Why Divock Origi and an infamous Liverpool transfer mistake teach us everything about hero status, Divock Origi’s Liverpool career exists as a sequence of enormous moments, and Alberto Aquilani may be remembered far more fondly by fans had his big moment not been stolen away.
Divock Origi will be remembered forever by Liverpool supporters, no matter how the rest of his career pans out. When you ask most Liverpool fans about Divock Origi, even after the Belgian has performed poorly, there’s unlikely to be too much in the way of resentment. If Origi’s winner in the Merseyside derby wasn’t enough to get fans on side, his late goal against Barcelona cemented his place in Reds folklore and ensured a wide berth for a player who was once considered little more than deadwood.
What would have happened, though, if Barcelona had responded in the closing minutes and found the away goal they needed to render Liverpool’s sensational comeback moot? Would Origi still have been able to guarantee himself the same goodwill if his crucial goal ended up losing its narrative value? Maybe you should ask Alberto Aquilani.
Aquilani is a player who most Liverpool fans haven’t thought about too much recently. The Italian belongs to a very different era, arriving in Rafa Benítez’s final season as a replacement for Xabi Alonso and starting just 14 times in an injury-hit campaign before returning to his native Italy on loan and then permanently.
In April 2010, Aquilani was making back-to-back Reds starts for only the second time in his Anfield career, taking his place alongside Javier Mascherano, Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva as Benitez’s team sought to overturn a 1-0 first-leg deficit against Atlético Madrid in the semi-finals of the Europa League.