Georginio Wijnaldum has broken his silence over his Anfield exit, claiming he did not feel loved from a certain section of the Liverpool fanbase.
Georginio Wijnaldum could well be considered a cult figure by the Anfield faithful after some heroic performances. The Dutchman will be specifically remembered for leading the comeback to beat Barcelona when Liverpool were 3-0 down from the first leg. The midfielder has now opened up on his exit, claiming a lack of love from certain fans.
While he will look back fondly at his time at Merseyside, winning the Champions League and Premier League, the Dutchman was left unimpressed by certain sections of the Liverpool fanbase, especially last season. For the major part of the previous term, Wijnaldum was expected to leave Anfield on a free transfer.
Wijnaldum signed for Paris Saint-Germain, after initially agreeing to a switch to Barcelona, only to perform a U-turn, as per reports. It is widely believed that PSG offered him a better financial package than the Catalans, which factored in his last-minute change of mind.
However, Wijnaldum had a lot to say about his Anfield exit recently. Merseyside publication, Liverpool Echo, published several quotes from the Dutchman, which suggested the problems he had with a section of the Liverpool fanbase. The midfielder particularly pointed towards those abusing him online, during the saga and after bad games.
He said, “There was a moment when I didn’t feel loved. In the last two seasons, I had it a few times. The media didn’t help. There was a story like I didn’t accept the [Liverpool] offer because I wanted more money, and the fans made it like ‘OK, he didn’t get the offer so, he doesn’t try his best to win games.’ Everything looked like it was against me. Some moments it was like, ‘Wow, me again?'”
Speaking off his experience with the Liverpool fanbase, Wijnaldum said, “The fans in the stadium and the fans in social media were two different things. In the stadium, I can say nothing bad about them. They always supported me. On social media, if we lost, I was the one who got the blame — [claiming] that I wanted to leave.”
“There was a moment when I was like, ‘Wow if they only knew what I was doing to stay fit and play every game.’ You cannot complain because that is your job. But other players might have said, ‘I’m not fit.’ You get players in their last year who are like, ‘I’m not playing because it’s a risk.’ I did the opposite. I didn’t always play good, but after the game, I could look in the mirror and say, ‘I trained hard to get better.'”
The Dutch midfielder never blamed any of his former teammates at Liverpool or even the manager for the manner of his exit. He instead continued speaking highly of them. Wijnaldum continued,
“For the manager, I was someone he was really sure he could trust. It also helped because I could play in different positions and do it well in different positions. I’d give everything. I got so much love not only from the fans but the manager and the players, the people who worked at the club. Players came to me saying, ‘This is your last training session; this is your last week at the club.’ It was really difficult and also emotional.”
Wijnaldum can now look forward to the next phase of his career after joining PSG. However, there will always remain a sour taste for him, as far as the manner of his departure from Liverpool is concerned.