Billy Koumetio becomes Liverpool’s youngest ever Champions League player with substitute appearance in 1-1 draw at Midtjylland… just 19 months after being a BALLBOY on THAT night against Barcelona
Billy Koumetio made Liverpool history by becoming the club’s youngest ever player in the Champions League at 18 years and 25 days old.
The 18-year-old defender came on as a half-substitute for Fabinho in their 1-1 draw at Danish outfit Midtjylland on Wednesday evening as the Champions League group stages came to a close.
The previous holder of the record was Antonio Barragan record (18 years and 59 days), and after coming on the Frenchman – formerly a left winger who now idolises club team-mate Virgil van Dijk – more than held his own in the Liverpool back four.
Billy Koumetio (right) made Liverpool history as their youngest Champions League debutant
The 18-year-old (left) came on as a half-substitute for Fabinho in their 1-1 draw at Midtjylland
It was an unforgettable moment for Koumetio, who joined Jurgen Klopp’s side from Orleans in January 2019, which it has now been revealed allowed him to witness one of the club’s most memorable nights in recent history.
As tweeted by Gary Lineker, the defender was actually a ballboy when the Reds did the unthinkable and produced one of the Champions League’s greatest comebacks at the expense of Barcelona in May 2019 to reach the final of the competition.
He was therefore on hand to witness Trent Alexander-Arnold – who captained Liverpool at the start tonight – and his moment of brilliance and quick thinking from the corner to set up Divock Origi at Anfield on that epic night.
Talking about his memories from that night to the club’s official website, he said: ‘It was [blows cheeks]… amazing, unbelievable. I could see the big boys, the big players, in front of me. It was a great experience for me.
Koumetio was a ballboy when Divock Origi and his team-mates beat Barcelona in May last year
‘That drives me a lot. When I was sitting so close to the pitch and saw the big boys, they really inspired me.
‘I was motivated to work really hard and [in order] to go to that level.’
Highly-rated 19-year-old central midfielder Leighton Clarkson meanwhile played the full game in Denmark on Wednesday, and boss Jurgen Klopp appeared happy with the young duo’s outing.
‘He (Koumetio) will learn and especially we let them have the experience without making this one game too big,’ said Klopp.
Highly-rated central midfielder Leighton Clarkson meanwhile played the full game in Denmark
‘It is a wonderful thing to have your first Champions League game but your career is about how many you have.
‘Both boys are already really skilled but they have a lot to learn and we will give them the time to do so.
‘They helped us a lot because we could rest other players, which is very important.
‘I am pretty sure it was a big night for both of them, I am really thankful they are as good as they are, that is the reason why we can use them, but I know there is more to come.’
And Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp (centre) appeared happy with the young duo’s outing