The German midfielder admits he was happy to not be on the pitch as the Reds went 3-0 down before half-time, but claims what followed will remain with him for the rest of his life
Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann claims the Reds’ remarkable comeback in Istanbul to overcome AC Milan and win the Uefa Champions League in 2005 will stay with him for the rest of his life.
Hamann started on the bench as Liverpool went 3-0 down against Carlo Ancelotti’s Milan side in the 2005 final and admits he was happy not to be playing at that stage.
However, the former Germany international’s half-time introduction sparked a sensational second half which saw Rafa Benitez’s side level the match at 3-3, and then hold out through extra time for a memorable triumph on penalties.
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“It got to the stage where they [Milan] were so superior at times you were just thinking ‘thank God I’m not playing’, because I don’t think there is anything we could have done in the first half,” Hamann told us in episode two of MasterCard’s Priceless Memories video series.
Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso scored the goals to bring Liverpool level within 15 minutes of the restart, however, and the Reds held out as Milan dominated in extra-time to claim the trophy following a 3-2 win on penalties, with Jerzy Dudek the hero with two spot-kick saves.
“It’s hard to put into words,” Hamann explained. “The most memorable thing was when we came back the next day: there were a million people in the streets of Liverpool, in Everton shirts, in Liverpool shirts, just welcoming us home – people from six months to 100 years old, grown-up people crying in the streets.
“It was just a very touching and emotional moment because if you experience moments like this once, with a club of that history, it will stay with you forever.”
Check out the video above to watch the full interview with the former Reds midfielder, who made 280 appearances and won nine trophies for the Anfield side between 1999 and 2006.
Stay tuned for the next episode of MasterCard’s Priceless Memories which will be available on November 5.