Georginio Wijnaldum has confessed that while he felt nothing but love from Liverpool fans and his teammates, there was a moment where he felt the opposite from higher up the club. The 30-year-old midfielder left Anfield, after spending more than five years at the club, for Paris Saint-Germain.
Following his move from Newcastle United in the summer of 2016, few expected Georginio Wijnaldum to win both the Premier League title and the Champions League at Liverpool. But that is exactly what has happened with the midfielder becoming a key part of Jurgen Klopp’s side. Not only that, it saw Wijnaldum slowly become a fan favourite even as he entered the final year of his contract.
But with no agreement in place over a contract extension, the 30-year-old midfielder signed for PSG on a free transfer which hasn’t gone down well with fans. However, despite that, the Dutch midfielder has admitted that he felt nothing but love from the fans at the stadium but there were issues from high up the club and from fans on social media. Wijnaldum also added that he believes when a game didn’t go well, he was blamed because of his contract situation but he still gave everything he had despite all that.
“There was a moment when I didn’t feel loved and appreciated. Not my teammates, not the people at Melwood. From them, I know … I can say they all love me and I love them. It was not from that side, more the other side,” Wijnaldum told the Guardian.
“I have to say also there was social media. When it went bad, I was the player who they blamed – that I wanted to leave. Every day in training and in the games, I gave everything I had to bring it to a good end because, during the years, Liverpool meant so much to me and because of the way the fans in the stadium were treating me.
“My feeling was that the fans in the stadium and the fans on social media were two different kinds. The fans in the stadium always supported me. Even when they came back [after the Covid lockout], already knowing that I was going to leave, they still supported me and, in the end, they gave me a great farewell,” he added.
The 30-year-old signed for Paris Saint-Germain as a free transfer, on a three-year contract, with him indicating that Mauricio Pochettino played a key role. However, that’s not the first time that Wijnaldum has attracted Pochettino’s interest as the former Tottenham boss was keen on signing the midfielder from Newcastle United. While the move never materialized, Wijnaldum admitted that the Argentine had an impact on him which was only helped by PSG’s ambition.
“I went to Pochettino’s house and he showed me on video how he was training with players to make them better and that’s what makes him a good coach. He’s not only busy with the team but also to make the individual better. When my agent called and said Pochettino wanted to speak with me, I was like: ‘Why does he want to speak with me? I already know how he works.’ But it was to tell me about the PSG project and I’m happy to be a part of it.
“You feel how badly this club wants to win the Champions League, it looks like the obsession just takes you. But I am also obsessed to win the Champions League because I’ve seen how great it is and that’s the case even more so now I’m here. I have to say the league, too. There is an obsession here to win all titles and be the best team in the world,” he added.