Former AC Milan and Italy international, Andrea Pirlo has taken a surprise tackle Liverpool’s forward Divock Origi, branding the striker’s Champions League final appearance as awful despite giving the Champions a late score to cement their sixth win.
The Belgian with Kenyan roots, Origi was a second-half substitute on the night as he came off the bench for Liverpool to replace Roberto Firmino who was playing in the attack in a match that has been dubbed by many as a drab and boring one.
The forward then repaid the faith put into him by manager Jurgen Klopp by scoring the Reds’ second goal in their 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur with just three minutes to stoppage time that made them six-time Champions League winners.
With all these efforts and glory, the celebrated Italian midfielder, Pirlo saw it fit to hit out at the attitude shown by the Belgian during his 32 minutes on the pitch at the Wanda Metropolitano.
‘Divock Origi was awful,’ the Italian said on Sky Sport Italia.
‘He came on in such an important game with that attitude. If he hadn’t scored, they should’ve given him a kicking.’
Origi scored with his only shot of the match on Saturday night Champions League and completed just four of the eight passes he attempted. He contested two duels but lost them both and did not contribute defensively, failing to make a tackle, clearance, block or interception during his 32 minutes on the pitch.
He however scored twice in their recent semi-finals against Spain giants Barcelona whom they saw off to qualify for the finals against the fellow English side, Tottenham.
The 24-year-old Belgian only furthered his status as a cult hero this season in the Premier League and neither can his contribution in the Champion League can be wished away especially his stunning performance against Barcelona in the Champions League that led to their qualification to the finals.
It’s a sight that supporters have become used to seeing over the course of the League, and many are calling for Origi to be rewarded with a contract extension and perhaps even a place in the starting XI as a result of his timely and important strikes when the team most need him.
Just when everybody started to think Origi’s Anfield future was in tatter, he pops up and delivers in the biggest of moments. Many considered him surplus to requirement at the beginning of the season, but Divock has proven otherwise practically every time he’s stepped on the pitch in a redshirt this season.
The Belgian has now directly won the Reds six points via late goals and no one can forget his infamous header at Anfield to devastate the blue half of Merseyside at Anfield this past winter.
Another affable trait of the Liverpool Belgian striker that perhaps doesn’t quite get the plaudits that Origi deserves is his consistent professional attitude despite his lack of first team minutes.