Catford’s Joe Gomez is a Champions League winner…but he hasn’t forgotten his Charlton Athletic roots

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Joe Gomez became a Champions League winner on Saturday night – but still took a moment to remember his Charlton roots.

The Catford-raised centre-back signed for Liverpool in June 2015 in a £3.5million deal.

Gomez was 18 at the time and had made 24 appearances for Charlton in the Championship before his switch to the Reds.

At the weekend the former Addicks academy product came on in the closing stages of the Champions League final – Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 at Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium to seal their sixth European title.

Gomez told talkSPORT: “It is unbelievable to get here. I started at Charlton, where I grew up. I’m thankful for that part of my journey – people like Jacko [Johnnie Jackson], everyone who moulds you.

Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, and Joel Matip celebrate after the final whistle during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Wanda Metropolitano, Madrid.

“It’s the pinnacle for us as footballers and what you dream of. At club level it is as good as it gets.”

Gomez replaced Sadio Mane in the 89th minute.

“It was nice to come on at that stage,” said the 22-year-old, who featured 25 times for Jurgen Klopp’s side this season. “It wasn’t the prettiest at times but the main thing is we got the result – at all costs.

“That is the growth shown from last year [when Liverpool lost in the final to Real Madrid] – we know how that felt and it’s nice to be on the other side.

“We were devastated we couldn’t get the Prem [title] but that is something we set our sights on next season.

“For us to end it [the season] in this way was special and something we wanted really badly. The motivation was at an all-time high after what happened in the Premier League campaign.

“It was just nice to deliver it for the supporters – a historic trophy. Liverpool have such history in this competition.”

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