Georginio Wijnaldum was in tears at fulltime at Anfield as his brace against Barcelona helped send his side to the Champions League final.
The Dutchman has been one of the silently brilliant players during Jurgen Klopp’s tenure as Liverpool manager but he did not hide from the limelight on Tuesday evening.
He rose to the top quite literally as the 5ft9 midfielder outjumped the 6ft4 Gerard Pique to draw the home side level and set the stage for Divock Origi to score the winner.
His match-winning cameo came from the bench as he replaced the injured Andy Robertson in the second half.
It was fitting for the former Newcastle United midfielder to score two huge goals against Barcelona after he was criticised for his performance at Camp Nou in the first leg.
In Roberto Firmino’s absence, Wijnaldum was deployed as the Reds’ false nine and unsurprisingly he failed to make a mark.
At Anfield, however, playing as a box to box midfielder, Wijnaldum was able to punish Barcelona with two brilliantly timed runs into the box, scoring the second and third goals on the night.
After the ref signalled the end of the game with his whistle, the 28-year-old broke down in tears as the emotion of the game took its toll on him.
They were undoubtedly tears of joy but it’s certain that it had something to do with the torrid game he had in Spain last week.
Liverpool missed out on winning the 2018 Champions League final as they were struck by injuries to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mohamed Salah.
The semifinal this season seemed destined to take on a similar narrative but Klopp’s fiery team came out and blew Barcelona away and will now have the belief that they can be named champions in Madrid in three weeks’ time.