Young defender has high hoped when he eventually returns to Anfield…
Courtesy of LFC fans corner, here’s an exclusive interview with forgotten Portuguese centre-half Tiago Ilori…
The 21-year-old was signed in the summer of 2013 for £7m, but has yet to play a single minute of first-team football for us, and has been sent on loan to Bordeaux in France this term, although injuries have largely curtailed his season.
Max: How do you feel you’re doing at Bordeaux? You’ve had a couple injuries, are you coping well?
Ilori: “I feel better everyday. It is frustrating not playing every week, but hopefully the rest of the season will be a different story.”
Max: You will be coming back to Liverpool during the summer, what will be your main aim? Will you be looking to secure a first team spot?
Ilori: “My objective is to play for Liverpool as soon as possible, but for the time being I am trying to improve on all parts of my game to have a better chance.”
Max: Many people have seen your fantastic assist against Real Betis, a 70 yard pass, which earned a win for Granada. Would you say that’s one of your strong attributes (long accurate passes)?
Ilori: “Honestly, I wouldn’t say it was a strong point. I think other parts of my game are much more effective.”
Max: I watched the game against Barcelona, where I and many others felt you did very well. How did it feel playing against the likes of Messi?
Ilori: “It was a great experience, but during the game it doesn’t matter who you’re up against. But of course the team was aware of Barcelona’s strong points and weak ones too.”
Max: How do you feel the loan at Granada was? What do you feel you need to improve on?
Ilori: “Overall it was a great experience for me. I know I can improve on everything, but one of the things I am more focused on is becoming a stronger athlete. I know it will give me a big advantage if I can become stronger and faster than everyone else.”
Max: What’s the long term plan for you at Liverpool? Do you plan to stay there for a long time?
Ilori: “My long term plan is to play and win titles for Liverpool Football Club. The team they are building can be huge, and I want to be a part of that.”
Max: Are there any defenders from the past that you’ve based your game on or tried to emulate?
Ilori: “To be honest, I admire all the best players, they are all different and can teach you different things. But I think it’s important to be yourself, because there are no two players completely alike.”
Max: Where do you see your strongest role and what would you say are your strengths?
Ilori: “I think playing, as I do, at centre back is my strongest role and I think what stands out is my speed and ‘cool’ on the ball.”
Max: Which Liverpool player are you looking forward to playing with the most?
Ilori: “I think most players would love to play with Steven Gerrard and who knows, maybe I still can.”
Max: Is it true that you broke Ronaldo’s speed record at Sporting, and if so, did Ronaldo say anything about it?
Ilori: “I have the record for a 30m sprint test they do in Sporting, but it wasn’t Ronaldo who had the record. Whether he did the test during his sporting days or not, he is a lot faster than he used to be everyone knows that!”