Football

Steven Gerrard shined on the big stage.

Steven Gerrard reveals what Rafa Benitez said in 2005 Champions League final

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Steven Gerrard certainly produced for Liverpool on the biggest stages.

The FA Cup finals of 2003 and 2006, in which he scored in both games, immediately spring to mind when recalling Gerrard’s finest moments in England’s fabled competition.

And who can forget his screamer against Olympiakos en route to Liverpool’s Champions League success in 2005?

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His greatest moment in a Liverpool shirt arrived five months after that goal.

Trailing 3-0 to AC Milan in the Champions League final, Rafa Benitez led a half-time team talk that inspired one of the greatest comebacks in history.

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And, speaking to the Telegraph, Gerrard has revealed the Spaniard’s final message before sending his team back out.

Gerrard added that he heard similar pep talks from Gerard Houllier and Kenny Dalglish.

The 35-year-old said: “Whether it was Houllier in my first League Cup final in 2001, Benitez in the 2005 Champions League or Kenny when I lifted my last trophy as Liverpool captain three years ago, that final message was the same: 'Do not come back into the dressing room with any regrets, boys.'"

Liverpool's England's captain and midfie

The game under Dalglish that Gerrard is referring to is the 2012 League Cup final (so it was actually four years ago). The Reds trailed 1-0 at half-time and Gerrard was on course to be the villain of the piece after missing his penalty in the shootout but his cousin, Anthony, missed the deciding penalty as Liverpool overcame a resilient Cardiff side.

Winning mentality

Gerrard will watch his former team take on Manchester City in the Capital One Cup final on Sunday and spoke about the importance of winning trophies.

He added: “I would say the same as captain. We were only interested in that cup. Getting to the final is no stepping stone to success. Only lifting it is.

“This is what separates those who go to Wembley savour the atmosphere and enjoy the day out from those you define as ‘winners’.

“Managers and players who regularly win trophies don’t look forward to these matches because of the venue, the sense of history or the ceremonies surrounding the event.

Liverpool manager Raphael Benitez (R) an

“They relish them because there is a trophy to win. That is all it is about. Winning.

“If you hear anyone talking about what a great achievement it is just to get that far, you are already halfway home with a loser’s medal.”

X factor

With that attitude, it’s a surprise Gerrard didn’t win every one of the cup finals he played it. Who wouldn’t perform well after hearing that kind of team talk?

The 35-year-old thinks the X factor of one man will give Liverpool the advantage this weekend.

He continued: “I believe they will do it. They have an extra element which will make a massive different: Jurgen Klopp.”

Will Liverpool beat City on Sunday? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Topics:
Luis Suarez
Premier League
Liverpool
Fernando Torres
Football
Steven Gerrard
AC Milan

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