Liverpool’s Takumi Minamino got his hands on the Carabao Cup on Sunday evening.
On a triumphant night for the Reds that ended a 10-year wait for League Cup glory, Minamino was able to soak up his second major honour as a Liverpool player having also lifted the Premier League title.
The 27-year-old might not have played a single minute under the Wembley arch, but everyone from Jurgen Klopp to the Kopites in the stands will be acutely aware of the massive role that he played.
Minamino on the road to League Cup glory
Besides, while Minamino’s time on Merseyside hasn’t been without its road bumps and disappointments, there’s no denying his vital influence over the club’s journey to winning the Carabao Cup.
The Japanese international set Liverpool’s wheels in motion by scoring a brace in the third round win at Norwich City, before maintaining their momentum with the winning goal at Preston North End.
However, Minamino’s biggest contribution along the road to Wembley was undoubtedly his match-saving performance in the quarter-final clash with Leicester City that almost culminated in the Reds’ elimination.
The importance of Minamino
Yes, he might have missed his spot-kick in the penalty shootout that eventually settled the game, but it was his stoppage-time equaliser that saved Liverpool from a 3-2 defeat at Anfield in the first place.
As such, in amongst all the joyous celebrations upon beating Chelsea in north London, there had to be a quiet acknowledgement that none of it would have been possible without Minamino.
So, bearing all of that in mind, it’s not hard to imagine why the moment that Minamino got his chance to lift the League Cup trophy in front of the Liverpool fans at Wembley was a special one.
Liverpool players whip up Minamino’s celebrations
And the Liverpool players themselves were all-too aware of that fact as they ensured that Minamino’s moment in the sun got the recognition it deserved when he was handed the trophy on the pitch.
As soon as Konstantinos Tsimikas passed over the silverware, the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Jordan Henderson and Joel Matip whipped up the crowd to guarantee that Minamino received a hearty cheer.
It really was the umpteenth reminder that Klopp’s Liverpool squad is one of the most united, spirited and collective in world football, so be sure to check out Minamino’s wholesome celebrations below:
GUYSSSSS LOOK AT THEM PUSHING MINAMINO AND CHEERING FOR HIM STOPPPP pic.twitter.com/aIgxJzdnpn— اريج (@areejx17) February 27, 2022
Take a bow, Takumi, take a bow.
The togetherness of the Liverpool squad
To Liverpool fans, the ecstasy of equalising against Leicester in the quarter-finals might not have compared to the joy of beating Chelsea at Wembley, but the latter wouldn’t have been possible without the former.
So, while we don’t doubt for a second that the Liverpool squad whipped up similar atmospheres for other unsung heroes in the squad, there’s no denying that Minamino deserved all the hype that he received.
And it’s not the first time that Henderson has helped to ensure that Minamino got his moment to shine during a trophy presentation with the Reds skipper acting similarly during the Premier League title celebrations.
The Japanese forward might only have been at Liverpool for a matter of months when they celebrated conquering England, but Henderson still wanted their new signing to get amongst the party.
It was no different during the League Cup celebrations and it won’t be any different in future trophy triumphs because it couldn’t be any clearer that every player is valued in this fantastic Liverpool squad.