So I am taking a step outside of my usual topics today to discuss something near and dear to my heart: Liverpool Football Club. With the exception of last year, recent campaigns have been a bit of a disappointment for such a decorated club (the only English club to win Europe’s title 5 times, they have won England’s top division 18 times which is second only to Man U’s 20). However, I still cheer my club on, suffer the frustrations with them, and am beyond thrilled when I find another individual wearing a jersey. So I wanted to address what led me to this love.
It started back in 2005. See, I grew up playing soccer. While my friends had dreams of playing for the NFL, NBA, and MLB, I was focused on MLS or better yet the Premiership. Had the privilege of playing with several different amazing people in all kinds of awesome places. I grew up in the era of Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson’s domination of the newly formed premier league (They have won the title 13 times since the league was formed in 1992).
So then what happened in 2005 to change things? Well, a little event known as the Miracle of Istanbul. See, Liverpool made it into the final where they were facing AC Milan. Milan were in their 2nd final in 3 years, their tenth appearance overall and they had already won the competition six times. Liverpool on the other hand had only won four times and were making their first appearance in the final in 20 years.
What would ensue is considered one of the most amazing games in the history of football. At halftime, Liverpool would be down 3-nil (0 for those not familiar) and Milan would be sitting pretty. Then would come the “15 minutes that shook the world” and Liverpool would win me forever as a fan. With goals from Steven Gerrard, Vladimír Šmicer, and Xabi Alonso, Liverpool would march back into the game. The game would enter extra time and still end tied, leading to penalty kicks…and Liverpool’s 5th title.
Try watching a game like that and see how you feel in the end. So now I take every chance I can to watch and cheer, even if they lose. I will forever love them and I know “You’ll Never Walk Alone!”