We were over in Dublin last week for the 5Times organised evening with Jamie Carragher and Didi Hamann, where the two Liverpool legends spoke candidly about their Anfield careers – and recalled that night in Istanbul.
The night was hosted by LFCTV presenter Peter McDowall at the Olympia Theatre and raised money for 5Times‘ charities with auctioned items including signed shirts from Steven Gerrard, Luis Suarez and a host of former players.
Much of the evening was spent recalling the dramatic night almost nine years when Liverpool produced the most incredible comeback against AC Milan at the Ataturk Stadium.
Asked to recall what was said at half-time by Rafa Benitez, Carragher joked “Well he couldn’t speak English at the time so I haven’t a clue what he was saying!”
Carra went on to explain how Benitez had told Traore to “shower” – the manager’s way of saying you’re subbed. Before Steve Finnan wasn’t deemed fit to play the second half, bringing on Hamann for the Irishman instead.
“3-0 down, brings a defensive midfielder on – he [Rafa] showed his best” praised Carragher.
Asked what he was thinking at half-time, Didi had the audience laughing – “Thank f**k I wasn’t playing!”
The German went on explain how he believed “If I had started the game, I don’t think we’d have won. Something had to change”. And so it did, of course.
Hamann then explained how after the third goal he looked at the stadium clock expecting to be in the seventy or eightieth minute. It was 60. “We better get another one because I don’t think I’m gonna last extra time.”
Of course, it did go to extra-time – and then penalties, Hamann scoring his despite a broken foot.
It was in the penalty shoot-out and extra-time that Jerzy Dudek became the hero. Didi saying of the Pole “He was unbelievable when he was first came [to Liverpool], then after 2 years his confidence was gone. It looked he had butter on his hands.
Speaking of the incredible double save from Andriy Schevchenko, Hamann said “Jerzy kept us in the game and fortunately it was enough.”
“In terms of quality, there were probably five teams better than us. In terms of mentality we were number one. No other team could come back from 3-0 down.”
Carragher was asked about each goal and offered praise for captain Steven Gerrard, proffering that “Stevie’s biggest strength is that he has no weakness.”
Carra also spoke well of Xabi Alonso, who was just 23 years old at the time, for taking the penalty and following up the rebound.
Meanwhile, Hamann explained the penalty shoot out and joked about John Arne Riise, who missed his spot-kick. “[He has a] brain like a 6 yr old, he didn’t want to miss out. [He] probably didn’t want to take one but didn’t want to miss out either”.
Speaking about after the match in the changing room, Hamann explained how initially “there were no celebrations, just disbelief, Cup in the middle of the room.
“Nobody thought it was possible, it was surreal. [it] took weeks to realise what had happened.”
Hamann also explained how he persuaded then-chairman David Moores to share a cigarette with him in the shower to celebrate.
The two bounced off each other brilliantly in a thoroughly entertaining and honest manner, speaking sense on current events at Liverpool and in the Premier League.
Fans then got the chance to meet the players and get their photo alongside two players who both won every major honour bar the league title during their time at Anfield. How they and all Liverpool supporters will be hoping Gerrard can add that honour to complete his set before he retires.
- 5Times have more events coming up, including later this week in Birmingham and later this month in Norway.
Follow @5Timesco for more details.
Had a great time in Dublin as always.Follow @5timesco for updates.
— Didi Hamann (@DietmarHamann) February 28, 2014