A fortnight after having to witness Manchester City parade the domestic treble along Deansgate, Manchester United fans had to turn away to avoid from observing Liverpool flaunt the Champions League trophy after defeating Tottenham Hotspur at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid.
Goals from Mohamed Salah and Divrock Origi sealed the win for Jurgen Klopp’s men, allowing them to return home with their sixth European cup.
It means a first final victory for Klopp in seven games, and the first piece of silverware in his four-year spell at the club. Unexpected praise came from the direction of former Manchester United forward Memphis Depay.
The winger was quick to heap praise on his compatriots Georginio Wiljnaldum and Virgil van Dijk, with whom he plays alongside for the Netherlands. Depay posted a statement on Instagram, after their triumph and ahead of the Nations League Finals, of which Ronald Koeman’s Dutch team are competing. Depay has made 46 appearances for the Netherlands since his debut in October 2013.
Depay arrived on Old Trafford in the Louis van Gaal era from PSV Eindhoven, arriving with a burgeoning reputation, finishing the 2014/15 season as the Eredivisie top goalscorer. However, success wasn’t forthcoming in Manchester. Depay left in 2017 for Olympique Lyonnais, and a renaissance of sorts with Les Gones has led to mounting transfer speculation for the 25-year-old.
One of the clubs he has been linked to, is Liverpool.
Few players have ever donned the famous red of both Man Utd and Liverpool, with the notoriously fervent rivalry that exists between the two clubs, with no direct transfer between the two in 55 years, though Depay wouldn’t even be the first former Man Utd Number 7 to have plied his trade at both Anfield and the Theatre of Dreams. Here's a selection;
After famously publishing a portfolio (alright, ‘agent dossier’) to attract clubs upon his contract with Newcastle United expiring (and the club being relegated), surprisingly Man Utd picked up the former Liverpool striker for free in 2009. Owen did little to endear himself to the United fanbase - an important Derby goal notwithstanding - and tainted his Liverpool legacy, the club at which he had won the European Player of the Year and had won a treble of trophies in the 2000/01 season.
Owen would leave Man Utd for Stoke City in 2012, having made just over half a century of appearances in his three years at the club.
Ince was one of a number of players who suffered from a mass Alex Ferguson clearout in 1995, heading to Serie A with Inter Milan. Ince returned to the Premier League in 1997 and once again featured in the North West. This time however, it was at Liverpool. “Of course I got tagged as being a traitor or ‘Judas’ from some fans, but you can live with that and it was never anything too malicious” Ince later recalled. Ince lasted just two seasons at Anfield.
The Northumberland lad couldn’t get a game at Manchester United in the early 80s, making just one appearance. He went on to spend four years at Liverpool where he won the English First Division twice.