You might remember, but 15 years ago today, Liverpool became champions of Europe! The best of Instanbul, transfer stories and more hit the Monday headlines.
Rafa Benitez instanbul
The way the Reds turned around a three-goal deficit in the Champions League final, to win on penalties, has become an indelible and incredible chapter in the club’s history.
Then-boss Rafa Benitez has explained the process, the approach and the reasons for what happened in a long piece for the Athletic, talking not just about the final but the run-up to the game, the knock-outs against Chelsea and Juve and more.
“The message we gave to the players [at half-time] was about confidence — try to score early, get back in the game,” Rafa says.
“In other circumstances or with smaller teams, perhaps you might be looking at damage limitation because you don’t want to concede four or five goals but this was a final. You have to go for it.”
The Reds certainly did that, and earned their rewards.
Benitez also talks about replacing those Istanbul heroes, playing Steven Gerrard wide right and pushing the team ever upwards. What a man, what a night, what an incredible memory for thousands of fans to have.
Werner chances “very strong” but move for teen fails
Liverpool still have plenty of interest and intent to sign Timo Werner it seems, with Jurgen Klopp making at least one video call to the Leipzig forward.
He hit a hat-trick at the weekend to move to 30 for the season, and journalist Raphael Honigstein told BT Sport that the boss has had a “virtual meeting” with him and the Reds are still keen to proceed, depending on how matters unfold in terms of football finances this year.
Honigstein says there’s “a very strong chance he ends up at Liverpool” and that the deal could happen later in the year than is usual.
Looking forward…and back
It is, of course, 25 May: Istanbul Day, to those of a Red persuasion. We’re Liverpool, though, so that means looking ahead as well as remembering the past.
- Paul Glatzel is finally back in training after a pre-season injury and training with the first-team squad
- The rest of the players have reacted and joked on social media as they continued their return to regular(ish) training
- And the squad of 2005 have collectively recalled their heroics in Turkey as they won Liverpool’s fifth European Cup
Leagues restart latest updates
It’s almost time for Phase Two in training, with the government releasing guidelines on the latest adaptations for Melwood and other professional sportspeople.
Bigger groups, contact during drills and other slow returns to normal training will be included in this phase, while there is also the suggestion that the Premier League will now not return until at least 19 June, if not 26 June.
The Italian government will decide on Thursday when Serie A can return to action for the rest of 19/20, if at all.
Quickfire LFC news
- Reds legend Ian Callaghan says the ’77 European Cup win was a turning point for the club (Mirror)
- Istanbul hero Djibril Cisse says the Reds’ comeback against Milan was down to the team’s fighting spirit (Sky Sports)
- The Women’s Super League has been ended early, but there’s no news yet on whether Liverpool Women will be relegated (LFC)
- Former midfielder Bruno Cheyrou has been appointed head of recruitment at Ligue 1 side Lyon (Echo)
Around the Prem
- Arsenal are ready to join the chase for Philippe Coutinho. That club absolutely loves going after big names who will turn them down just so they can say “we tried,” don’t they? (Le10Sport)
- Rafa Benitez wants to return to Newcastle after the takeover and sign John Stones and Ross Barkley. Does our former manager just love having battles with sh*t owners, or what?! (Telegraph)
- Newcastle and Wolves are among the sides hoping to sign Gonzalo Higuain, who Juventus have finally told he’s too fat to keep and there’s not enough room for his waist, Cristiano’s ego and social distancing rules at the training ground (Express)
- Josh King is a target for “four of the top six” apparently. He’s 28, United had a £20m January bid widely laughed at and we can’t see him joining the Reds or City so…Chelsea scouts have a lot to answer for and United’s recruitment is still crap. Unless this is pure lies, of course… (Mirror)
Excellent football intention of the day
You might remember that AS Roma’s Twitter account last year produced some truly excellent work to help find six children who had been missing, in some cases for years.
Now the rest of the football world is ready to get on board, with big clubs including Liverpool utilising their social media accounts to spread the word on others who remain missing. Check out the posts and help spread the word—sometimes, as today’s date will always remind Reds, miracles happen.
Tweet of the day
? IN FOCUS ?
— Liverpool FC (at ?) (@LFC) May 24, 2020
What we’re reading
And as Liverpool have been heavily linked with Valencia’s Ferran Torres, here’s a piece on him in the Athletic by Dermot Corrigan.