On what will go down as THE most incredible night in this club’s illustrious history Liverpool reclaimed their crown as ‘Kings of Europe’ after miraculously overcoming a 3-0 half-time deficit to defeat AC Milan at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul. It was the Reds first appearance in a European Cup Final for 20 years and, despite defeating Juventus and Chelsea during a memorable run to the final, they went into the game as overwhelming underdogs against the formidable Rossoneri. An estimated 40,000 Liverpudlians followed their heroes to Istanbul but when Milan raced into a 3-0 interval lead it looked as though their trip had been vain. Cue an inspirational half-time team talk from the boss, a passionate rallying cry from the fans and the most amazing comeback of all time.  The Reds were hit with a sucker punch after just 53 seconds when veteran Milan captain Paolo Maldini fired the Italians ahead. It was to get worse. Harry Kewell limped off injured in the 23rd minute and before the interval striker Hernan Crespo, on loan from Chelsea, had added another two. Liverpool’s Champions League dream looked all but over and the half-time whistle couldn’t come quickly enough. As well as Rafa’s inspirational half-time pep talk the Liverpool players were also lifted by the sound of the club’s phenomenal followers. The comeback of all comebacks began in the 54th minute. Riise crossed from the left and Gerrard glanced a header past Dida to lift Liverpool’s flagging spirits. Liverpool’s first goal may, at the time, have seemed nothing but a mere consolation but when Vladimir Smicer, on as a substitute for the injured Harry Kewell, added a second hope sprang eternal. With the Milan defence visibly rocking Liverpool continued to lay siege to their goal and the all-important equaliser duly came when Xabi Alonso converted on the rebound after Dida had saved his spot-kick. The tension heightened as the penalty shoot-out commenced but just like in Rome 21 years before the Reds held their nerve to triumph. Dudek’s final save from Shevchenko sparked delirious scenes on and off the pitch. Liverpool were Kings of Europe once again. (x)

THE MIRACLE OF ISTANBUL - “The English club proved that miracles really do exist. I’ve now made Liverpool my English team. They showed that football is the most beautiful sport of all. You knew they could defend but the team showed they could play too and wrote a page in the history books. The match will last forever. The Liverpool supporters didn’t let me go to sleep the night before. There were 10 of them to every three Milan supporters. They showed their unconditional support at half-time when they were losing 3-0 and still they didn’t stop singing.” - Diego Maradona


“Still limping a little bit…goes in again, makes another challenge and, again, throwing himself on the ball…gives it one hundred percent even though you can tell by his face he must be in great pain.” - commentator during the 2005 Champions League final against A.C. Milan

“What some people don’t appreciate with Carra is he puts his body on the line. Week in, week out, he will push through the pain barrier for himself and the club.” - Steven Gerrard