doing well at the minute. Credit to them. All I can do is keep my head down and keep working hard

[He will be hoping to feature before the next round in October] The further we go, it’s self-explanatory, the more we will play so we have to treat it like that and our hopeful our hunger can replicate that. You have got to be there every day in training and keep positive because you want to do yourself justice when the time comes. If you don’t put in the same practice every day in training with the same attitude, you are only doing yourself harm when it comes to your time to play so I have just got to keep doing that every day, keep working. I’ve got a great set of lads to learn from. Obviously Virgil and Joel, me and Dej [Lovren] keep pushing each other as well, it is part of being at Liverpool. I think that was the attitude of everyone [against MK Dons], it’s not just another game and all the lads are at home resting. It’s a serious competition, we want to go as far as we can

2019 09 28 Retrieve

[Sheffield United vs Liverpool. The fine form of Liverpool’s general starting XI this season, however, has seen chances limited for others, with Joe Gomez finding himself relegated to the bench for the most part] I have to play for my clubs like other players are. If you meet up with England you are expected to be playing so I have to keep working hard. Every footballer wants to be playing. It’s frustrating for me. At the same time I understand we are the European champions and the lads are doing well at the minute. Credit to them. All I can do is keep my head down and keep working hard

2019 11 14 Retrieve

[The father of Joe Gomez has refused to blame England star Raheem Sterling for the altercation that left his son with a scratch under his eye] [The incident] is normal. Young people are very ambitious and very willing to win for their team and that is what happens. If Liverpool were losing, one of the players would be agitated as well. Raheem Sterling - it is not his fault. Fans were agitating him and he took it out because of his frustration. We all understand that; it is football, we are human beings

[Augustus revealed there was no long-lasting injury to Joe from the fracas with Sterling and that his son simply had playing football on his mind] He wasn’t expecting it, it happened, he brushed it away and he carried on. He trained today, he is fine apart from the scratch on his face. He is fine, he is definitely fine. I spoke to him, I spoke to his agent; let him just be happy and smiling and so-forth. He is very passionate about what he does. His main focus now is to play football and to forget about the hype. It is something he does not want to talk about. He keeps his head low

2019 12 23 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez says Liverpool cannot afford to dwell on their Club World Cup success] Winning this only adds to our positivity. We come away from here as champions of the world. Why can’t we use that as a positive? But we know we can’t dwell on anything. We’re not even halfway through the season yet, so it’s a case of heads down and carry on the focus

It’s special. We knew coming into it that we hadn’t won it as a club before and that was something we wanted to achieve. Credit to all the players, staff and the supporters. I’m buzzing that we were able to take this opportunity. You don’t get here without winning one of the biggest trophies in the world. The consequence of that is you come here and play top teams. We played two good teams this week and you can’t underestimate that. The atmosphere in the dressing room just shows you how positive this competition can be. It’s another trophy and that’s what we’re here for

2020 01 03 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez says the core of his squad, most of whom have already handled a punishing schedule of 10 games in 35 games, are prepared to put their bodies on the line again if required] Yes 100%. I think if you asked everyone in the dressing room they all have that desire to play every game and I think that is what is important for us in this team. There is a real hunger and you feel it. There is no ‘oh I want to play this game and chill that one’. I think that shows and that is why when everyone comes in, the lads are playing well. They are really participating and helping the team. For me, I love every derby and it is a special game, every time. Regardless of whether it is a Premier League game or not, we go into it looking to win and I think that is self-explanatory. That is something that we look forward to and whatever will be will be. Everyone wants to play. There is no telling what the gaffer will do but we are used to the quick turnaround now and with four days [between Wolves and Sheffield United games] it was one more [day off] so it was nice to get that extra day of recovery. At the same time, we want to win things, and it is the Merseyside derby and we never want to lose that so, we just take it one game at a time and just keep it going

Obviously I am enjoying playing and getting some momentum. I get on well with Virg and we enjoy playing together. I think as a unit, as a team, it is nice to be a part of it and get a run of games, so I am not dwelling on that, I just keep plugging away and take it a game at a time. It is obviously nice to get momentum when you play games but I think the main thing is just to keep focus and take it one game at a time. We are in a good place and it is a joy to be a part of this team. I think in the dressing room, there are so many that are leaders and are keeping everyone on the straight and narrow. That is the focus - one game at a time

2020 01 21 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez admits Difficult to measure what Van Dijk does for Liverpool] I’m buzzing for Virg. Everyone knows how happy I am when he scores and it’s nice for us to put work in in training on those set-pieces and then they come off. I don’t think it’s easy to measure what he does for us as a team. He’s such a dominant character, a dominant player. He’s a special player and we’re lucky to have him at the club - he’s my big brother! He’s a top player and a top person to be alongside

It’s been positive for me to get a nice run of games and I think the biggest thing is I’m trying to do my best to contribute to the team. We know how important each game is and on a personal note and as a team, I think we just focus on the next game. No-one’s getting ahead of themselves or thinking any further than the next game and that’s what’s most important about this team. We’ve got so many characters in the dressing room as well as the manager to keep it like that. It’s just about keeping our heads down, focusing and cracking on

[When asked if the Reds, without top-flight success in 30 years, are looking at the standings] No, not at all. We just focus on each game and the three points that are ahead of us at the time, [we’re] not focusing on the points [total] or whatever. We’re in this position and it’s one that we’re focused on and just hungry to finish off

2020 02 08 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez says Takumi Minamino is an unbelievable addition for Liverpool] He’s a happy, positive guy. He’s got a nice aura to him. To be fair, everyone was aware of him from when we played him, the effect he had. When he came to Anfield, how well he done and how well he took the game. His desire to press and adapt to our style of play. The gaffer wants us to play a certain way and he has that tenacity about him, to want to get about and put pressure on. An unbelievable addition

I feel the manager’s trust in me, so I really want to repay him. Personally, I’m not satisfied with my own performance [at Wolves], so I want to meet the expectations of the people who support me. I was mentally ready to go and all I was thinking was how to fit into the team smoothly and get into the game. I don’t feel any pressure. I’m not sure how much expectation has been put on me, but I have nothing to lose

2020 02 16 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez says Sadio Mane’s presence provides Liverpool with a big boost in confidence] All the different ways and different forms of goals, it shows his quality and we were lucky to have him come off the bench but obviously that was due to his injury. What a player, he gives you a boost of confidence when he’s coming on and psychologically for another team it’s not nice! He’s massive and he’s popped up for us in so many moments this year and done it yet again

As the game went on, obviously the first half was 0-0 and we knew we needed to come out on the front foot and I think we did that. Obviously you are conscious of the time as the game goes on where we need a goal, but at the same time it’s about staying focused because if they clinch one then it changes the whole logistics of things. It’s a bit of a luxury to have Sadio Mane come off the bench but when he does and gets that goal it’s massive

We’ve had the winter break and now it’s down the home stretch. We know how important this run of games is as it’s an intense period of the season and it’s crunch time really. It’s the most important part and you just build the foundation from the start of the season to this period here. We are blessed to have the squad that we do and everyone will have to play their part to get us over the line

2020 02 17 Retrieve

[Liverpool defender Joe Gomez believes the club is continuing to benefit from an underdog mentality] It’s just about establishing yourself. You aren’t proven winners until you show you can do it again and again. We went [to Madrid] last season and beat Spurs in one game. Now it is about maintaining that reputation in the Champions League. People might say, ‘Oh yeah, they’re performing well’, but as a team we have still got an underdog mentality. We’ve won the Champions League, but everyone is eager to win it again. The focus within the camp is just one game at a time. It comes right from the gaffer through the spine of the team - the skipper [Jordan Henderson[and Milly [James Milner]

Look, it’s just a venue. It’s a pitch with four white lines and two goals. You could say the same about Anfield. We have had loads of good games there, too. You can’t correlate last June to playing Atletico. It doesn’t need saying to anyone in the team. That’s what is making this such a pleasant journey. We just keep going forward

2020 02 19 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez confident Liverpool can bounce back] It’s halfway done. We’ve come back from bigger deficits, and the second leg is at Anfield so…

I think there are positives to take. Obviously losing is not something we’ve got into the habit of, but we dominated the majority of the game. They made it difficult, they played to their strengths, breaking up the game, going down and using the atmosphere. We’ll do the same at Anfield, we’ll use our atmosphere and our supporters in the same way

We’ll be ready. We’ll continue to do what we do, play with the same intensity and with our atmosphere that adds to things. We’ll see how they cope with it. Obviously we fancy ourselves, but we still have to go and do the job. We still have to prove it. It’s all good being favourites, but on the night you have to do the job and that’s what we’ll do. The chance is there, it’s only going to take one goal to get us back in the tie and we know we will get chances to score

We have to believe that we can make it right and do the job in the second leg, and we all do believe. Last year we were down way more than this. Yeah they’re a good team but we know we can dominate and play our way, create chances. We have to believe in that, and not go into the game thinking we’ve got a mountain to climb

2020 02 20 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez says Rare loss has Liverpool hungry again] It’s disappointing and not something we’re used to. But if anything, it just gives us that motivation to bounce back and make it right as quickly as possible. Sometimes it happens and you need to take the positives from it. It gives us that hunger again – not that we didn’t have it but we just want to bounce back and make it right. That’s what we’ll try to do.

It’s massive. That’s what we play for, that’s part of this club and what it’s all about – big European nights. We’ll look forward to it. It’ll be a good match-up; [the first leg] showed it can be a good game. We’ll look forward to it. We’ve got some time in between then, we’ve got to focus on the Premier League now and be ready when it comes back around

2020 03 03 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez ‘stand-offish’ as a result of Raheem Sterling spat which marred last England camp] I enjoy football, it’s my passion, but there are a lot of things that come with it, like the limelight. But I just like being with my missus, my kid and my friends. So I consciously choose not to be out there like that. So my main problem with that whole thing was just being thrown into something that I wasn’t used to

That’s the thing that I didn’t enjoy. And it was annoying that that camp ended with me not being able to play, to get over it and move on. If anything it has made me a bit more stand-offish. But in terms of the actual situation (with Sterling), what happened, happened. We spoke. It was done. As a team, it was done. So in my head, it was done. It was just then that the game happened with the reception

I haven’t really processed it. With what happened brings experience. I went out to train and I knew that the first session after it came out publicly, eyes were going to be on me. I was never used to that before. So, good or bad, it was an experience

2020 03 03b Retrieve

[Joe Gomez: Pain of the past wasn’t a kick in the balls for Liverpool] Having a young team that probably hasn’t had as much exposure to [winning titles] helps. There’s only the odd one - Millie (James Milner) has won the Premier League - so that hunger is not really going to go away. If it happened a few times (finishing runners up with so many points), maybe people would try and part ways and think we’re not going to succeed here. But if anything that probably ignited the fire rather than feeling like a kick in the balls

I’m enjoying it. But I’m hungry for more. I’ve enjoyed the run of games, but I know I can’t dwell. And that’s the same for the team, now more than ever. So I can’t sit here and feel, ‘Yeah, I’ve had a decent run’. Until we are in the summer, and there is a little break, and then some focus on whatever happened … I just don’t feel in a reflective mood right now

I feel like I owe him a great deal, not just as a manager but as a person. We’re blessed to have someone that’s a good human being, aside from being a good man-manager and the passionate, knowledgeable person that everyone else sees

2020 04 28 Retrieve

[Virgil van Dijk is a dominant force and Liverpool team-mate Joe Gomez relishes being able to play alongside him] I’ve said it before, but the stature of Virgil before he came to the club was massive. I was a young centre-back, hadn’t really gotten as many games [at Liverpool] as I would have liked but as soon as he came in, he reached out with open arms and we formed a bond straight away. The fact that he is a down-to-earth person off the pitch, we get on really well and we have a great relationship. We talk and in times like this, we FaceTime and speak about general things so that helps on the pitch when you have an understanding. He’s your mate at the end of the day. Sometimes he gives me an earful, but it’s a massive help and a confidence booster just having someone like him beside you. When there’s a one-on-one battle, you know he’s going to dominate, he doesn’t really lose headers at all. Just having him alongside you and his presence, it’s not just me, it’s the whole team and the stadium. When Virgil goes down, I think there is a bit of a gasp and a worry but he’s a real dominant force and a pleasure to play alongside

Football was all I knew and looking back, it was daunting. It’s a massive club and to be honest, I don’t think I realised the stature of the club and what I was getting in to in terms of the expectation. But I think you have to take it head on and you have to accept that when you don’t perform, you have to take it on the chin and there’s going to be backlash – not in the negative sense, but just through expectation. Around the club, it has such a strong history and you have to uphold that. I think as soon as I went into pre-season, I realised the size of the club. I was used to staying in the UK and going for a training camp somewhere, but in my first Liverpool pre-season, we went to Thailand. We turned up to the hotel and it was ridiculous, security everywhere and hundreds of people. Straight away from there, I realised. We then flew to Australia and played against Brisbane Roar and the stadium was packed. That was the first time I heard ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ and I thought, ‘Yeah, this is a different scale

2020 05 26 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez has warned Liverpool’s rivals that the Reds will be even stronger for a coronavirus-enforced break] We’ve had to reach out as individuals and really stay connected by choice. That’s when you grow fonder of each other and closer because it’s been a tough time that we’ve come through together. It has been beneficial in that sense, that as a team we’ve been so connected and kept communication through the whole thing. I think having that time apart, to then come together again last week made it feel that much more special. Yeah, obviously it’s different. We’re so used to having a structured schedule – at the start of the season you’re given your fixtures for the whole year. As individuals, we have to adapt and take it a day at a time, literally. But I don’t think that’s much different to the rest of the nation at the minute, everyone is in limbo and not sure what we’re headed towards or when it’s going to end. That’s probably been the biggest challenge in all of it, during the lockdown and so on, doing your sessions and not knowing when this is going to be coming to an end or what you’re working towards; just knowing, ‘Today, I’ve got to do this’ and just getting through it. We’re doing that in a more pleasant environment now and among our team-mates, so it’s just about enjoying the moment I think and taking each session at a time. We’re blessed to be working under these circumstances, out on the pitch doing what we love. That’s enough to keep us going for now

2020 05 28 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez says Liverpool are so grateful to have Henderson] So much credit has got to be given to Hendo. Hopefully within the last few months and seasons he has started to get the recognition he deserves. He is an unbelievable person for me. I’m blessed to have had a captain like him over the last five years, [he’s] just been the most approachable person possible and been such a leader in different ways, on and off the pitch. He has taken massive responsibility on in these last few months and it’s been nice in a different way, I think. You see the leader on the pitch, the person that leads by example, but I think off it some of the things he has done and organised have been massive – not just for him, and bigger than this club, [it] has united organisations, the Premier League. As footballers, it has given us the platform to come across in the right way and do our bit. Hendo will hopefully continue to get the recognition he deserves because I think here, among us as a club, we’re so grateful to have him as our leader

2020 06 04 Retrieve

[Joe Gomez says Liverpool have the formula for more trophies] As a collective, we’ve got so many experienced players here and guys who have played for massive clubs and won things at different places. I think it is that mix of youth and experience that we’ve got in the team that probably makes such a good blend at the minute. People like Trent [Alexander-Arnold], that really embody the city and what it means to be a Liverpool player, then the likes of Hendo [Jordan Henderson], that is a leader who has been here for so many years. Having so many individuals within the team that embrace playing for the club and really enjoy what it means to be a Liverpool player is hopefully what is going to create the formula for winning many more trophies and having more success

[Reflecting on his time with the Reds] It’s had its ups and downs and some periods have gone quicker than others, but I am so grateful to be at this club and to be coming up to my fifth year is something I definitely appreciate. Hopefully it is just the start of the journey; five years is a pretty decent length of time, but I hope it is just sort of the opening chapters of what can be many more years here. It has definitely been special times and I have definitely grown a lot here. I’ve done most of my growing up as an adult, coming here at 18. I’ve learned so much about the club and about the city. It’s been a pleasure