Rome Sweet Rome – Liverpool Triumph on Familiar Ground as Kiev Calls6 min read
Outside Rome’s Stadio Olimpico police marched out fans in military precision as the clock edged past midnight. A young boy held his father’s hand tightly, eyes glazed in disbelief. All around them jubilation spilled into the air.
A cacophony, a symphony, a stream of passion erupting into the Italian night. A blur of red trailing back towards the Eternal City, all thoughts turning to Ukraine.
It’s been a over a decade. A decade of uncertainty, a decade of disillusion, a decade of dreaming, but never quite believing. When would this moment – when would these days return?
It’s time to wake up for Liverpool Football Club. The sleeping giant of European football, almost lost to the history books forever.
They came, they saw, and they conquered… on aggregate. Rome has fallen and Jurgen Klopp’s men are Champions League finalists of 2018.
There is much to be done, and the man at the helm knows this more so than all others.
Already in his short tenure on Merseyside has he taken the club to a European final, guiding his side to Basel where hearts would be broken in the cruelest of ways. Sevilla snatched the Europa League from the Reds’ grasp that day at St Jakob Park, with many thinking they would not recover.
Klopp has never lifted the famous big-eared trophy. Never seen his trademark, charismatic grin reflect back into his eyes from the gleam of polished silver.
Dortmund’s Wembley heartache against Bayern Munich in 2013 left Klopp unable to watch the match back, so sore is the wound. He’s never revisited the footage since, either.
European football however is in the very DNA of Liverpool Football Club. They’ve excelled in the tournament again and again.
From Paris down to Turkey, Kopites boom, We’ve won the f***ing lot. They’re not wrong.
The odds don’t lie and now the figures are tumbling in favour of Klopp’s tribe. Liverpool currently stand at for a sixth time.
Something has been seemingly pulling the Reds to Eastern Europe for months, across the Black Sea to the ‘Mother of Rus.’ A magnetic force lurching Klopp’s side through round after round with relentless intensity.
Standing in their way however, the polished veterans of Real Madrid, priced at and achieve the quite remarkable feat of four Champions League titles in five years.
Many common traits are shared between both decorated clubs yet one thing stands out more than most others this season – a ferocious appetite for scoring goals.
Klopp’s men always appear to outscore as a mechanism for coping with the inevitable moment of conceding a goal, though a popular scoreline this season of 3-1 for the Reds is currently priced at the enticing odds of . Likewise, as is a five goal thriller with Liverpool taking victory with a 3-2 final score.
Moments in Rome showed flashes of the Reds’ fragility on the big stage, perhaps wrought with nerves at being so close to the ultimate goal. Should Madrid offer a similar fright in Kiev, a 3-0 whitewash in favour of Zinedine Zidane’s side currently stands at , offering potential hearty profits for the bold.
As the travelling Kop remained penned inside the national stadium way beyond the final whistle, Klopp led his team back out to personally get the party started. From doubters to believers was his mantra upon arriving at Anfield – a blueprint which is now truly coming to fruition.
From starting the campaign with an outside chance of making the last eight, Liverpool now stand incredibly at to triumph in the final within 90 minutes.
With just over three weeks until the Kiev showdown, the preparation, nail biting and sleepless nights start now.
As the last of the supporters left the famous stadium of Rome in the early hours of Thursday morning, the last of the remaining bunch carefully rolled up a flag which had spent the evening adorning one side of the Distinti Ospiti away stand, looming over the pitch.
Upon its red fabric, hand stitched silhouettes of the European cup and the names and dates of the iconic victories of Liverpool’s illustrious past.
Six in total, the final one left bare – an investment of hopes and dreams. Kiev could soon become another city immortalised in the storied history of Liverpool Football Club.