Categories: Football

Rafa Benitez Discusses Half-Time Consternation During ‘Miracle In Istanbul’

Rafa Benitez was the special guest on last night’s episode of Monday Night Football alongside Jamie Carragher and the pair did not disappoint when discussing their time together at Liverpool.

The most famous moment from their spell together at Anfield was Liverpool’s miraculous recovery in the 2005 Champions League final when they trailed a star-studded AC Milan side 3-0 at half-time only to score three goals inside six second-half minutes before winning the game on penalties.

The turning point for Liverpool was arguably the introduction of Didi Hamann at half-time as the German international helped snuff out the threat of Brazilian great Kaka who tore Liverpool apart in the opening 45 minutes.

However, there was consternation in the dressing room at the break as Benitez attempted to substitute Hamann for Jimi Traore only to discover that Steve Finnan had picked up a knock and wouldn’t be able to see out the game.

While Carragher recalls a Benitez with limited English substituting players by using the word ‘shower’ before remembering fondly how the change in direction came about.

“I just think of you going ‘Finnan, shower, Traore out of shower,” Carragher said.

Benitez then gave his version of what happened at half-time in Istanbul.

“I wanted to play three at the back, with Hamann. I was finished explaining it to him and then I was walking around and then Dave [Galley, Liverpool’s physio] told me Finnan could not play 45 minutes. He could play but not for 45 minutes. So I then I think, one substitution (made), Harry Kewell. A second about to be made, Hamann. I cannot change. But then quickly I changed and I put Traore on.”

Whatever happened, it worked out well in the end as Liverpool were crowned Kings of Europe for the fifth time in their history.

The video of Carragher and Benitez reviewing the Miracle in Istanbul can be viewed below and is a treat for any Liverpool fan out there.

Michael Corry

Sports Journalist based in Dublin. Hit me up if you have a unique story to tell. Email: michael@punditarena.com Twitter: @Corry_10 Instagram: @Corry_10

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