Drink In Every Second Of Liverpool’s Champions League Final Build-Up
Not every football supporter is lucky enough to have a Champions League final to look forward to. Some will never experience it.
Most have already erased football from their minds, for the time being, recharging the batteries and focusing on other interests, prior to the World Cup taking over their summer.
That couldn’t be further from the case with Liverpool, though.
Premier League duties may be done and dusted, with the Reds nailing their pre-season objective of registering consecutive top-four finishes, but the sole focus is now on the biggest game in club football.
Jurgen Klopp and his players are 90 minutes, or maybe 120 minutes and penalties, away from becoming Reds legends in the space of an evening.
If these fabulous and enormously likeable lads get their hands on European Cup number six, their future image at the club will be showered with glowing references.
Divisive characters will become loved unless you are unfathomably stubborn, and Klopp’s already burgeoning reputation will skyrocket, both on Merseyside and across the globe.
You will be able to look forward to Dejan Lovren representing Liverpool Legends in 2030, and Ragnar Klavan getting the nod as well.
Not one Liverpool squad member will have played in a more seismic match than next Saturday’s clash at Kiev’s Olympic Stadium, and some may never partake in a bigger one afterwards.
It is nearly impossible to underestimate the size of this game – the consequences of Liverpool winning really cannot be put into words.
When it comes to us fans, we must all drink in every single second of this build-up. Don’t allow it to pass you by before you know it.
Make sure you read as many articles, watch as many videos and listen to as many podcasts as is humanly possible in the coming days.
Don’t feel guilty if the match dominates your thoughts, despite real life going on around you. If it isn’t, you’re doing it all wrong, quite frankly.
If you’re slacking off a little at work in comparison to usual, or not quite paying the same attention to loved ones, it is wholly understandable.
If your mind just isn’t ‘there’ a lot of the time, so be it. There are plenty of future opportunities left to focus on other things when Liverpool aren’t preparing for a Champions League final.
I found myself queuing at a petrol station recently, gazing into space thinking about the breathless night that may be awaiting my beloved Reds.
All of a sudden, I was awoken from my daydreaming by an angry-looking employee asking me which pump I was using. I couldn’t even remember.
A lad who turned out to be a fellow Red cut my hair last week, and what is usually a ‘get in, get out’ experience became an absolute joy for half an hour or so, as we bored those around us with a Liverpool love-in.
There was a spring in my step all day, just by talking with such pride and positivity about this fantastic Liverpool team and the imminent final.
Everything feels hugely insignificant in comparison to May 26th, and we shouldn’t feel ashamed of that.
This exact point we find ourselves in is special.
It is a position we might not find ourselves in again for years, given the ridiculously competitive nature of the Champions League, and the enduring quality and wealth of Europe’s true heavyweight clubs.
Sure, Klopp’s brilliant young side could end up dominating Europe’s premier club competition for all we know, reaching multiple showcase events during his tenure, but it is unlikely.
It has been 11 long years since we were last able to taste this level of excitement – Athens was a bit crap when you think about it, too – barring a couple of league title challenges that served up a big fixture here and there.
As Real Madrid, Liverpool’s opponents in Kiev later this month, found out to their horror between 2002 and 2014, time can easily fly by before you reach another Champions League final.
Time stops for nobody, and it makes enjoying the present all the more important.
Once the actual day arrives and the match kicks off, our nerves will be shredded, not all of us will be sober and any logic will likely go out of the window as our heroes look to achieve the unthinkable.
It will all be a little like a wedding day, with the occasion itself almost a blur for the bride and groom, but the build-up proving to be so exciting.
Sorry if this all sounds a bit preachy and a bit “be a proper a fan” – I can assure you it’s not meant to – but I urge you not to take these upcoming days for granted.
Don’t let the day arrive without enjoying those that have come before it.
Frankly, I will be aiming to ignore as many petrol station cashiers as possible over the next week or so, as I picture Jordan Henderson lifting Ol’ Big Ears aloft over and over again.