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Happy Istanbul Day

Nine years ago today, Liverpool won their fifth European Cup in the best final the competition's ever seen.

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Yesterday's Champions League final between Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid was an excellent one, full of storylines and drama and late equalizers and hair gel. So much hair gel. Three goals in the second half of extra time for Real created more distance than there actually was in the match, but in the end Real ran out deserved winners for La Decima. Celebrate or feel nauseated depending at your own discretion.

Exciting as it was, it was still no match for that final nine years ago in Istanbul. There's been some good ones, but few can match Liverpool's second-half fightback against an incredible AC Milan side. Watch, and remember the words of Djimi Traore, who--for as much unending (and mostly deserved) criticism as he gets--captured the turning point wonderfully.


"When we got into the dressing room we just said 'It's over,' but the manager found the right words and gave us back our confidence. The first thing Rafa said was 'Don't let your heads drop. All the players who will get on the pitch after half-time have to keep their heads held high. We are Liverpool, you are playing for Liverpool. Do not forget that. You have to hold your heads high for the supporters. You have to do it for them. You cannot call yourselves Liverpool players if you have your heads down. If we create a few chances we have the possibility of getting back into this. Believe you can do it and we will. Give yourselves the chance to be heroes'."

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