Liverpool hero Djibril Cisse: "I actually found Istanbul a lot of fun, rather than feeling the pressure!"
Liverpool peroxide prince Djibril Cisse discusses the games that changed his life, including the 2005 Champions League final
Djibril Cisse is best remembered by Liverpool fans as a star of the 2005 Champions League-winning side and 2006 FA Cup-winning team. Over a decorated career, the Frenchman won plenty – including, of course, fans' hearts.
Here, he tells FourFourTwo the Games That Changed His Life.
This article first appeared Issue 310 of FourFourTwo. Subscribe now!
Liverpool star Djibril Cisse's Games That Changed My Life: 1. Rennes 0 Auxerre 5, 2001
PATRICK KLUIVERT "I was only 18 and had already achieved one of the biggest dreams any footballer can have"
PAUL INCE "If we’d lost against Barca in '91, I don’t think we’d have gone on to win the Premier League two years later"
MICHAEL BALLACK "One of the most important matches of my career was Germany 1 England 5…"
“As a young player who was just getting started as a professional, this match gave me sky-high confidence in France’s top division.
“I scored four goals for Auxerre and we won 5-0. I also scored a really good goal against Paris Saint-Germain, and I carried on scoring for Auxerre from there. I was on a real streak after the match at Rennes. I think I ended up with about seven goals after my first month of that season, which was a big boost.
“It all started for me with that away game at Rennes, though.”
2. Liverpool 1 Chelsea 0, 2005
“The Champions League semi-final was the only game I’ve ever played in where the noise was so loud that you could feel the pitch shake! I don’t think I’d ever played in an atmosphere like that before.
“I only remember brief moments from the match because it was that intense. We were still level at 0-0 from the first leg at Stamford Bridge so needed an early goal, and Luis Garcia got it. But I can’t recall much apart from the scenes at Anfield at the end, when people were just going absolutely crazy.
“The end of that match always sticks in my mind.”
3. Milan 3 Liverpool 3 (2-3p)
“I took a penalty in the shootout in the final, but was absolutely fine. I didn’t feel any nerves at all. I actually found it a lot of fun, rather than feeling the pressure.
“Three months earlier I had been in pain with a broken leg, so it was just amazing to be there in Istanbul taking a penalty in front of all those fans. Everyone played a part in getting Liverpool the trophy – Stevie G, Vladi Smicer and Jerzy Dudek especially. What a special night.”
4. Panathinaikos 2 Olympiakos 1, 2010
“I’ve never experienced a crowd atmosphere at a derby match like the one in Athens. Seriously, it’s mad. It’s very hard to explain to anyone who hasn’t been to the game. Being in Athens before kick-off, during the match and afterwards – it’s all completely mad.
“We went 1-0 down at home, which wasn’t great. But I got a goal back, then I scored a penalty and we won 2-1. I had a great time playing in Greece. The supporters loved me, and I loved them back.”
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Nick Moore is a freelance journalist based on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. He wrote his first FourFourTwo feature in 2001 about Gerard Houllier's cup-treble-winning Liverpool side, and has continued to ink his witty words for the mag ever since. Nick has produced FFT's 'Ask A Silly Question' interview for 16 years, once getting Peter Crouch to confess that he dreams about being a dwarf.
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