It doesn’t matter if you’re a 50-year-old season ticket holder or just started your first games, once the magic of Anfield takes hold there’s no turning back.
Every supporter has their own story. It could be a fixation with the rocking 1980s Spion Kop for the first time, or witnessing a remarkable comeback from Liverpool on a European night that kicked off at dusk. Maybe it’s being in a happy place with friends and family, where nothing else matters. Whatever it is, to this day Anfield remains one of the most iconic football grounds in world football and certainly the most feared in English football.
Few can boast a record of such unforgettable drama and glory in equal measure, played in atmospheres that make your spine tingle, over so many generations. The Kop Choir rose to prominence in the 1960s when Bill Shankly helped make ‘the largest toilet in Liverpool’ the one place to be. But with the passing of the years, Anfield, which has always resisted adapting a bowling stadium to preserve its beauty as a four-stand theater, has come into its own for European evenings under the lights. And the list of victims is endless.
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Inter Milan, Saint Etienne, Juventus, Real Madrid, Barcelona, Roma, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan – they have all felt the power of Anfield and paid a heavy price. Even fellow English clubs like Manchester City and Chelsea have taken to the famous old ground on European nights, with the latter experiencing perhaps the most phenomenally hostile atmosphere of them all in the infamous 2005 Champions League semi-final.
Despite his anger at leaving the league for a controversial goal, Jose Mourinho couldn’t deny the impact the council had made. “I felt the power of Anfield Road. It was fantastic,” he said.
Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger called Anfield “the one place you don’t want to go” and legendary Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon described his own experience, visiting Juventus, as “such a commotion for the first 15-20 minutes that I had trouble concentrating”.
Whatever makes Merseyside’s amphitheater such a magnet for drama, there’s no sign that its mystical powers will wane anytime soon and Liverpool supporters will make another attempt at making history when Jurgen Klopp’s side plays Villareal in the Champions League half . final on Wednesday evening.
Under Klopp, the Reds have built one of the most feared clubs in Europe, but even an average can terrify the cream of the crop in a bouncing Anfield, which is why it remains the best stadium in the world to this day. United Kingdom.
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