Liverpool won the wrong Champions League final under Rafa Benitez claims Dutch football icon Clarence Seedorf.
The former midfielder lifted the European Cup four times during his illustrious career with Ajax, Real Madrid and twice while at AC Milan but the 2005 final – the game that Kopites refer to as ‘The miracle of Istanbul’ – was the only time he lost.
Despite trailing 3-0 to a Milan side coached by current Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti at the interval, Liverpool drew level through three goals in just six minutes early in the second half and ultimately lifted the trophy after a penalty shoot-out.
The two sides met again in the final in Athens two years later though with the Italian club gaining some revenge with a 2-1 victory but Seedorf, now 44, admits the defeat to the Reds in Turkey still rankles with him.
He told 90min : “It’s about the day. Who has that moment and who also has a little bit of luck.
“I think that in 2005 we played better than in 2007, but we lost.
“I think that in 2007 maybe Liverpool even played a little bit better than we did, but we were solid and we seized our moments to bring it home.
“Playing finals is always very delicate. It’s about reducing the errors and maximising your opportunities.”
As painful as losing to Liverpool was first time around, Seedorf believes his Milan team-mates learned from the mistakes when they denied Benitez the trophy for the second time in three seasons when they came head-to-head again in the Greek capital.
He said: “When you’ve been there more than once you know better what to do. I think that in our second match we were a little bit more solid, thinking more about finding those moments to make a difference.
“In our first match against Liverpool in 2005, we were on full attack, creating and going forward. At the end of the day we still lost, even though we created so many chances and scored so many goals.
“Probably in the back of our minds we thought: ‘we are not going to have the same approach.’
“We were a little bit more conservative (in 2007) in that sense, but we knew we could score the goals and those moments would come.
“We just made sure we didn’t give away too much.”