Football

Dries Mertens mocked the 'This is Anfield' sign before Liverpool v Napoli.

Dries Mertens mocks the 'this is Anfield' sign - Liverpool won 4-0 the last time it was ridiculed

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Liverpool know nothing but a win against Napoli on Tuesday night will see them progress to the last 16 of the Champions League.

Jurgen Klopp's men will be fired up knowing their hopes of reaching a second consecutive Champions League final are hanging in the balance.

And they'll have even more motivation after Dries Mertens made some controversial comments before the tie.

The 'This is Anfield' sign in the tunnel is a big part of Liverpool's history, but Mertens mocked it in an interview ahead of the game.

Recalling the last time he played at Anfield, for Utrecht in 2010, Mertens told the Times: “My strongest memory is that they have a sign saying ‘This is Anfield’ and everyone was talking about it, so I was thinking it’s very big, you know.

“I came through the tunnel and I asked, ‘Where is the thing?’ and they said you missed it and I hadn’t noticed it.

“So, in the second half, I’m looking at this small thing and asking, ‘Is this so special?’”

After then being asked whether he thought Anfield was intimidating, he replied: “They had a special price for children, so maybe not."

Bold comments from Mertens. But this isn't the first time the sign has been ridiculed before a big Champions League tie.

Dries Mertens wasn't impressed by Liverpool's 'This is Anfield' sign

Back in 2009, Marca, a Madrid based publication, mocked the sign before Real Madrid's second leg against Liverpool in the Champions League last 16.

On the day of the second leg, Marca's headline before the game read, as per talkSPORT: ‘This is Anfield… so what?’.

But what happened? Did their headline spur Liverpool on or did Marca get the reaction they hoped for?

It turns out it only motivated Liverpool more.

Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres celebrate against Real Madrid in 2010

The Reds would race through to the quarter-finals by smashing their Spanish opponents 4-0.

Fernando Torres gave Liverpool the lead in the first half, before goals from Steven Gerrard either side of the break gave the Reds a commanding 3-0 lead.

And, with the tie all but done, Andrea Dossena emerged from the bench to score two minutes from time.

You can watch highlights of the game below:

Whether Mertens knew about this before he made the comments are unknown.

But he may well live to regret mocking the sign, just like Marca did back in 2009.

Topics:
Football
Dries Mertens
Jurgen Klopp
Liverpool

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