Today is the nine year anniversary of Liverpool FC’s triumphant come from behind victory against the heavily stacked Italian side AC Milan. On May 25th, 2005, ‘in Istanbul… we won it 5 times.’
Do you remember where you were that day? Were you at the pub? Were you following the updates online? Were you watching at home? I was at work, so I had to record the match. All I had to do was avoid all news websites, social media and texts and phone calls from my friends, in order to watch the Champions League final on tape delay. The results were already in the books by the time I got home and pressed play. I remember that day so vividly, I can retell the story like a DVR.
The game had not even reached the first minute when only 52 seconds in, Paolo Maldini netted the fastest goal ever scored in a UEFA Champions League Final. Two more shots to the heart landed via Hernan Crespo. LFC was down 0-3. Rafa Benitez and our lads dug down deep. I can still see our talismanic Steven Gerrard pretty much will the ball into the goal in the 54th.
Vladimir Smicer gave us hope by scoring two minutes later. We knew we were witnessing magic when in the 60th minute, Xabi Alonso hit the equalizer with a rebound shot after Dida saved the shot from the penalty spot. Liverpool in the span of six minutes, Liverpool was level. We had stunned not only Carlos Ancelotti and AC Milan, but the world. They played the remaining 30 minutes and stoppage time. They played to the 120th minute in a goalless extra time battle.
The energy watching this match was unworldly. I was sitting on the edge of my couch with complete tunnel vision. This was amazing. Momentum was on our side. Destiny was in our corner. The penalty shootout was next. There was a part of me that was still uneasy leading up to the shoot out, but I could not place my finger on it.
In 2005, I had received my first DVR. I had the foresight to add a little bit of extra time to the DVR, in the event that match went to extra time. I was glad I did. Dida versus Jerzy Dudek, this was going to be epic. Just as the penalty shootout was about to start, my DVR stopped playing the match, and the screen froze. The recording was over. The ‘Would you like to save or erase’ menu popped up.
I screamed bloody murder at the top off my lungs.
I had given ample room on the DVR to watch AC Milan and Liverpool battle the 120+ minutes on the pitch. What I did not take into consideration was the possibility of penalties. Since this was 2005, ESPN and FSC were not replaying the match highlights at the time I got back from work. I had to call my friend to describe what happened. After he stopped laughing at me, his description of the shootout sent chills through my spine. I could still vicariously feel the energy of the match as he described Dudek’s heroics. I have never made the mistake of allowing DVR space for extra time, penalties and post game match reports.
Now I know (…and knowing is have the battle. G.I. Joe!). One thing we all know, is we became champions of Europe that day. So where were you on May 25th, 2005? Feel free to share your stories with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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