Boom! Thank you Jurgen for sprinkling gold dust on this team

It’s no exaggeration to say that Liverpool’s latest Champions League win was one of my lifetime highlights. Granted the game itself was not much of a spectacle. A goal at the start and finish saw to that. But who cares about details? A final is a final and winning is all that matters on the day.


Liverpool have played with great flair, spirit and character for much of the season. So they didn’t in one game. Big deal.

A number of Spurs-supporting friends questioned the early penalty decision. The laws of the game state that a penalty can be awarded when “the hand/arm has made their body unnaturally bigger”. It may not have been the most clear-cut penalty in the history of world football, but both the referee and VAR were in agreement. And the rest is history.

The three-week break did not help either team. Both struggled for rhythm and momentum, and in the end Liverpool’s game-management was key.

I’d virtually given up hope of finding match tickets after weeks of searching. But it was worth all the blood, sweat and tears in the end.

Madrid was awash with red, white and blue. The mood in the city was one of excitement in the respective fan parks, and it was fabulous to see supporters from both teams united for what was a special occasion from start to finish.

All around me, Liverpool fans were consoling their counterparts from Spurs, who were quick to offer a congratulatory handshake. There was no bad blood, just mutual respect. It was refreshing to see.

This was the first Champions League final I’ve attended, and it was a proud occasion to have my 13-year-old son alongside me for what has been an epic journey. A journey that has seen rival fans around the country wanting Liverpool to lose.

From Manchester United to Everton, they rejoiced when Manchester City pipped Liverpool to the title. But there was no hiding place after Divock Origi cemented Liverpool’s sixth European Cup triumph. I’ve been inundated with congratulatory messages from supporters of Arsenal, Chelsea and West Ham, a couple of whom had threatened to emigrate if Spurs had won the final.

But it wasn’t such a memorable occasion for all. Maccabi League referee Neal Cohen had a nightmare journey. He was one of the unfortunate people on the Stansted flight that got cancelled after the plane heading into England to pick him up was hit by a bird. I assume it wasn’t a Liverbird!

All joking aside, it was a cruel twist of fate that a planeload of Spurs fans missed out on all the pre-match build-up and arrived 15 minutes into the game, with their team already trailing. A full refund is scant consolation for only getting to see part of Tottenham’s first Champions League final.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been something of a cult hero since the day he walked through the door at  Anfield. He has been a father figure to the younger players in the squad and this was a victory for him as much as it was for the team. It was a privilege to see him break his cup final hoodoo first-hand and he deserves all the congratulations he gets.

He has transformed his Reds from the nearly men into one of the most feared sides in Europe and claim the biggest prize. And it has only taken him four years to do it. It has been quite some journey so far.

I’m glad the season is finally over as it’s taken its toll mentally, physically and emotionally, not only for the players but us supporters too.

My wife often jokes that “the football season never finishes”. But it has for me. I’ve told her she can have the remote control until August 10, when the Premier League season resumes. Just as long as I don’t catch her watching Love Island!

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