Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has revealed what Rafael Benitez said to spark the Red’s memorable comeback in the 2005 Champions League Final.
The German, who was special guest on The 32 on Tuesday, relived Liverpool’s incredible win over AC Milan, where they were 3-0 down at half time.
The Reds, who bought Hamann on at the interval, famously scored three second half goals to force extra time, before winning on penalties.
And Hamann, now 44, told Yahoo it was Benitez’s belief which helped force the Merseysiders back into the game.
Asked what the highlight of his playing career was, he said: ‘To win the Champions League with Liverpool for the fifth team – meaning you get to keep the trophy, and the way we did it. We played arguably the best team in the world at the time.
‘If you look at their side and the players they had coming on, it was basically a World XI. To win it the way we did was extra special.’
Describing the Liverpool dressing room at half time, he added: ‘All these things about motivational speeches – you can only do them once. In any walk of life, if you need motivating every single day, you might as well stay in bed.
‘We knew we were cooked really, at 3-0 down, but if there was one person who still believed we could turn it around it was our manager.’
Hamann was brought on as substitute, allowing Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard to play further forward and turn in one of the most best performances of his career.
Hamann continued: ‘He came in, and as always said, “Have a moment to yourselves”, then he said we’d make a change in the second half. He went through the set pieces and the way we play – and with me coming on we could move Gerrard further up the pitch because he was out biggest goal threat.
‘We needed a goal and we needed it quick, and he was just very calm. Did I think we could come back? Probably not. The longer I was warming up, the more I thought, “If we can get one, we can get two – and then we can start to ask questions.”
‘I don’t think anyone could’ve foreseen what would happen in the second half, but we’ll gladly take it.’