For millions of children worldwide, the ultimate dream is to become a professional footballer and represent the club they support.
Neco Williams is one of the very few who has managed to turn this dream into a reality.
The right-back joined Liverpool’s academy at the age of 6 and has now made 13 first-team appearances for the Merseyside outfit.
However, despite the money and everything else, being a young top-level footballer isn’t always easy – especially due to social media.
Abusive messages and other forms of trolling on various platforms is a big problem for high-profile players who, let’s not forget, are only human.
Liverpool recorded an emphatic 7-2 victory over Lincoln in the EFL Cup on Thursday evening but that didn’t stop some ‘fans’ from directing online abuse at Williams.
The 19-year-old reacted by blacking out his social media accounts.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Liverpool supporters are decent people and have jumped to Williams’ defence.
@Liverpoolgoals on Instagram posted a photo of Williams in action, alongside the message: “Neco Williams has been the subject of a lot of hate from ‘fans’ on Twitter and Instagram.
“It’s really sad to see things like this when we as a fanbase claim to be the most supportive in the world.
“There’s a difference between critiquing/analysing a player’s performance and just sending him hateful messages.
“Just a reminder, he is 19-years-old, and has lots to learn. Head up, @necowilliams01 ❤️ YNWA”.
And this post led to a comment from Williams’ teammate Harvey Elliott.
The 17-year-old, who played just under an hour against Lincoln, wrote: “All keyboard warriors. The kid’s 19, these people need to take a step back and see the class in him at his age. HE’S OUTRAGEOUSLY GOOD!”
Well said, Harvey.
The England Under-17 international also wrote: “Yes we are all going to have bad games, we are all human and we all make mistakes that’s life but I’m sure Neco will prove to these ‘haters’ what he’s about and show them who’s boss.”
Let’s hope Williams can overcome this minor setback and understand that anyone who abuses him on social media cannot claim to be a true Liverpool fan.