In a recent in-depth interview with the Liverpool FC website, former Reds stars Xabi Alonso and Pepe Reina have shed some light on their much-anticipated return to their former club on Sunday.
Given their successful spell Liverpool, the two players are guaranteed to receive a warm, fond and welcoming homecoming from the Anfield faithful when they take part this weekend's star-studded encounter destined to raise money for crucial causes on Merseyside .
Both players have, on numerous occasions, spoken about their eternal respect for the club and the generosity afforded to them by the city and its fans and it would seem that they are relishing the prospect of being reunited with the Kopites in Liverpool FC's Foundation charity match.
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"For five years I haven't had the chance to go back there," Alonso said.
"I spent five great years there and have great memories of those years. We had wonderful nights at Anfield."
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"Of course it's going to be a special game for us and Stevie, and it's for a great cause. It has all of the ingredients to be special for everyone"
Indeed, the Spanish playmaker formed a fine partnership alongside Steven Gerrard with the two men instrumental in the Reds' famous "Miracle In Istanbul" 2005 Champions League victory over AC Milan.
Although the midfielder sealed a move away to Real Madrid in 2009, Kopites have always maintained respect and love for the Spaniard who proved so instrumental to the club's success during his five season spell.
Another man who will be gracing the Anfield turf on Sunday and who was equally important to Liverpool's success is Pepe Reina. Like Alonso, the shot-stopper has spoken of his excitement at the prospect of returning to his former club.
"I'm very much looking forward to it. It's a great opportunity to say 'goodbye' but also 'hello' back," Reina said.
"It's going to be a great atmosphere and a great match between friendly faces. It's going to be a great day"
Reunited with the Kopites
Alonso and Reina played a combined 604 games for Liverpool and, hence, enjoyed a great relationship with the club's fans and the two men are, despite their moves abroad, considered Liverpool "greats" and firm favourites with supporters.
Asked about their reunion with the Anfield faithful, Alonso replied: "Of course I'm really looking forward to it because Anfield is a special stadium.
"The fans make it special and because of that Pepe, myself and all of the former players want to go back there and feel those special feelings again because it's something different."
These feelings were echoed by compatriot Reina who said: "It's always a pleasure. Just to hear 'You'll Never Walk Alone' is one emotion, to defend in front of the Kop is another emotion, and to play in front of Anfield in front of them - because of how respectful they have been for me and my family during my time there - is a wonderful and enormous honour for me"
For those of you who haven't been lucky enough to secure tickets for the all-star charity game, rest assured it will be aired on LFCTV HD in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and on LFCTV GO worldwide.
Liverpool fans: do you wish the club still had Xabi Alonso in midfield?
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