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Mourinho, Ferguson, Guardiola & more – 23 quotes on Anfield’s “unique” atmosphere

Even some of Liverpool’s fiercest rivals can’t help but admit their admiration for the unrivalled atmosphere that can be generated inside Anfield.

All of the Reds’ most famous home victories all have one thing in common – they were all inspired by the unique home crowd.

Liverpool have had some incredibly special football teams, but lots of their success wouldn’t have been possible without the support they receive at their spiritual home.

Here are 20 quotes that prove the power of the Anfield atmosphere.

 

“A bugger of a ground!”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, October 3, 2021: Manchester City's manager Josep 'Pep' Guardiola reacts during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Manchester City FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The motto ‘This is Anfield’ is no marketing spin. There’s something about it that you will find in no other stadium in the world.

“They score a goal and over the next five minutes you feel that you’ll receive another four. You feel small and the rival players seem to be all over you.

“We’ve all gone through what happened to Barca.

“They were laughing at me when we were losing 3-0 after the first 15, 20 minutes of the quarter-final. It’s a bugger of a ground.”

– Pep Guardiola

 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, March 6, 2011: Manchester United's manager Alex Ferguson before the Premiership match against Liverpool at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Anfield. Electric.

“It’s a marvellous atmosphere. You have to expect that atmosphere even if you’re losing.

“It was a really volatile atmosphere.”

– Sir Alex Ferguson

 

Liverpool, England - Saturday, January 6, 2007: Arsenal's wannabe Liverpool player Thierry Henry applauds the fans on the Spion Kop as he is substituted during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“For my first few years at Arsenal we didn’t do well there, but we improved. It’s the atmosphere I love. It’s unbelievable.

“I’ve played in a lot of stadiums but for me there is nothing like playing at Liverpool.Nothing can beat Highbury, of course, but playing at Anfield was great.

“The fans always sing and hold up their scarves before and after the game – whether they have won or lost. It must be amazing if you are a Liverpool player.”

– Thierry Henry

 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 20, 2021: Arsenal's manager Mikel Arteta during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“There is a word that we use in Spain in cycling, when a cyclist is going up and looks amazing, then in one kilometre he goes ‘boom’ and looks like he’s struggling again.

“The word is bajar and I had it once, at Anfield.

“The game was going well and then suddenly I could only see red shirts flying around. The game is passing all over me and I cannot react.

“People said ‘what is he doing?’ and I cannot do it, I cannot do it emotionally, physically I cannot cope, everything goes too fast.

“I only had that feeling in my career once and it was at Anfield.”

– Mikel Arteta, who played You’ll Never Walk Alone during an Arsenal training session to prepare his team for Anfield

 

“I like Anfield, I like it a lot. I love people being on you, being noisy, that is what it’s all about. I love the passion of football.

“Lately, a lot of new things have been introduced in football, but I still love things how they were in the old days – people shout and get their team forward. That is something that I learned in Germany, because fans are so behind their team.

“The home players probably get a little bit more [from the Anfield atmosphere] but even if it’s against you, you are at the top of the world, playing the best level. That is what you want.

“You fight your whole lifetime to be here. That’s the appreciation you get for working as a young child and getting here.”

– Kevin De Bruyne

 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, April 28, 2022: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson (R) challenges Villarreal's E?tienne Capoue during the UEFA Champions League Semi-Final 1st Leg game between Liverpool FC and Villarreal CF at Anfield. Liverpool won 2-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Anfield is hell, you have to say it how it is. It’s hell.

“It’s the worst stadium I’ve been to in England. Whether it’s the atmosphere, the way they play…for 90 minutes, you live in hell.

“They have this ability to transcend themselves, to cause you nothing but problems, all the time, in any part of the field.

“They never stop, they rush you all the time, they only want to score goals, and even when they score, they carry on. They want to knock you out.

“They don’t care what or who is in front of them. They just want to kill everyone and that’s it.”

– Etienne Capoue, after Liverpool beat Villarreal 2-0 at Anfield in the 2021/22 Champions League semi-finals

 

(l-r) Netherlands captain Johan Cruyff tries to get past West Germany captain Franz Beckenbauer.

“I stood on the pitch at Anfield with goosebumps. Not because I was scared of our opponents but because of the atmosphere.

“The huge Kop stand where the most fanatical supporters were, and all their singing: Anfield was incredibly impressive.

“I really enjoyed it for 90 minutes, and we played a magnificent game. Even though it was a 2-2 draw, we were in complete control.

“From that evening English football had captured my heart.

“I had never seen anything like this – the passion for the game, and how much the fans wanted their team to win, and it made me think that one day I would like to play in England.

“Unfortunately that dream didn’t come to pass because in those days borders were still closed to foreign players. Even today I still think that was a terrible shame.”

– Johan Cruyff, on his experience of Ajax’s European Cup clash at Anfield in 1966

 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, May 2, 2010: Chelsea's manager Carlo Ancelotti during the Premiership match at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“Every time I am here in this stadium it is a little bit special because of the atmosphere, and we are here to enjoy this special place.”

– Carlo Ancelotti

 

Liverpool, England - Tuesday, March 6, 2007: Liverpool's captain Xabi Alonso celebrates with team-mate Alvaro Arbeloa at the final whistle after knocking-out current holders FC Barcelona 2-2 on aggregate during the UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round 2nd Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The Anfield atmosphere is difficult to explain, you just have to experience it. Every player should try it at least once in his career.”

– Alvaro Arbeloa

 

Liverpool, England - Tuesday, March 6, 2007: FC Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez in action against Liverpool during the UEFA Champions League First Knockout Round 2nd Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“The fans remained for the whole game and never stopped applauding their team.

“I couldn’t believe it. I was speechless.”

– Xavi, after playing in Barcelona’s Champions League group stage win at Anfield in 2001

 

The best fans in the world

Ahead of the 2019 Champions League final in Madrid, Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger, two managers who have been involved in many a battle against Liverpool, were in awe of the Reds fans singing You’ll Never Walk Alone before the game.

“This is more beautiful than what we can say!”

– Jose Mourinho

 

“It’s unique!”

– Arsene Wenger

 

“The English club proved that miracles really do exist. I’ve now made Liverpool my English team. They showed that football is the most beautiful sport of all.

“The Liverpool supporters didn’t let me go to sleep the night before, there were 10 of them to every three Milan supporters.

“They showed their unconditional support at half-time when they were losing 3-0 and still they didn’t stop singing.”

– Diego Maradona, after watching Liverpool come back from 3-0 down to beat AC Milan on penalties in the 2005 Champions League final

 

Chelsea, 2005

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. TUESDAY, MAY 3rd, 2005: Liverpool's fans on the Spion Kop cheer their side on against Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

The 2005 Champions League semi-final against Chelsea is a match remembered for Luis Garcia’s famous ‘Ghost Goal’.

However, many supporters would argue the atmosphere generated by the home fans was the best in Anfield history. Without roaring the Reds to victory that night, there’d have been no Istanbul.

“That atmosphere was better than anything I’ve known and I’ve been involved in some great nights recently.

“The games against Roma, Juventus and Olympiakos were unbelievable, but that was something else… there’s none better than our fans or Anfield on a European night.”

– Jamie Carragher

 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. TUESDAY, MAY 3rd, 2005: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard urges his side to hang on against Chelsea during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“At the end I felt like jumping in and celebrating with the fans. They’re the best in the country by a mile and I just hope they enjoy the final as much as they have this evening.”

– Steven Gerrard

 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. TUESDAY, MAY 3rd, 2005: Liverpool's manager Rafael Benitez and Chelsea's manager Jose Mourinho during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I felt the power of Anfield, it was magnificent.”

– Jose Mourinho

 

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. TUESDAY, MAY 3rd, 2005: Liverpool's Steven Gerrard and Chelsea's John Terry during the UEFA Champions League Semi Final 2nd Leg at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

“I have never heard anything like it before and I don’t think I ever will again. It is the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in.

“I walked out into that cauldron and heard that singing and saw that passion. The hairs on my arms were standing up. To see a spectacle like that is inspiring to anyone.

“I just kept looking around, trying to take it all in. I wasn’t daunted by it, but it was amazing. I wish more crowds were like that.

“Apart from the volume, it looked spectacular, too. In the seconds before the referee blew his whistle for the start of the match, the whole stadium let out this great long roar as if they were going to power Liverpool to victory.”

John Terry, writing in his autobiography

 

“I have refereed at places like Barcelona, Ibrox, Manchester United and Arsenal. But I’ve never in my life been involved in such an atmosphere. It was incredible.”

– Referee, Lubos Michel

 

Chelsea, 2007

Kop, Anfield, crowd, May 2007, Chelsea ( Tony Marshall/EMPICS Sport)

Two years later it was Chelsea again in another classic European night at Anfield.

After losing the first leg at Stamford Bridge, the Kop inspired another memorable victory that would eventually see the Reds win on penalties.

“What I remember most from that night was the Anfield atmosphere…

“It was stunning, one of the loudest, most intimidating walls of pure emotional noise I have ever heard.

“Sitting on the bench in the opening minutes, it brought the hairs up on the back of my neck. People say top-class professionals are not affected by the atmosphere, but believe me, they are. Chelsea were a case in point that night.”

– Robbie Fowler

 

Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt (center), John Arne Riise and Jose Reina (left) celebrate after winning the match on penalties

“I can still hear the noise in the stadium after slotting the ball home. It was one of my most special nights at Anfield.”

– Dirk Kuyt

 

Borussia Dortmund, 2016

Another of Anfield’s most memorable European nights came in Jurgen Klopp‘s first full season with the club, when the Reds knocked his former side out of the Europa League in dramatic fashion thanks to a late header from Dejan Lovren.

“The atmosphere was the best I have ever experienced. It should serve as an example to everyone about how supporters can influence a team and influence a game.

“The last half an hour against Dortmund [in the Europa League at Anfield] is the best I’ve ever had. I felt nobody could stop us. I wasn’t sure we would score a goal but it was crazy.”

Jurgen Klopp

 

Barcelona, 2019

Arguably Anfield’s greatest night came in 2019, when Liverpool bounced back from a 3-0 first leg defeat to beat Barcelona 4-3 on aggregate to reach the Champions League final, where they’d go on to beat Tottenham in Madrid.

Again it was the noise from the home crowd that pushed the Reds over the line.

“We know this club is a mix of atmosphere, emotion and desire, and football qualities.

“This club has a big heart and obviously tonight it was pounding like crazy and we could feel it all over the world.”

Jurgen Klopp

 

“As a fan and ex-player, it was probably the best atmosphere I’ve seen at Anfield.

– Steven Gerrard

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