New Liverpool signing Ozan Kabak has expressed his delight at joining the Reds on an initial loan deal.
In his first interview with the club, the Turkey international revealed the Anfield outfit were his boyhood team.
Even if just five-years-old at the time, Kabak claims to have watched the 2005 Champions League final between Liverpool and Milan and was particularly star-struck by Steven Gerrard and Sami Hyypia.
“I feel so, so happy, and excited also. Such a great club like Liverpool,” he told the club’s official website. “I want to show myself, I want to play. I’m looking forward to getting some minutes and some wins with this amazing club.
“We had limited time and it just happened, Schalke and Liverpool had a conversation and an agreement. Finally I’m here. I’m so happy to be here, the most important thing is I’m here right now.
“Liverpool was my childhood team. So I always wanted to come to this club, to play at this amazing stadium, in front of these amazing fans. So it’s a dream for me. Now the dream comes true.
“I watched ex-Liverpool players a lot of times, like Gerrard and Sami Hyypia. I know there’s a lot of legendary players. I also watched the Champions League final in 2005.”
Asked about the now well-known photo of him holding up a Liverpool shirt with Virgil van Dijk’s name on the back during his Galatarasay days, Kabak said the Dutchman is the best in the world and his idol.
“Virgil van Dijk is, I think, the best centre-back in the world at the moment,” he said. “The last three or four years he was always on his best performance. He’s strong, he’s good, he’s so fast, he’s clever. So that’s why I see him as an idol. I want to meet with him as soon as possible, to be honest.
“So I had a friend in Galatasaray, Omer Bayram – he’s a childhood friend with Virgil van Dijk from Holland. So I was talking with him and I said something about Virgil van Dijk, he’s very good and I like him. He said, ‘He’s my childhood friend.’ I couldn’t believe it. Then the day after he brought his jersey to me and I was so happy. I put this jersey on my wall in my house. That’s the story.“