Most of the soccer world spent Tuesday afternoon and evening struggling to comprehend Liverpool’s stunning comeback win over Barcelona. But former Reds keeper Bruce Grobbelaar saw the outcome as just the latest example of Liverpool overcoming long odds on a big stage.
Liverpool never gives up
“Liverpool have to be the greatest comeback team ever in the history of this sport.”Bruce Grobbelaar to High Press Soccer
In an interview with High Press Soccer, Grobbelaar compared Tuesday’s stunner to Liverpool’s ’05 Champions League final win over AC Milan in Istanbul, among other memorable matches.
He said that he knew going into Leg 2 against Barcelona that his former team only needed one goal by halftime to have a shot at erasing the deficit from the first leg. Sure enough, the Reds got on the board in the 7th minute on a goal from Divock Origi, and Barcelona never recovered. The outcome is just over 48 hours old, but the rest is already history.
Grobbelaar spoke to HPS about his impression of Alisson, how he thinks Liverpool will do in in the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final vs. Tottenham, and more.
HPS interview with Bruce Grobbelaar
HPS: What qualities have allowed Alisson to be so successful this season?
Grobbelaar: I’ve seen Alisson grow in stature. The last time against Barcelona [in Leg 1], when the third goal went in, I believe that it was his mistake for not lining the wall up a little bit better, especially with a striker like [Lionel] Messi. Messi got it at exactly the same spot at Anfield, and this time Alisson lined the wall up properly. The ball hit the wall. He learns from his mistakes. … For him to make the momentous save that he did when we were 3-0 up, it contributed for us to get that final goal and put us through to the final.
HPS: Do you believe this team can make a run similar to the one the club made in the ‘80s?
Grobbelaar: Listen, there’s a lot of dominance because everybody wants to play under [Jurgen] Klopp. They’re going to keep this squad together for a very long time.
HPS: How does Klopp compare with previous managers like Bill Shankly?
Grobbelaar: This little journey started with Bill Shankly, who won quite a few. Then we went on to Bob Paisley, who became the highest-decorated manager in the first division. Then we had Joe Fagan. In two years, he won five trophies. Then we had Sir Kenny Dalglish. He won a few, as a player-manager and as a manager. … Jurgen Klopp has got the charismatic style, he knows the people and he will be winning many, many trophies with Liverpool from now on.
HPS: What is your prediction for this year’s Champions League final on June 1 in Madrid? (Grobbelaar answered this question before Tottenham defeated Ajax in the semifinals).
Grobbelaar: We’ll go one further than last year. We’ll win it this time, because when you take positives out of your mishaps, you come back stronger. Just like the semifinal when we went down 3-0 in Barcelona, we came back stronger. The players won’t be forgetting last year’s Champions League final, that’s for sure.