Ten years ago today, an incredible UEFA Cup final between the then four-time European champions Liverpool FC and Spanish surprise package Deportivo Alavés swung back and forth at the Westfalenstadion in Dortmund.
Europe had seen nothing like it since the 1950s when Real Madrid CF were in their heyday. The teams were tied 4-4 after 90 minutes, and penalties were just four minutes away when Alavés full-back Delfi Gelí flicked a header into his own net − a 'golden goal' that enabled Liverpool to complete a unique treble of League Cup, FA Cup and UEFA Cup triumphs.
Then 36, Gary McAllister was among Liverpool's star players on the night, converting a penalty and providing assists for the other three goals − including the free-kick to which Gelí got that fateful touch. Here the former Scottish international shares his thoughts on the final with UEFA.com.
There are games that you could ask me about, and I have got no recollection whatsoever, but this was a special night for me because I was an old player at the end of my career and was riding along in this amazing dream. Liverpool are associated with winning trophies but this was a special one, three cup competitions, and that's what Gérard Houllier pressed upon us. His preparation was excellent, no stone was left unturned.
Just as the referee blew for the start of the game, I can remember that I've never felt anything like it. The only recollection I've got of feeling like it was when Leeds [United AFC] played Rangers [FC] in the European Cup [in 1992]. The electricity coming off the fans made every hair – I didn't have a lot of hair – on my body stand up. And we had a dream start getting ourselves in front. I thought we could go on and win 3-0 or 4-0l, but it didn't pan out like that.
There are periods in your career, or games in your career, you can think back, when you just felt untouchable; you get that sort of feeling that every pass you're going to make is going to find its target. It's a confidence thing. I knew where I was at that stage of my career, I was looking to milk it and just love every single second.
And I was able to do that because I was experienced; when you're a young man these games sometimes pass you by. People might have been looking and thinking: "Where does his energy come from?" But the adrenaline just came off my team-mates, and the occasion. Even if it wasn't a golden goal, I could have run for another half-hour because I would have breezed it, because the adrenaline pumping through the blood and the bones was unbelievable.
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