Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has named the two players who “helped us a lot” this season.
The Reds narrowly missed out on the Premier League title with 97 points as the brilliant Manchester City completed an unprecedented domestic Treble.
But Liverpool have the chance to crown what has been a phenomenal campaign in the Champions League final against Tottenham next month.
It is a sh*t or bust showpiece for Klopp’s side, who have improved exponentially in the 12 months since their defeat to Real Madrid in last season’s final.
“I think that the players knew after five days what my ideas were. It was clear that the players knew me and knew Dortmund,” he told UEFA.
“This is why it was clear how we wanted to play, but we didn’t want to push everything that way right from the start, we wanted to utilise the qualities of the players and give them more confidence so they would have that belief that they are the right players for Liverpool.
“But of course you need time until you can see that on the pitch. I don’t know how much time it took, but it certainly took some time. In the first year we reached the Europa League final and the League Cup final, we lost them both, but it was a very strenuous season.
“We qualified for the Champions League for the second season, in our third year we reached the final of the Champions League, and in the fourth season here we are again in the Champions League final.
“The development of the players who were there helped us a lot; of course, the new signings helped us a lot as well. Alisson and Virgil, for example, have had the biggest impact because they have played in almost all the games.
“But players such as Fabinho and Shaqiri are very important parts of the team, too. But then again, they are not at the top of their game, but they’ve made important steps in their development. The journey is not over, not for anyone.
“This is why we feel like we are only at the start, and that there is still a lot to come.”