Virgil van Dijk is about to realise his dream.
But when Liverpool ’s brilliant Dutch defender finally lifts the Premier League trophy, his thoughts will turn to the millions of fans around the world who have waited 30 years to see their team crowned champions of England.
Van Dijk, 28, loves the passion that pours down from the Kop every time Jurgen Klopp’s men run out at Anfield.
But it was only when he travelled to other parts of the globe that he got to understand the club’s sheer scale.
Van Dijk said: “I have always said that lifting the Premier League trophy would be a dream. That dream has become reality now.
“It is hard to explain what this club means. You have to feel this club, experience it, taste it. Of course I knew about Liverpool before I came here. Who in the world doesn’t?
“You have a kind of picture of the club from a distance and you imagine it is something massive.
“Once you first play against Liverpool, like I did when I was at Southampton, things start to sink in. The stadium, the people, You’ll Never Walk Alone. All that is absolutely fantastic.
“And yet, you are still bewildered and surprised by the sheer magnitude of the club once you sign a contract here.
“And even after that it takes time to take everything the club stands for on board.”
Van Dijk added: “Never before have I been on holiday with so many people coming up to me. All day long people approached me, telling me that they were Liverpool fans.
“At one point I started counting. Eight out of 10 people who I bumped into were Liverpool fans! It was a funny experience, but the real shock came when we went to the United States for our tour.
“Even in America everyone was crazy about Liverpool. We were playing in Michigan, one of the biggest stadiums in the world, and it was filled with Liverpool fans.
“After that tour it dawned on me that I was now playing for one of the biggest football clubs in the world.”
Liverpool have thrilled supporters with a brilliant brand of football under Klopp. Over the past two seasons they have become champions of England, Europe and the world.
Van Dijk says the secret of success is the sheer hard work Klopp demands in training.
In an interview with Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf he said: “All the stories about his (Klopp’s) training, the way he has made us so much fitter are true.
“I call it the German style, running, running and running. And when you think you are done, more running.
“Never in my life I have had to train so hard. I remember the three training sessions a day in France. No media, no fans, just us on our own.
“And on top of all that physical hard work, we were getting drilled in meetings, with tactical talks. Those went on and on. When I finally got home, I was totally kaput.
“But I have to admit, I have seen the benefit of it all throughout the season.”