Our former right-back Steve Finnan reckons that his role in our Champions League final victory over AC Milan in 2005 was key…
The Irishman started at right-back, but was hauled off at half-time for Didi Hamman after he picked up an injury. As we all know, the German added much needed steel and discipline to the side, and was vitally important to us pulling back the three goal deficit.
“I always say I changed the game that night,” Finnan joked, reported in the Daily Mail.
“If I hadn’t have got injured, we wouldn’t have won the European Cup. That injury I got was the best thing that ever happened to Liverpool.’
“At the time I wasn’t happy but it was the right decision. With me coming off, Rafa changed the system. Didi was so important to the comeback that followed.
“I was having treatment so I missed all three of our goals,” he recalled.
“But I knew what was happening. I could tell from the roars. I knew it was us scoring because the noise was so great.
“It was surreal. By the time I got back out to watch it was 3-3.”
It’s probably pretty hard to argue with Finnan’s assessment! He was shoddy in the first-half, but thankfully his teammates made up for his and their poor 45 minutes in spectacular fashion – eventually cementing the greatest night in the history of our football club.
Finnan left in 2008, playing for Espanyol and then Portsmouth, before retiring in 2010. He racked up 217 total appearances for Liverpool, collecting the Champions League in 2005 and the FA Cup in 2006.
Glen Johnson replaced Finnan, but has arguably never been as defensively solid as the less glamorous right-back, who only scored one goal during his five year stint on Merseyside.