Twelve months is a long time in football and for Mohamed Salah it must have felt like an eternity. But the very nature of redemption is that you have to have paid a price in the first place.

The Egypt international's initial tariff was a high one. Half-an-hour into last year's Champions League final he walked off the pitch in tears after a clash with Sergio Ramos left him with a shoulder injury.

It denied the 25-year-old the chance to end a stellar first season at Anfield on the highest of highs in the biggest club game of his career.

It hurt. Physically and mentally. But he focused all that pain into one swing of his prodigious left foot.

All the pent-up frustration at being denied his moment in the spotlight against Real Madrid's superstars released in one waft from the penalty spot, drilling his spot kick straight down the middle as Hugo Lloris dived to his left.

Fate had finally handed Salah his moment and he seized it, irrespective of the debate about whether the penalty awarded after just 22 seconds was legitimate or not.

Incredibly, it was not even the most important penalty of his career. That came under even more pressure in October 2017 when he carried the weight of a nation on his shoulders.

The four minutes into added time he stepped up and scored to beat Congo 2-1 and secure Egypt's World Cup place for the first time in 28 years.

Salah leaving the field in Kiev injured last season

By comparison the Wanda Metropolitano came a distant second, although not to the legion of Liverpool fans celebrating wildly at the opposite end of the ground and the thousands - estimated at 50,000 - of others scattered around the bars of Madrid.

Even then there were still 88 minutes to go and on one of those hot, heady nights in the Spanish capital - when things did not always go to plan - there would have been some concern things could still have gone wrong.

Liverpool's American billionaire owner John W Henry, often criticised for his stay-away, remote detachment to the club in his Boston headquarters, found out first-hand what it is like to be an everyday fan.

Traffic congestion on the way into the stadium meant he joined hundreds, if not thousands, of supporters walking the final few hundred yards up the hard shoulder of the nearby motorway in order to get to the ground in time.

On the pitch passes went astray on a regular basis, with the temperature and the occasion getting to both sides.

Cork's Caoimhín Kelleher (R) lifts the Champions League trophy

Liverpool were far from their best and that would have been a worry to many but the coolest man in the 30-degree plus heat was Virgil Van Dijk. A Colossus at the back.

He barely got out of second gear until he needed to, and then he produced one of those perfectly-timed sprints to dispossess Heung-min Son as he threatened to score.

Close behind him in the calmness stakes was Alisson Becker, who had nothing to do for 75 minutes before pulling off a string of saves to retain the lead and ensure a sixth European Cup headed home to Merseyside.

To a man the players sprinted to their goalkeeper, a £65million summer signing, at the final whistle to acknowledge the part he played.

The squad Jurgen Klopp, ending his personal run of six successive final defeats, has assembled is all about being one, single unit with a common goal, and for all the superstar status of Salah it proved no-one is bigger than the team.

With a trophy finally in the bag, the trajectory can only be upwards.