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Steve Finnan Explains Why He's The Real Hero Of The 2005 Champions League Final

Steve Finnan Explains Why He's The Real Hero Of The 2005 Champions League Final
By Gary Reilly

Last week, the Liverpool Echo began a slightly surreal search to find Steve Finnan that seemed to take off more than anyone expected. The ever dependable right back was probably sitting back and thinking that we were all a bunch of oddballs, going along with this pretence that he could not be found ahead of the Champions League final anniversary party in Liverpool.

He was 'found' eventually and now he's spoken to the Echo about that night in Istanbul. And he has a rather interesting take on it. The Limerick man doesn't speak in public too often so when he does, we listen.

I always say I changed the game that night. If I hadn’t have got injured, we wouldn’t have won the European Cup. That injury I got was the best thing that ever happened to Liverpool.

It has long been said that the introduction of Didi Hamann in Istanbul was the changing of the game but it was supposed to be the ever loved Djimi Traore to come off for him. However, as much as he wanted to stay on, injury got the better of Finnan.

I didn’t want to come off but I knew I had a problem. At the time I wasn’t happy but it was the right decision. With me coming off, Rafa changed the system. Didi was so important to the comeback that followed.

We all know what happened then and even if Finnan himself can downplay his importance, Liverpool and Ireland fans know the real value of one of the most underrated players of his generation.

[Echo]

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