Istanbul 2005 – A day no Liverpool fan will forget. 8 years on and the memory is still as bright as day when Liverpool overturned a 3-0 deficit to win the European Cup for 5th time – against mighty A.C. Milan of all teams – who were at that time, regarded as probably the best team in the world boasting the likes of Maldini, Gattuso, Kaka and Pirlo. Probably one of the greatest games ever played.
Didi Hamann was instrumental in the turnaround with a magnificent display in the heart of the Liverpool midfield – with a broken toe no less. The stuff of legend – and thanks to Courts Singapore, I had the honour of meeting Didi and moderating a Facebook chat organised by them.
As you would expect the questions probed into what went on behind the scenes in the 2005 Final, Steven Gerard and his current form as well as Didi’s take on the current squad:
Do you own a car from Hamann Motor?
No… i didn’t know they existed
What is the one thing you miss most about top flight football?
Not much… I enjoyed every second when I played but these days I rather watch than play.
Of the 8 goals you scored for LFC, which is the most memorable?
The most memorable is the one against Portsmouth at Anfield in the 2003/04 season.JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI0ODAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzNjAlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjIlMkYlMkZ3d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20lMkZlbWJlZCUyRjRWRV9zdXdmeW5vJTNGcmVsJTNEMCUyMiUyMGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyJTNEJTIyMCUyMiUyMGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==JTNDaWZyYW1lJTIwd2lkdGglM0QlMjI2NDAlMjIlMjBoZWlnaHQlM0QlMjIzNjAlMjIlMjBzcmMlM0QlMjIlMkYlMkZ3d3cueW91dHViZS5jb20lMkZlbWJlZCUyRnRvLVgyUE5EV0JFJTNGcmVsJTNEMCUyMiUyMGZyYW1lYm9yZGVyJTNEJTIyMCUyMiUyMGFsbG93ZnVsbHNjcmVlbiUzRSUzQyUyRmlmcmFtZSUzRQ==
On the Champions League Final 2005 – Istanbul:
What went through your mind when Lfc was losing 3-0 to Milan? Did you really think that LFC Still had a chance during the half-time break?
I thought we lost the game…but after we scored the first goal I started believing we could turn it around.
Didi, what was up on your mind when you were being subbed in at 45mins during the Champions League final in 2005? what was Rafa’s instruction to you then?
The plan was to play Steven Gerrard (SG) futher forward as we needed 3 goals and he was the most likely player to get us back into the game. I was only in the dressing room for 2 mins when Rafa told us about the change and I was on my way out to get warmed up.
On Steven Gerrard (SG):
How was it like playing alongside Steven Gerrard? Did you have to adapt your play style when you played with him for Liverpool?
It was great to play alongside Gerrard as he was one of the most influential players of his time…. we complemented each other and the more freedom you give SG going forward the more dangerous he is.
Other than Set Pieces, Do you feel Steven Gerrard is still contributing enough for LFC to be in the first team? Or is it time to gradually replace him?
Yes!… I think he’s doing well… I would like to see him play a bit further forward… but we obviously have to look at players to replace him as he may only have 2-3 years left with LFC.
On Liverpool Football Club (LFC):
What would you pinpoint as the main reason that’s led to Liverpool’s decline in the past 4 seasons? Do you feel that the current management team is rectifying the problems?
There were some bad decisions in the transfer market which Brendan Rodgers has rectified now… we’re moving in the right direction again.. the future’s bright.
How do you feel about the current Liverpool squad?
I think they’re doing very well and got themselves into position to challenge for the top 4… still a long way to go but i’m very hopeful that we’ll see LFC in the Champions League next season.
There’s lots of talk about SaS (Suarez and Sturridge)… In your opinion which is the best strike partnership for LFC in recent years and also the league right now?
The best strike partnership I played with at LFC was Heskey and Owen… right now I think Sturridge and Suarez are the best strikeforce in the EPL.
Which teams do you think can finish the top 3 in the Premier League for this season?
Manchester City, Arsenal and hopefully the Mighty Reds!A true Legend AND a great guy as well. After the Facebook chat Didi went down to meet, and sign memorabilia, for fans that came down to see him.
Wish you all the best of luck Didi and Thank You Courts for bringing in a trueRED LEGEND… you certainly made it a special day for all the fans… including me.