As the UEFA Champions League gets to the semi-final stage, a question about the most successful English club in the competition has come to the fore. Four clubs from England were in the current edition at the beginning.
They are Chelsea as the English Premiership winners for last season, Tottenham Hotspur the second placed side and Manchester City as the second runners-up. Manchester United qualified as Europa League winners while Liverpool which entered through play-off, has been the last England club standing.
As the Reds return to action this week for the semi-final clash with AS Roma, the club will be aiming for its sixth European title and the first silverware under Jurgen Klopp.
Former Liverpool player and one of the heroes of the club’s famous 2005 European triumph Luis Garcia is quoted by 90 min as remarking that victory in the competition this year would confirm Liverpool as England’s most successful ever club – ahead of rivals Manchester United.
Luis Garcia a member of the 2005 UEFA Champions League winning side, Liverpool.
“If Liverpool win the Champions League this season then it ends the argument about who are the most successful club in England,” Garcia declared, as quoted by the Mirror.
“What is the toughest and most important competition in the world to win? It’s the Champions League. And there’s a big difference between Liverpool and United at European level.”
“It is 5-3 to Liverpool now. If it becomes 6-3 then that means Liverpool will have double the success that United have had.
“Ask any player what matters most, between the Champions League and a domestic title, and they will tell you that winning in Europe comes first.”
Garcia was part of the team that pulled off the miracle of Istanbul, when Liverpool came back from three goals down to win on penalties against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final.
The ‘Miracle of Istanbul as Liverpool came from 0-3 down to beat AC Milan on penalties after an eventual 3-3 draw in the 2005 UEFA Champions League final match.
The Spaniard scored the famous ‘ghost goal’ against Chelsea en route to the final. Garcia’s goal, which he will insist did indeed cross the line, controversially confirmed Liverpool’s place in the final instead of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea.
Few expected Liverpool to win the Champions League that year, and Garcia sees a lot similarities between Liverpool’s current squad and the underdogs of 2005.
“No one expected the Liverpool team I played for to win the Champions League – and it was the same this season. We were very close to going out in the group, beating Olympiakos in a huge game to go through.
“And when we got past Bayer Leverkusen and Juventus, it was expected that Chelsea would beat us. Then the final against AC Milan…
“Liverpool have grown in a similar way under Jurgen Klopp. No one thought they would beat City, but winning 5-1 on aggregate was a huge achievement.
“Maybe they will be favourites to get past Roma, but in the final everyone will expect a win for Real Madrid or Bayern Munich. I think we proved in 2005 that you can’t predict what will happen.”