And the towering centre-half has clearly loved his time at the club, adding: “I have always said that lifting the Premier League trophy would be a dream. That dream has become reality now.

“It is hard to explain when this club means. You have to feel this club, experience it, taste it.

“Of course I knew about Liverpool before I came here. Who in the world doesn’t?

“You have a kind of picture of the club from a distance and you imagine it is something massive.

“Once you first play against Liverpool, like I did when I was at Southampton, things start to sink in.

“The stadium, the people, You’ll Never Walk Alone. All that is absolutely fantastic.

“And yet, you are still bewildered and surprised by the sheer magnitude of the club once you sign a contract here.

“And even after that it takes time to take everything the club stands for on board.”

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