Luka Modric hails Anfield gesture as Liverpool and Real Madrid fans show respect

Though they saw their side lose 5-2 to effectively exit the Champions League, Liverpool fans were still full of respect for Real Madrid players at Anfield.

It was not a result deserving of the atmosphere inside Anfield on Tuesday night, as a frenetic start gave way to a dominant display from Real.

Darwin Nunez and Mohamed Salah put the Reds two goals up early on, only for Vinicius Jr. to strike twice and ensure parity at the break, with Eder Militao’s header and two from Karim Benzema sealing a heavy defeat.

Despite the gloom surrounding the result – which is Liverpool’s worst-ever at home in Europe – the supporters did not let that affect them.

Instead, as Luka Modric and Karim Benzema were brought off the pitch with three minutes left to play of normal time, the Real icons were applauded by the home fans.

It resonated with Modric, who took to Twitter after the game to relish a “special atmosphere” at the home of Liverpool.

The importance of respect is often lost in modern football, particularly in such high-stakes ties as the Champions League last 16, so it was warming to see on Tuesday.

Liverpool fans were not the only ones to do so, either, with the away supporters – kept inside the stadium after full-time – chanting in support of their hosts.

It is not rare to see visiting players left in awe after visiting Anfield, and Thibaut Courtois reflected this in a post-match interview.

“It’s my first time playing Champions League football at Anfield when fans are in the stadium,” he is quoted by the Liverpool Echo.

“And the fact that there was applause from Liverpool supporters for Luka and Karim just proves that people here know how to appreciate guys who are great players.”