Wayde van Niekerk inspired by Liverpool, hopes football season is concluded

Athletics star Wayde van Niekerk has been inspired by watching Liverpool this season and his message to Jurgen Klopp and the team is "just a thank you".

Wayde van Niekerk (L) is a big fan of Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp (R)   -  Richard Heathcote/Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Athletics star Wayde van Niekerk hopes the Premier League season can be concluded with a Liverpool title triumph and admits he finds Jurgen Klopp's side inspiring.

The Reds were 25 points clear at the top of the table with only nine games left when English football was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With no imminent return in sight as the United Kingdom struggles to bring an end to the rise in confirmed cases and fatalities, it has been suggested the top-flight season may have to be declared void.

READ| De Bruyne recommends voided season amid injury fears

Van Niekerk, the 400-metre Olympic champion and world-record holder, has seen his own plans for 2020 upended following the decision to postpone the Tokyo Games to next year.

However, the South African is hopeful the Premier League will eventually be able to continue, giving him the chance to watch Liverpool end a 30-year wait for the title.

"I doubt it will be cancelled," he said to Stats Perform. "There should be a way that they can bring closure to the Premier League.

"The team has come so far and done so well; I think all of us are just waiting. Seeing the team pick up the trophy... it's so well-deserved. They've been working so well, and you see the growth in the team.

"I think it's going to be chaotic if they don't finish the Premier League. I think the best way is to find a way to finish the season so that the team that deserves to win can win and then focus on the next season.

"It's the same with every other sport: I think it's very important for the leaders of the specific sports to find healthy ways, or reasonable ways, to close off the seasons so the fans can be happy, the players can be happy, and everyone who loves the sports can be happy."

Van Niekerk visited Anfield last October while recovering from injury and was able to meet some of the first-team squad.

READ| Infantino says "nobody knows" when football can return

Despite his hectic 2020 schedule, the 27-year-old says he never misses a Liverpool match and is grateful to Klopp and the players for keeping fans truly engaged.

When asked if he had a message for Klopp and the team before the season possibly returns, he said: "My message is more of a congratulations than anything else.

"The team has been doing amazing and I've been so inspired and excited, wanting to go and watch games, and I don't miss a single game.

"I think it's just a message of thank you to the coach and the entire team and staff, always thinking of us and putting up high-quality games for us as fans that we can enjoy and appreciate. That's my message to the team: just a thank you."

Support Sportstar


Dear Reader,

Support our journalism — where text and pictures intermingle so seamlessly — and help us scale up your experience as the world changes around us. Your contribution is vital to our brand of uninfluenced, boots-on-the-ground reportage that’s worth your while. Clickbait sensationalism is not for us, but editorial independence is — we owe it to you.

  Dugout videos