Whether you're sat in an internet cafe in Amonia Square with a raging Ouzo hangover or back home trying to kid your boss into thinking your mind's still on the job, here's LFC.TV's European Cup diary, direct from the Greek capital.
Is your house flying the flag for the Reds?
Drive down any street in Liverpool this week and it won't be long before you come across a house decked out in a red and white flags and now liverpoolfc.tv is launching the search for the best dressed home in the run up to the final with a new LFC DVD up for grabs for the winner. Whether it's your house you want to nominate for the prize or that of a friend or neighbour, simply take a digital picture and email it to Athens@liverpoolfc.tv before Wednesday. Don't delay, email the picture in today.
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Wear Rafa's legendary half-time Istanbul team talk on your chest
News that Rafael Benitez left John Lennon Liverpool Airport this morning complete with the half-English, half-Spanish scribbled notes which formed the basis of his now legendary half-time team talk from the 2005 European Cup final will no doubt delight the thousands of fans making the trip out to Athens. Three-nil down to AC Milan in Turkey, it was these notes that inspired the greatest sporting comeback ever and the Liverpool boss has admitted he wouldn't hesitate to use them again in this final though hopefully not in similar circumstances.
Yes, I still have my notes from half-time in the last final against AC Milan," revealed Benitez. "Its important to keep these things.
I will be using them again for sure this time around. I will probably make some new ones. Maybe this time some of them will be written in English not just Spanish!
Should Rafa misplace his notes before Wednesday, he could do worse than invite one of the many Liverpool fans who'll be wearing a new t-shirt emblazoned with his words into the dressing room. One quick-thinking Liverpool supporter has had Rafa's 2005 team talk printed on to the front of a t-shirt and is selling them by the lorry load on EBay. Here's a full transcript of what's printed on the t-shirt:
"Don't let your heads drop.
All the players who go on
the pitch after half-time have
to keep their heads held high.
We are Liverpool. You are
playing for Liverpool.
Do not forget that.
You have to hold your
heads high for the supporters.
You have to do it for them.
You cannot call yourselves
Liverpool players if you have
your heads down.
If we create a few chances
we have the possibility of
getting back into this.
Believe you can do it and you will.
Give yourself the chance
to be heroes."
(Rafa Benitez Half time.
Ataturk Stadium. Istanbul.
25th May 2005)
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How a book about basketball inspired Mascherano
While there hasn't been a football autobiography published yet that Jamie Carragher hasn't read, for team-mate Javier Mascherano it appears a book about basketball rather than football has left the biggest impression on our Argentine midfielder. 'Sacred Hoops: Spiritual Lessons as a Hardwood Warrior' by legendary basketball coach Phil Jackson is the book in question, as the man who won six NBA titles as coach of the Chicago Bulls between 1989 to 1998 shares his Zen-like thoughts on how to be successful in the world of team sport.
Mascherano read the book at school and it became an instant hit with the-then youngster. "I like it because he writes about sport, about how the group is more important than the individual," recalls Javier.
And you wonder why Rafael Benitez likes his attitude so much
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Why a poverty-stricken village will be cheering Momo
Should midfielder Momo Sissoko do enough to impress Rafael Benitez over the next few days and earn himself a place in the starting 11 to face Carlo Ancelotti's side on Wednesday night, no one will be happier than the men, women and children living in the tiny village of Bendougou. Despite being born and raised in France after his parents moved there from Mali, the Reds star opted to represent the African country where his parents were born and, since moving to Anfield, has made a point of sending both money and kit out the impoverished village of Bendougou where his parents once lived.
The Momo Sissoko Organisation is something I set up for the poor small children in the village, revealed the 22-year-old who is following in the footsteps of Dirk Kuyt who recently set up the Dirk Kuyt Foundation to help underprivileged children around the world. I give money and they also raise more money from my football shirts I send them. We also coach football to them and this summer I am going to see the village for the first time with one of my brothers. It will be very emotional. The children have sent me letters and pictures of themselves and sometimes I speak to them on the phone but to actually be there will be wonderful."
What would be even more wonderful would be if Momo can take along a Champions League Winner's medal to show everyone.
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Reina's ipod selection packs a punch
If you're planning on doing a spot of sight-seeing while in Athens this week, make sure you can your eyes peeled for Pepe Reina reenacting Sylvester Stallone's legendary training scene from 'Rocky' on the steps of the Acropolis while listening to his Ipod Nano. Stallone's sprint up the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art still one of the great movie scenes despite that embarrassing episode at Goodison a few months back was, of course, accompanied by the song 'Gonna Fly Now' and it's a tune that obviously inspires the Liverpool 'keeper. Asked by the Liverpool Echo to pick a song to add to an ultimate LFC Athens 2007 Playlist, Reina immediately nominated the 'Rocky' tune. For the record, here's the complete playlist:
1. 'Ring of Fire' - Johnny Cash (LFC squad)
2. 'The Weekend (Come and Get Up Everybody)' Byron Stingley (Peter Crouch)
3. 'Dakota' Stereophonics (Steven Gerrard)
4. 'Waterfall' - The Stone Rose (Jamie Carragher)
5. 'Gonna Fly Now' / Training Montage from 'Rocky' (Pepe Reina)
6. 'Everynody's Changing' Keane (Robbie Fowler)
7. 'Say It Right' Nelly Furtado (Luis Garcia)
8. 'Numb / Encore' Jay-Z & Linkin Park (Sami Hyypia)
9. 'Red, Red Wine' UB40 (Craig Bellamy)
10. 'Stand By Me' Oasis (Xabi Alonso)
11. 'Gardens Tale' Volbeat (Daniel Agger)
12. 'Eye of the Tiger' Survivor(Pepe Reina)
13. 'Walk in Fire' The Dove (Liverpool Echo Sports Desk)
14. 'You'll Never Walk Alone' Elvis Presley or Gerry Marsden version (LFC squad)
15. 'In My Life' Johnny Cash version (Jamie Carragher)
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Reds have the chance to silence Gattuso forever
If you're growing tired of reading about what AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso is going to do to Liverpool on Wednesday night, console yourself in the fact that should the Reds triumph inside the Olympic Stadium, the Italian's outbursts could soon be a thing of the past. Even before Milan had booked their place in the final, Gattuso was talking about revenge, honour, pride, destiny and why Steven Gerrard should be shaking in his Adidas boots. However, all could be about to change, as team-mate Paolo Maldini revealed this week.
"Gattuso is the prototype of the player who would die for his team on the pitch," claims the Milan legend. "Losing hurts him so much. He has told us all that he will stop talking to us if we don't beat Liverpool in Athens, and with Gattuso I'm afraid that he means it."