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‘I wonder if it was as mad as this in 2005’.

This phrase dominated the pre-match proceedings in Liverpool city centre before the club’s first European Cup final since 2007.

Posted by Andy Thompson
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You would have seen the videos of Concert Square doing the rounds on social media; and rightly would have revelled in them during the day.

Red. Flares. Allez. Joy. Hope. Allez. Nerves. Tinnies. Allez.

It was like that everywhere. My head fell off at the sight of police closing off the top of Great Charlotte Street so a herd of fans could occupy the outside of Liverpool Central station singing and dancing.

As the pictures that swept round the internet proved, these kind of scenes were not in isolation.

The Reds had taken over Liverpool, just like they’d taken over Kiev. Its got to be something special if the city has come to a standstill to swig a can of Kronenburg and swirl a scarf round.

It was wild. It was manic. Fever pitch had hit but more importantly, it was a fanbase that had found the epitome of happiness.

Was it like this in 2005?

The bar where I watched the match was full to the brim of people on the same page, all in it for the same thing, all waiting for the release of euphoria that only a goal in a final could bring.

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Half-time came and the mood was straight-up worry and concern. Salah had gone off. We’d lost our Egyptian King and Real Madrid had visibly been boosted by the sight of our top goalscorer leaving the field in tears.

That first goal happens and everyone waiting for that euphoric release has to stand in disbelief.

But the euphoria does come, we get back into it, we survived and regrouped. Mane’s goal felt huge and as soon as the elation died back down a shout from the back of the bar gets the crowd erupting again.

‘Mad how we’re going to win the Champions League without Mo Salah.’

And right then we really believed it.

The rest is history. Everyone that was there in that bar anticipating the same feeling of joy now has to endure the feeling of despair and heartbreak.

That one was hard to shake off wasn’t it?

‘Football is the most important of the least important things in life’. Carlo Ancelotti once said, and fucking hell it certainly felt like the most important thing in life  at full-time on Saturday night.

As supporters we felt the highest of highs throughout this Champions League run.

Watching Madrid lift their 13th European Cup with our lads slumped on the turf in tears felt like the lowest of lows.

Was it really though?

What a ride. What an adventure. What a journey.

Liverpool Football Club have given us some of the best nights of our lives over the course of this season.

Not many fans get all this you know. We are lucky, and yet expectant. The result. It still hurts. It might take until the start of pre-season, maybe even the start of next season, before it is completely shaken off BUT we all know deep down that that final isn’t our last.

It probably won’t even be our last under this manager.

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These nights we’ve cherished and the memories we have created, do they mean nothing now we’ve lost the final?

No, of course not.

We’ve been on one hell of a journey and sometimes the destinations at the end of the road aren’t what you want them to be, but if the journey has already been enjoyed that doesn’t vanish.

Three years ago we were hanging our heads in shame after being thumped 6-1 by Stoke City, and now we’re gutted after being beaten 3-1 by Real Madrid in the Champions League final.

A defeat is a defeat but we’ve come a long way.

The good times are coming, the good times are already here.

More memories are going to be created through watching this team.

On to the next.

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