On Saturday night Liverpool’s Caoimhin Kelleher became just the 12th Irish man to win the European Cup after his side defeated Spurs by 2-0 in Madrid.
Kelleher was involved in the 23-man squad for the Champions League final and picked up a winner’s medal after goals from Mo Salah and substitute Divock Origi gave them victory over their Premier League rivals.
The 20-year old joins the likes of Roy Keane, Ronnie Whelan and Mark Lawrenson in winning European football’s richest prize but becomes the first Irish man to collect a Champions League medal before winning a senior international cap with the Boys in Green.
Speaking to RTE after the game, Kelleher outlined that he feels the team deserved the victory following their “amazing performances” throughout the season.
“I can’t describe it, to be honest. It’s an unbelievable feeling, I’m speechless.
“This team has worked so hard all year, they have produced some amazing performances and this is the least they deserve.”
"It was unbelievable. It’s once in a lifetime. I’ve never experienced that. It’s probably the best feeling I've ever had." Caoimhin Kelleher has been reflecting on becoming a @ChampionsLeague winner with @LFC #uclfinal @OFlynnPaul pic.twitter.com/yPnvb3Q6c3
— RTÉ Sport (@RTEsport) June 2, 2019
The game was far from one of Liverpool’s best in a season where they have impressed throughout the European campaign defeating the likes of PSG, Bayern Munich and Barcelona on the way to victory.
Kelleher outlined that it was tough to watch the nail-biting affair from the bench, but explained that the feeling of victory was the best he’s ever had.
“It was nerve-wracking, it would probably be easier playing because you’re not as nervous.
“We did well throughout the game, defended well and then Div [Origi] came up with a great finish.
“It was unbelievable. It’s once in a lifetime. I’ve never experienced that. It’s probably the best feeling I’ve ever had.
“I’ve got a lot of messages of support so thanks for that, especially to my family and my girlfriend who have been there for me the whole time. Without them, I wouldn’t be here. It’s all down to them really.”
After the victory, Kelleher’s focus must now turn to international duty as he joins up with the Irish U21s for their first game at the Toulon Tournament against China on Monday.
The game kicks off at 2:30 Irish time and will be shown on Freesports.