• Home
  • /
  • Ladbrokes
  • /
  • Djibril Cissé Thinks Istanbul '05 Was Better Than Barcelona '99

Djibril Cissé Thinks Istanbul '05 Was Better Than Barcelona '99

Djibril Cissé Thinks Istanbul '05 Was Better Than Barcelona '99
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
Share this article

Djibril Cissé played a crucial role in Liverpool's 2005 Champions League win in Istanbul, scoring one of the team's penalties in their ultimate shoot-out victory over AC Milan.

Of course, such a scenario would not have been possible without the dramatic comeback produced by Rafael Benitez's team in regular time. 3-0 down at half-time, Liverpool rallied in sensational fashion to pull the game back to 3-3 in the space of just ten second-half minutes, and force extra-time.

By the time it got to penalties, there was a sense of inevitability about Liverpool's win, despite the gulf in quality between their squad and Milan's dynamos.

2005 is undoubtedly one of football's greatest ever comebacks and, in a Champions League context at least, it stands against a similar comeback win in a final for Liverpool's biggest rivals Manchester United in 1999.

Speaking exclusively to Ladbrokes Fanzone this week, Djibril Cissé explained why he believes the 2005 final was a better comeback than 1999.

Djibril Cissé on the miracle of Istanbul

With injury time underway in the 1999 Champions League final, Bayern Munich led Manchester United 1-0, after a sixth-minute goal put them in front early on. Sensationally, substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would score two goals in three minutes to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat for United, in one of European football's most famous comebacks.


It is regularly pitted against the 2005 final and Liverpool's fightback against AC Milan for the crown of "greatest comeback" - and now one of the men who played for Liverpool that night has contributed to the debate.


Djibril Cissé, who came on just before full-time of regular time in the 2005 final, and scored his penalty in the shootout, says he believes the spirit shown by Liverpool after going in so far behind at half-time makes their comeback a better one.

Djibril Cisse exclusively told Ladbrokes: Fanzone:

The Man United v Bayern Munich game in 1999 was unbelievable, of course. But it all happened so quickly, late on in the game. We were three goals down against that AC Milan side inside 45 minutes.

We went in with this feeling that we were in for a really song second-half, and all of a sudden you're thinking about what happens if they score the next goal, then it's four, then it's five, then you're six goals down in a Champions League final.

I think that because of the way we came out and responded, against that side, and the manner in which we went on to go and win the game... I think our comeback is better.

For Cissé, that 2005 final was an emotional affair, after a lengthy lay-off with injury.


Djibril Cissé 2005 Champions League final

Djibril Cissé scores his penalty in the shoot-out of the 2005 Champions League final (Photo: Shutterstock)

The French striker suffered a horrific double leg break against Blackburn earlier that same season, and was anticipated to miss anywhere between 9-18 months of football. Remarkably, he was fit again in time for the latter stages of the Champions League, and played in both legs of the semi-final against Chelsea, and the final against Milan.


He would also score two Premier League goals after his unexpectedly early return, in a remarkable show of strength. Cissé spoke to Ladbrokes Fanzone about the added importance of the 2005 Champions League final, after his fight to return to the pitch:

Five-and-a-half months later, I made my comeback against Juventus and, of course, went on to have one of the greatest experiences of my career. To be honest, I still have moments now where I can't believe what happened to me during that season. It's difficult for me to understand. It's the sort of thing you see in movies. Whenever football fans meet me, they want to talk about that night in Istanbul.

People remember the bad start, the second-half comeback and Jerzy Dudek's heroics in the penalty shootout. But my story from that night is quite different. I'd missed so much of the season through injury...I had a broken leg, six months before that night I was on crutches, and doubting whether or not I was going to play high level football again. For me to step forward on that night and take a penalty, there was zero, zero pressure.

I felt like I was playing against my friends. It's funny, because I say this to my friends, who all tell me I'm only saying it retrospectively, but it's true. I didn't feel pressure, I didn't feel nervous. It was the Miracle of Istanbul, that's what people were calling it, but my miracle was being there. Nobody would have put a single pound on me making that squad when I was stretchered off with a broken leg against Blackburn six months prior.

Djibril Cissé's comeback is an often overlooked element of Liverpool's 2005 Champions League final win, but it only adds to allure of one of the club's most famous nights - and one of the most famous nights in European Cup history.

SEE ALSO: Liverpool Come Under Scrutiny For Choosing Short Haul Flight Over Coach

liverpool newcastle premier league flight coach

Join The Monday Club Have a tip or something brilliant you wanted to share on? We're looking for loyal Balls readers free-to-join members club where top tipsters can win prizes and Balls merchandise

Processing your request...

You are now subscribed!

Share this article

Copyright © 2024. All rights reserved. Developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com