West Ham United captain Declan Rice says he wishes he’d been in Istanbul to see Liverpool win the Champions League in 2005.
It’s now over 17 years since the Reds completed one of the most memorable comebacks in football history. But despite the length of time that has passed, it’s still making its presence felt.
That much is evident from Rice’s comments today. During an interview with the England YouTube show The Lions Den, the 23-year-old was asked which game he wished he’d been in the crowd for. His answer may surprise, and delight Liverpool fans.
“I know straight away. My dad was already there but I’d have loved to have gone and watched,” said Rice. “Istanbul. Liverpool. Champions League final. Imagine being a fan in that situation. Incredible. I’d definitely have gone to that.”
“That one would have been unbelievable,” agreed Manchester City’s Jack Grealish.
Yet to turn seven at the time of the game, it obviously made an impression on the young man. Liverpool will do that.
This was a totally unexpected answer from Rice, but perhaps it shouldn’t have been. As a very young boy at the time, he was likely enthralled by the performances of Steven Gerrard.
As Gerrard hauled his team back into the biggest game in club football, how could you not be impressed?
Even for someone with strong Chelsea connections, the display of the Liverpool captain that night was something special. We’re not sure what Rice’s dad was doing there, but perhaps that will become clear at some stage.
And for the fans, what a journey. There are many tales of just how epic the trek to the Ataturk Stadium was from the centre of Istanbul that night.
Those tales have turned into legend for those who were lucky enough to be there. No doubt his father has regaled him of his own night in the Turkish capital
So, maybe Rice to Liverpool, then? Why, not? It would certainly make sense given the Reds current midfield troubles and the player obviously is intrigued at the very least. Let’s see.
For now though, we’re off to watch back the highlights from Istanbul for the millionth time. What a night
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