Shevchenko “couldn’t sleep” for 3 months after Istanbul – not because of the penalty!

It was the greatest night in the club’s history, but for one man, the 2005 Champions League final in Istanbul was the cause of sleepless nights for months after.

Steven Gerrard lifted Liverpool’s fifth European Cup against all the odds after leading his side to an unthinkable second-half comeback and eventual triumph on penalties at the expense of AC Milan.

Jerzy Dudek made himself the hero in the shootout, saving efforts from two of the most talented footballers on the planet in Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko.

The latter of those penalties meant the comeback was complete, leaving a heartbroken Shevchenko to rue missing the chance to keep the contest alive.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - WEDNESDAY, MAY 25th, 2005: AC Milan's Andriy Shevchenko holds his head in his hands as his shot is saved by Liverpool goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

It wasn’t just the penalty that he was remembered for, however, with Dudek also producing an outrageous double save that saw the striker denied from inside the six-yard box deep into extra time.

He was recently forced to relive that memory, admitting that he “couldn’t sleep” for three months after missing the opportunity to win the cup for his side.

“I will be honest with you, for three months I couldn’t sleep,” Shevchenko told Gary Lineker on The Rest Is Football podcast.

“I would wake up in the morning, during the night, go downstairs and put the video on, rewatch the moment again.

“I was watching specifically that moment when he made that double save because that was the game over, last second, it was going to be some unbelievable final.”

Liverpool found themselves 3-0 down at half time, before producing one of the most incredible fightbacks the sport has ever witnessed with three goals in the space of six minutes before the hour.

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - WEDNESDAY, MAY 25th, 2005: Liverpool's Vladimir Smicer lifts the European Cup after beating AC Milan on penalties during the UEFA Champions League Final at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Shevchenko went on to praise the “spirit” shown by the Reds’ players and supporters to allow them to conjure up an unimaginable turnaround on the biggest stage in club football.

“I have to give credit to the spirit of the Liverpool players, but especially the Liverpool fans,” he continued.

“That noise, that support, I think it made the difference. ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is a famous quote and I think it really got that energy for the players.

“Something clicked for six minutes, scored goals, and then everything changed.”