Football

On This Day: Alonso, Carragher look back on Liverpool’s Istanbul miracle in 2005

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Jamie Carragher, Liverpool, Steven Gerrard, Istanbul

Image credit: Reuters

ByMichael Hincks
25/05/2020 at 09:41 | Updated 25/05/2020 at 12:38
@MichaelHincks

On this day in 2005, Liverpool pulled off the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ when recovering from 3-0 down at half-time to beat AC Milan on penalties and lift their fifth European Cup.

Fifteen years later, Jamie Carragher and Xabi Alonso were reminiscing about the Reds’ incredible win under Rafa Benitez.

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“For me, everything was happening so quickly,” Alonso, who made it 3-3 on the night, told the club’s website.

“It was my first year at Liverpool, playing the Champions League in my first year and being in the final, getting to that stage and winning the most historic trophy, something was happening in my mind that was kind of unreal, what was happening.

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“To have that involvement in the final and knowing you will be part of the history of the club, at that moment it was like too many things happening for me.

It’s so remembered – that night, that final, that miracle. Wherever I’ve been, in Spain or the world, they remember. It has become an iconic football final and Champions League final. Some finals, two years later not that many people remember. But this one, everyone – wherever I’ve been – it’s so remembered.

Meanwhile, Carragher said it was “doubly lucky” to not only feature in such a memorable final, but go on to win it.

“I remember watching the great AC Milan teams in the late ‘80s and the early ‘90s, then it was Ajax, then Juventus came along. I never thought I could play at this level,” says Carragher.

“I knew all the players, all the legend players, and I never thought I was good enough to play at this level. So, for me to be involved in that…

“You talk about players who won it, I talk about players – maybe great players – who never won it. And you think, ‘Wow, how lucky are we that we were involved in something so special?’

“And we didn’t just win it – we played in a final that will be remembered forever. That makes us doubly lucky, I suppose.”

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