4 Oct 2011

HAMANN on Istanbul: "It was crazy at the time because we couldn't believe what had happened..."

The indisputable turning point in the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan was the half-time introduction of Dietmar Hamann, who freed up Steven Gerrard to play further up the field. Winning the game was an amazing achievement, but Hamann has now revealed that, at the time, he did not believe the Liverpool had any chance of getting anything out of the game.

In a recent interview, Hamann reflected:

"I didn't believe we could turn it round. I thought that if we got one, we could probably get another one. If it's 3-2 and there's 2 minutes to go or 20 minutes to go, it's game on, but I didn't expect us to win that game, and I certainly didn't expect to come back within 6 minutes.

"I think we scored the first one after 54 minutes, and by the time I looked up and we equalised it was only 60 minutes. It was just a bit crazy at the time because we couldn't believe what had happened, and obviously how to approach the rest of the game; are you going for a 4th one? And if you go for one and concede, are you going to be able to come back again?

"I thought at the time, if we concede one now we're dead, because I couldn't see us coming back. We came back from three down but psychologically, it would've been a major blow if they scored again, so my approach was to be a little bit more cautious, and make sure not to concede.

"Once it went to penalties, I just thought, if we don't beat them now, we're never going to beat them because after everything that had happened, we should've been on the coach home already.

"We had the momentum; we were in the driving seat really, and Serginho missing the first penalty helped, and the rest is history".

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. We win the CL in 2005 by qualifing for it in 2004 but fail to qualify for the competion by finishing 5th in 2006 and get given grace by the EPL. We then get knocked out as Champions in the second round in 2006 being beaten home and away. 2007 we get beaten in normal time of the 2007 final by the team we had to beat in 2005 on penalties. 2008 we get knocked out in the semi final. 2009 we get knocked out in the quarter final. 2010 we were unable to get passed the group stage.

    From Champions to
    2nd round out.
    Final out.
    Semi final out.
    Quarter final out.
    Group stage out.

    You would expect the above to start from the bottom and work it's way up instead of from the top being Champions and 6 years later being unable to get passed the group stage...

    My question is...

    How do you win the CL with a team inherited by the previous manager (which has been claimed to be inferior after it was overhauled) but fail to win it with a squad that was built around Carra and Gerrard who are the only remaining players from the Houllier era. This is not taking a swipe at anybody. I do think I am raising a valid question.  

  2. That's football mate! Crazy, unpredictable things happen, especially in knock-out competitions - just like coming back from 3-0 down to AC Milan within a 6 minute period and Dudek saving from point-blank range. Or Greece winning the European Cup if you want a more boring but equally perplexing example. 

    The team was stronger post-Houllier, absolutely no doubt about it, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're guaranteed to win the European Cup - just ask Chelski about that. 

    Don't forget though, during the period you refer to Liverpool became the number one club in Europe, and which speaks volumes about our consistent strong performance compared to other top clubs. 

  3. I agree with Red 4 Life. However, in 2008/2009 we had fixture congestion and matches against all the top 4 teams coming back to back. We hammered Real Home and Away beat Arsenal 4-2, and were undone because Chelsea outscored us in the home leg. We did the double over both Manchester United and Chelsea that year and 2nd in the league we should have won and by far we were the better team. Having said that the crisis the club were in plus appointment of Roy Hodgson and little investment had cost us dearly. Now we're rebuilding and before long will again be genuine ECL contenders YNWA

  4. Chelsea has nothing to do with my post, how many times have we won the league since Dalglish left compared to other teams?

    What made the team stronger than Houlliers if it was able to win the CL and Houlliers players were still many when we won the FA cup too so what makes Rafa's squad better after getting rid of all Houlliers players bar Stevie and Carra and then going on to win nothing 4 seasons down the line? If Rafa's squad was better then it should have one something called trophies. There is rocket science needed.

  5. i see john aldrich has taken to calling kenny dagish "the manager" in his weekly column, me thinks they dont get on, perhaps john saying kenny was not the man for the liverpool job (pre his appointment) might be at the root of it. or the long memory of being sold too early.

  6. John, I commend you for saying that we should have won the EPL in 08/09, sadly we did not. I still cannot get over how we managed to lose it to UTD?

    You are totally correct in saying that we are rebuilding. It is only a matter of time before we turn the corner and return to our past glory built by Shankly, Paisley, Fagan and now for the second time Dalglish. :)

  7. Aldridge used the term "manager" in his weekly column when Kenny returned  and said that Dalglish was our only way forward so I doubt there is any love lost between the two.