In a parallel universe, Vinicius Jr would have been playing for Liverpool against Real Madrid on Wednesday. It was claimed back in the summer the Reds wanted to land the forward, shortly after his goal had won Los Blancos the Champions League at the expense of Jurgen Klopp’s side. However, he ended up staying at the Bernabeu - and is growing in prominence with each passing year.
Back in May, Real Madrid and Liverpool faced off in the Champions League final in Paris.
And Vinicius scored the only goal of the game that day to give the La Liga giants a stunning 14th Champions League crown.
Shortly after, speculation arose suggesting Liverpool were keen on landing the Brazil international.
Sadio Mane decided to leave Anfield for Bayern Munich, effectively opening up a space in Klopp’s squad as he looked to bounce back from the defeat.
In the end, however, Vinicius would end up staying at the Bernabeu and penning a lengthy new deal with the club.
And Marca said afterwards that the attacker, who bagged 22 goals across all competitions last term, ‘turned down’ Liverpool in order to stay put.
Want the latest football news? Join our brand new Facebook group by clicking here
As well as the Reds, Manchester United and Chelsea had also registered an interest in the forward.
But Real always wanted to tie their star man down to a new deal and his contract now contains a massive £870million release clause.
They had even wanted Vinicius’ new deal to run until 2028, recognising the world-class talent they have on their hands.
Yet Real were willing to compromise and they’re hopeful the 22-year-old can fire them to more trophies in the years ahead.
Certainly, on Tuesday night, the Samba star was one of the best Players on the pitch at Anfield.
Liverpool raced into an early two-goal lead courtesy of strikes from Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah.
Yet Vinicius pulled one back and would proceed to score another, with Karim Benzema also bagging a brace and Eder Militao on target.
Speaking after the game, Klopp slammed Liverpool for the way they performed during the contest.
"Everything was pretty obvious," Klopp said. "We gave all five goals away. All five. It means we could have done better there. But they were obviously all different.
"The start of the game, in our situation, where we are, it’s really important that we see positive steps.
“I think the first half, besides the two goals we conceded, was the best we had played, probably in the whole season. I liked that a lot.
"The two goals we have to defend better. For the second it’s clear we can defend better. It’s slapstick, they equalise pretty much like the second goal we scored.
"The first goal we concede we have to defend better. We have enough Players around, nobody puts a foot in. It’s very tight and it’s just a world-class moment from Vinicius as well."
And he added: "But I think it’s obvious that we can defend that better. Half-time, where are the positives? Okay, this happened. We have to play in this and that space.
“If we keep doing that, they will have problems. But then we start by conceding the third goal which is a horrible goal.
"Today it was pretty much a game-changer. Don’t say that it’s okay that it was a game-changer, but it was today.
“We lost the momentum in that moment and never really got it back.
"In the first half we could have scored a third, had our moments and were a bit unlucky in the six-yard box. But in the second half, the game was the game Real Madrid wanted to play.
"Both of the other goals that they scored, one was deflected, and they are not really well defended to be honest.
“We lose the ball at the wrong moment which is obviously a massive problem again against Real Madrid with the counter-attacking threat they have.
“And it’s the result. That’s it."