As Jordan Henderson hoisted another trophy, the unconfined joy on the faces around him was evident.

It wasn’t the wild celebration of Madrid in June, but the pleasure was just as genuine as Liverpool enjoyed a Super Cup trophy earned the hard way.

Afterwards, Virgil van Dijk reflected on the difference between the two triumphs, set just three months apart.

“It’s incredibly important,” he said. “I do think it’s really important – for the progress of the team, for our development. Winning a trophy is important for your mentality. We did it the hard way.”

It hasn’t been the easiest of journeys for the Reds, to get into the position where they are feared across Europe.

There was Kiev, and Salah’s injury, the tears of Karius. There was a single point and a single centimetre which perhaps cost the title.



Van Dijk celebrates with the Super Cup

Yet if two trophies in just 18 months at Anfield is a dream for van Dijk, then it was very much part of the plan too.

He said: “(Choosing to sign for Liverpool) it was definitely a dream – a dream to win trophies.

“And I think before I joined, in my decision I set my goals, and these things were part of my goals – winning trophies was part of my decision.

“You take every opportunity you have to win a trophy. That is always the goal, and winning makes it a little bit easier the next time.

“We would have liked to have done it easier, we wanted to do it like we did better in the second half, but the winning is the important thing at the end. It is good to have that mentality.”



The Dutchman turned in a typically assured display in Istanbul

There is a sense that this is just the start for a still frighteningly young Liverpool team.

In the media zone after the game, question after question from European journalists came about the club’s status, and their position amongst the continent’s elite.

For van Dijk, that is deserved. So when he’s asked if he is confident they can achieve more success in Europe, and break a 30 year Premier League drought too, he is again emphatic.

“We should be confident, we have a fantastic team, an incredible squad and we should believe in ourselves, we need to believe in ourselves.

“It has been an incredible 18 months. I was disappointed of course that we lost the final to Real Madrid , but I know there is more to come too – we just have to carry on now, and be clear with what we want.”