Dejan Lovren has been a star reborn for Liverpool since the turn of 2018.
From being booed and abused by his own fans during a 4-1 defeat to Tottenham in October, the Croatian has fought back and is now on the brink of starting a Champions League final.
Safe to say no one ever thought they would say that.
What's helped Lovren improve as a defender is Virgil van Dijk's presence alongside him, with Liverpool's January signing bringing a calmness and strength to the back four.
Lovren has actually looked rather good next to Van Dijk and the 28-year-old is even happy to admit he feels a lot more confident nowadays.
"It is always good to receive quality," said Lovren. "Virgil has the quality that he helped the team to improve defensively and also to bring calmness into the team.
"I feel also personally much more confident when you know you have a really good partner next to you. We didn't take too much time to connect with each other. Usually it takes longer."
Lovren and Van Dijk have been fantastic for Liverpool this year but they face their hardest test yet on Saturday against Real Madrid in the Champions League final.
More specifically they face the great Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been scoring goals for fun in Europe this season with 15 in 12 games.
Containing the Portuguese in such deadly form will be tough, yet Lovren is adamant that he and Van Dijk can stop him.
Lovren has become renowned for making ill-timed comments before big games and as a result Liverpool fans are telling the centre-back to "shut up" and just focus on the game.
"Ronaldo, [Mohamed] Salah, [Lionel] Messi, you need to respect these players a lot," Lovren added. "He has played in this kind of game for the past 15 years.
"Even if he has a bad season he scores 30 goals but we play in the Premier League against the best strikers in the world. We know how to defend as a team.
"We will stop him together. In some parts of the game it will be one against one but it is a challenge that I will be ready for. I have been working so hard and I am ready for everything."
Lovren is seriously going to regret saying that if Ronaldo ends up making a fool of him at the Olimpiyskiy Stadium, Kiev.
Liverpool fans will only hope that doesn't end up being the case.News Now - Sport News