Exclusive: ex-Liverpool star Djimi Traore recalls his cancelled half-time substitution in Istanbul Champions League victory

(Image credit: Getty)

For many football fans, Liverpool's thrilling second half performance against AC Milan in the 2005 Champions League final ranks as the greatest comeback of all time. Yet for one of the players involved in that turnaround, the second period is even more of a sliding doors moment – Djimi Traore wasn't even supposed to be on the pitch. 

"It's a true story," explains the former Reds defender, who was recently announced as the Head Coach of International Academy for Right To Dream, a Ghanaian-founded organisation which provides young people across the world with life-changing opportunities through sport and education. "Tactically-speaking, Rafael Benitez made a change at halftime and I was supposed to be subbed. 

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