Adrian is the keeper who gambled on his career – and came up Red.
Liverpool ’s latest goalkeeping hero had faced an uncertain future since rejecting a £60,000 a week contract extension from West Ham in February.
When the Spaniard reached the end of his deal with the east Londoners in June he’d no offers heading into the summer.
He was released after six years with no concrete options and his punt looked to have backfired.
An unnamed Spanish club approached him with his only lifeline – a £20,000-a-week deal he was close to accepting.
Enter Liverpool. In the space of a week Adrian has stepped into the first XI after regular No 1 Alisson was injured, helping the European Champions to three points in Premier League and now a UEFA Super Cup triumph.
After an eventful Wednesday night in Istanbul during which he gave away a penalty and then saved Tammy Abraham’s spot kick to win the shootout after a 2-2 draw, Adrian said: “One month ago I was training by myself in Spain with my goalkeeper coach and friends helping me with the training.
“Two weeks ago I really didn’t know who I was going to sign for, whether in Spain or another league. But Liverpool came to me and asked me. It’s the best decision I’ve taken in my life now.
“I knew the moment was going to come but obviously not as quick as it has. I’m really happy to be here and really proud for the players to help me from the beginning.
“They opened their arms to make me feel like a great friend. It was a magnificent night.”
Manager Jurgen Klopp was among those who sprinted half the length of the pitch to celebrate the victory with Adrian who said: “I was down on my knees and just waiting for the boys to come to me, the manager also, all jumping.
“I saw so many people that jumped onto me but it was a magnificent moment to remember all of my life.”
The 32-year-old revealed he had received a message from Alisson before the game: “Ali just texted me and said, ‘Good luck amigo’ and I responded, ‘Thank you very much.’
“It was very kind and I feel very comfortable working with him and I hope he recovers from the injury as soon as possible.
“A goalkeeper’s life is like this. We need to be ready for everything and I knew Alisson did great last season and with the national team.
“But I came here to fight with him [for a place] and to push him. It’s a healthy competition which is great for us both and also the club and makes us much better.”
Adrian had already established himself as a popular figure in the Anfield dressing room even before his starring role in Istanbul -now he has written himself into the club’s rich European heritage.