Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed that music and TV shows form an essential part of his personal pre-match routine to help him relax, while he claims he doesn’t pay attention to social media or the press before games.
The summer signing from Newcastle has five goals from midfield this season and has become an important player in Jurgen Klopp’s preferred midfield three, as the Reds chase a top four finish.
He let Liverpool’s official website have a peek behind the curtain with how he and the team prepare for matches, with a candid interview detailing his preparations from the night before in the hotel right up to the match itself and after.
“We always stay in a hotel the night before a game. In the beginning, that was a little bit strange for me because in all the previous clubs I’d been at, we’d never stayed in hotels the night before home matches, just away games,” the 26-year-old said.
“But now having done it, I think staying in hotels before games is a good thing. You can chill out the way you want and you’re with the team.”
The Netherlands international also revealed he is something of a series junkie and “binge watches” as a way to relax the night before.
“Personally I watch TV shows on my laptop, or movies. I’ve been watching Narcos a lot in the last few months. I also watch Breaking Bad, and I like Entourage,” Wijnaldum explained.
Back to Liverpool! Preparing for the derby
— Georginio Wijnaldum (@GWijnaldum) March 29, 2017
“There’s also Power, Empire… there are a lot of things I watch. Empire is the one I’ve been watching the most recently. What I love about watching TV series is that you can watch it for a long time if there are a lot of seasons. ‘Binge watching’ – I’ve learned that is what it’s called!”
In addition to TV, Wijnaldum also uses music as a way to relax and cites Drake as one of his favourite artists.
“I also like to listen to music to relax in my hotel room. A lot of Dutch music as well as rap, hip-hop and RnB. I think Drake is now the rapper of the moment. I went to watch him in Manchester in February, it was amazing. I listen a lot to him.”
The former PSV star also claims he doesn’t read what people say about him or the team in the press or on social media and ignores football TV programmes in order to stay focussed. And once he reaches the stadium on a matchday the phone goes into flight mode.
“I am not a person who is going to read what people are saying, that’s just their opinion. The same goes for newspapers. I have been a professional footballer for almost 10 years now and I know how it works. Today they can love you, the next day they can say you’re not good enough,” he claimed.
“As soon as I go into the dressing room on matchday, my phone goes into flight mode. I still want to listen to my music, but I don’t want to use WhatsApp or look at Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter because I am fully focused on the match. All that stuff is only for well after the game!”
Despite his best attempts to stay ‘in the zone’, Wijnaldum does admit there is one thing that still affects him right before kick off.
“When we’re at home and you hear ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’, that’s still something that’s really good to hear. I am always happy when I hear it – it still gives me goosebumps. It gives you a great feeling.”