“Miracles are Possible”. Words which echo even today from the Champions League victory in Istanbul, 2005, not only in the hearts of Liverpudlians but football fans all around the world.
However, it wasn’t just any miracle but one that was driven out of the game spirit, the devotion and dedication towards the club, the sportsmanship to make those 90 minutes with your team count for life, the emotion behind YNWA anthem that bound the club and its fans, the pride we took in those magnificent wings of the Liverbird that lead us to a flaring victory that night.
Brendan Rodgers first win, 1-0, as Liverpool manager against FC Gomel in August 2012 Europa League and a home win against the same in the second leg had ignited in the team a fire to create miracles again. But our hopes were gradually defeated when this fire turned into cold blue flares with regular losses. After a few defeats, Rodgers stubbornness to prove his game plan right only worsened. While Sturridge’s skills could have been encouraged, Balotelli was struggling to be productive. Raheem Sterling was being encouraged under the wrong impression, and we know the rest. Mignolet, Sakho, Lallana, Can were some of Rodgers very own best signed deals and yet barely gave an up to the mark performance which they are otherwise portraying under Jurgen Klopp. A loss of chance at one league, got our hopes tied to another until the final whistle was off with a 4-5 penalty loss to Besiktas in the Europa League round of 32 last year in February. Every Liverpool fan, player and critics questioned our position.
It was the time to remind ourselves that miracles didn’t just happen, they were to be created. And so we did, gradually, in those small moments which make up for the big ones.
Despite all the odds, the one thing that I have learnt about Liverpool is that we have always risen. Need I remind Istanbul? Even with Raheem Sterling’s dropout, the team’s powerful performance explicitly expressed that we weren’t a one man show but combined talents. And not to forget the most talked about comeback in the 4-3 victory against Borussia Dortmund on April 14th leading Liverpool FC to yesterday’s Europa League finals.
The final ended in a painful loss, yes. But it has been the ride of a kind. Rising from the discouraging and tiresome performance in 2015 in round of 32 to playing for a much deserved victory in the finals speaks for the potential that lies in our Redmen. One might dismiss such details at this moment but comparatively maximum possession, more shots and shots on target than last year’s stats go on to show our skillful passion. Confidence and consistency which was lost in the last 2 seasons has been and has to be furthermore regained and this we must learn through the painful defeat this evening. The spirit of 2005 has to be brought back in the rightful meaning of miracle which LFC is known to create with amazing comebacks.
On the night in Istanbul we found clarity in our purposes which brought LFC together to share pints of victory; the defeat in Basel brought us together yet again to share the tears, the lessons and it’s only a matter of time until We Go Again. So in victory and in defeat, YNWA Redmen!