Tim Vickery, a journalist from South America, joined Johnny Ward The football show.
This year’s Champions League final has a strong South American influence. Liverpool will rely on Alisson, Fabinho, Roberto Firmino and Luis Diaz in various capacities. Real Madrid will be eyeing Marcelo, Casemiro, Federico Valverde, Eder Militao, Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo in various capacities.
Therefore, there is more interest in this game than usual in South America.
Tim Vickery explained that changing the season and match day has made the Champions League more attractive on different continents. Fans in Brazil and Argentina can now watch the game instead of checking the score while at work. One of the South American stars is likely to be the hero or the villain because they are prominent for each team.
The most surprising of the stars is Luis Diaz.
Diaz is a surprise because he is the latest signing. He wasn’t at Liverpool when the season preview was written. He wasn’t with Liverpool when they qualified from the group stage. Diaz joined a team notoriously slow to accept signings in January as a substitute.
And yet he’s immediately risen to a star position for Liverpool. He snatched the starting spot from Diogo Jota, who had just wrested it away from Firmino.
“It’s amazing,” Vickery said.
“I’ve always seen him as a Liverpool player. And I thought Liverpool would be after him in January because you could just see how he would fit into this team. As a backup for Mane. On the left wing, intervening . But I had no idea he was going to make that immediate impact.”
Gareth Bale is a name that has haunted Liverpool since the last Champions League final against Real Madrid. Bale could be there this weekend. Vickery explained that Diaz is the opposite of Bale at the moment. He is a star for Liverpool who has found great chemistry and achievements with his new teammates.
But unlike Bale playing for his national team, Diaz is struggling in Colombia.
That makes his performances for Liverpool and his position in the Champions League final all the more peculiar.
“Arrive and not speak a word of English but immediately found a football lexicon with his new teammates. Now I’ve been watching him for Columbia, who amazingly missed out on World Cup qualifiers. They went seven games without a goal. He played in all of those games .
“So with his [Columbian] He couldn’t find this football language among his compatriots, but at Liverpool it clicked straight away. So often you have to give Klopp credit for the excellence of his work.
“It also happened with Diogo Jota. If that keeps happening, it’s no coincidence.”
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