May 25, 2005, will always be a special day for Liverpool fans.
For all the silverware the club has won throughout their decorated history, that night in Istanbul takes some beating and the image of Steven Gerrard lifting the Champions League trophy is simply iconic.
Every Kopite knows the narrative, the inspired comeback from 3-0 down after goals from Paolo Maldini and Hernan Crespo (2) looked to have buried the Reds’ dreams.
However, there must have been a magic in the air at half-time, as Liverpool emerged a different team in the second-half with Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso levelling the scores.
Liverpool would go onto win virtue of a penalty shootout, collecting their fifth European cup in the process and sparking wild celebrations.
GERRARD HAD PRIVATE SPEECH WITH PLAYERS
For obvious reasons, that 15 minutes between half-time break and what transpired in the dressing room has always been of huge interest to Liverpool fans.
Snippets of Rafael Benitez’s instructions have been made public and Djibril Cisse delivered some brilliant insight on Gerrard back in 2017.
The French striker revealed previously unknown information that Gerrard had requested that he was left alone with the players and delivered a remarkable speech.
CISSE REVEALS EXACTLY WHAT GERRARD SAID
Cisse touched on the contents of the speech last year but now, in an interview with RMC Sport, he has revealed even more of Gerrard’s message.
Let’s just say it’s not difficult to imagine why the Liverpool players left the dressing room so inspired and motivated after hearing this.
“Stevie gets up and says that Liverpool is all he has, it is his club, all he has ever known and he does not want to be the laughing stock of the history of the Champions’ League,” Cisse recounted
“He says that if we respect him and love him as a captain, then we need to dust ourselves off and get back in the match. He scores the first goal, he gets the penalty. He has an extraordinary second half, finishing the game as a right-back.
“He has a crazy match – but that half-time speech will remain imprinted in my mind forever.”
You can just imagine how stirring that speech must have been.
Gerrard will rightfully go down as one of the greatest players in Liverpool and his unbelievable connection to the club – as shown in his speech – will always be a massive part of that.
There’s every reason to conclude that Gerrard helped transform that night in Istanbul from a nightmare into a dream both on and off the pitch.
The speech will remain imprinted in Cisse’s head forever and the result will never leave the minds of Liverpool fans.