Fabinho names 'defining' moment of Liverpool career as exit is confirmed

Fabinho's £40m transfer to Al Ittihad was confirmed on Monday night.

The 29-year-old Brazilian became the sixth first-team midfielder to leave Liverpool this summer, following exits from James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Naby Keita, Arhtur Melo and Jordan Henderson.

Following weeks of speculation, Fabinho signed a three-year deal at Saudi Pro League side Al Ittihad, and will link up with new teammates Karim Benzema and Ngolo Kante in the city of Jeddah.

The move brings an end to his five-year stay at Liverpool, during which he made over 200 appearances for the Reds and won six trophies, including the Premier League and Champions League.

READ MORE: Fabinho's top 5 moments for Liverpool – ranked

Liverpool's social channels were full of tributes to the player dubbed 'the Lighthouse' on Monday night, while Fabinho himself also posted an emotional goodbye message to the club and fans.

Writing on social media, alongside a video edit of some of his finest moments with the Reds, Fabinho paid tribute to his Liverpool 'family' and named the Anfield scenes following the comeback against Barcelona in 2019 as the 'defining' moment of his career.

"Today I leave my home. It's been five years wearing this jersey and always with the greatest honour and happiness possible. Since day one at Liverpool, I've been embraced by everyone. What I saw inside this club, the relationship between the people there, made me feel like family," he wrote.

"In these five years, I grew as a player, as a man, I made dreams come true… With that jersey, I won every title a player can dream of. Premier League, Champions League, FA Cup, Carabao Cup… Thanks to Liverpool, I reached my highest level and played a World Cup.

"Thanks to Liverpool, I fulfilled my dream of walking into a stadium with my son in my arms. Thanks to Liverpool, I played in the best stadium in the world, with the best atmosphere in the world, which is Anfield. Thanks to Liverpool, I lived the biggest match of my life, the comeback against Barcelona, which was only possible thanks to Anfield. That moment will always be in my memory.

"I love what this crowd represents for the club. This love relationship between the club and the fans has always impressed me. And I can say without fear that “You’ll never walk alone”, after that match, alongside our fans, was the most defining moment of my career with Liverpool. I say this with a heart full of joy: I love this club. Thank you, Reds, for everything we've experienced together. You will never walk alone."

READ MORE: Fabinho — the rise and decline of Liverpool's quiet superstar

Back in May, Fabinho wrote an article for The Players' Tribune in which he further described the scenes during that comeback win over Barcelona, talking up the influence of the crowd that night.

"I don’t think one person in the stadium sat down for a second of that match. My family told me the stewards just stopped asking after a while. They said they’d never experienced an atmosphere like it," he wrote.

"I remember after we scored the first goal in the first 10 minutes, I did this crazy slide tackle on Suarez. The referee gave me a yellow but I didn’t care because the adrenaline was so high. I was reacting to the energy from the crowd and they were responding to us. Everyone was on fire. Every player and every fan."

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