Ahead of that night in Kiev, Liverpool fans were left dreaming of a 6th European title.
There was a certain sense of destiny, having beaten the likes of Manchester City and Roma to reach the final. All that stood between Liverpool and the greatest prize in European football were the men in white. Despite the opponents, Kopites were optimistic that they stood a good chance at claiming the European crown.
They didn’t count on Karius though.
When Milorad Mažić blew the full time whistle, the men in Red slumped to the ground in despair. Captain Jordan Henderson tried to put on a brave face, but failed miserably as tears streamed down his face. Oxlade-Chamberlain, who despite being injured travelled with the squad, was seen on his crutches with his head bowed and crying. But the most painful sight was that of our German goalkeeper, where he laid on the ground sobbing, wishing that the earth could swallow him up.
For fans, it was painful in the most extreme manner to see their beloved team fall at the final hurdle. What makes it more painful still was the circumstances in which the Reds lost. The pain would’ve been easier to stomach had we been beaten by a brilliant team instead of being undone by a pair of blunders. The chance to play on Europe’s grandest stage is hard to come by, and the regret will linger for awhile. Believe me, it still hurts even as I’m writing this.
However, one must consider how we got to Kiev in the first place. From the Rhein-Neckar-Arena to the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium, it has truly been a remarkable journey. Nobody gave us a chance, yet we cleared hurdle after hurdle to ultimately give ourselves a shot at winning Europe’s greatest prize.
When we look at our current squad, one would’ve marveled at the scale of our achivement. Make no mistake, Klopp has massively overachieved with this squad. Who would’ve thought that a team including an Arsenal flop, a Chelsea reject, a 32 year old workhorse and a certain Croatian would go so far in this competition? Add in the fact that our squad depth is incredibly thin compared to other super clubs makes our road to Kiev all the more impressive.
Believe me, we’re on the right path with Klopp at the helm. This team just needs a few key additions to make it a title challenging squad. And I really do mean a few additions. Klopp has led us to the promised land, and there is every reason to feel optimistic about our future.
“I’m sure we will come back next year even stronger. And I promise that.” That was Lovren’s pledge to the fans. I for one certainly believe that we will, and next season we’ll achieve something. After all, what doesn’t kill you just makes you stronger.
So keep on believing fellow Reds. Believe that one day in the near future we’ll become champions, and that we can celebrate the club we love dearly.