Liverpool win the greatest final

It’s six years since Liverpool clinched their tinpot Treble. What do you remember about their nine-goal Uefa Cup final slugfest with Alaves?

Well said Barry.

I remember the night and run up to the final well. I was living in Vitoria – Gasteiz (home of Alaves) and still do actually. I’m a Newcastle man myself but got caught up in it all because I lived in the City and because of my Scouse mate Arabian Jon who I had shared many Liverpool – Toon 4:3 ers.

Alaves were brilliant in the run up to the final and demolished some sound teams by rugby scores. The city went mental. The local press and radio got jittery and started jabbering about ‘ingleesh hooligans’ ‘Heysel’ etc. I couldn’t have that so I got myself interviewed on the local radio. I became a Geordie Michael Robinson in the week before the match.

I was invited to be an ‘expert summeriser’ on the night of the match – only problem was I had to work. I turned up at work, the city was silent and my class was full. ‘Ok kids – who wants an English class and who wants to see El Glorioso beat Liverpool?’ The class emptied in 30 seconds.

Commentating on the match was a hoot. The presenter was predicting 5 nil off microphone after Liverpool’s start. At half time we had to say what was the way back for Alaves. I suggested changing shirts and that Alaves should play ‘Liverpool the team – not the legend.’ (Too much respect)

When Jordi popped in the 4th for Alaves you could hear my one bit of English that night ‘f%ckin ‘ell Cruyff’s scored!’

The end was cruel and broke 200,000 hearts in Vitoria. One of my mates told me that the atmosphere at the match was incredible. He cried with pride along with thousands of others not when Alaves lost but when they ran out onto the pitch at the start. Little Alaves who had recently come up from Segunda B and to where we are unfortunately returning this year. But that night – ‘GLORIOSO’ indeed.

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My memories are not so beautifullly written in history (Geordie John mate, it must be you Ljepo, kako ste?), as I only managed to watch this final with a(nother) Geordie fan and his 65 yr old dad, and had to apologise constantly for rending the air with expletives of various hues during and after the game. All this after Jordi Cruff had claimed Liverpool were boring, and predicted something along the lines of ‘if Liverpool play defensively, we’ll do even moreso, and it’ll be one of the most boring finals ever’. Is he in manangement yet?

Funny, isn’t it though, how there’s all this hype building up to the FA Cup Final in the GU, yet when it’s one of three trophies won (let’s not make a fuss about the European Super Cup or the Charity Shield – something of a marketing ploy by Ged Houllier I think) in a season it becomes ‘tinpot’. Liverpool have never really been credited properly with the achievement. I don’t think any Liverpool supporter ever said it’s as good as a treble that includes The Title or the Big Cup, but fans of pretty much any club would consider winning even the League Cup a joy, let alone the FA or UEFA. Two cups in a season – something of a rarity, non? Why constantly try and diminish it by calling it ‘tinpot’?

I think Alaves deserve all the credit going for making a fantastic match of it – try asking them if the UEFA was thought to be tinpot – and their fans for being generous in defeat afterwards. Beats all the whinging on the first part of the blog, for sure.

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Thanks ljepo for your post. It brought balk all the pain and memories. As a Vitoriano and alavesista I will never forget that game. It was like a fairytale; only with a sad, cruel, tragic twist at the end.
And yet those football players made 200,000 souls feel very proud that night; and sometimes, just sometimes, that is almost as important as winning.

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