As Liverpool prepare to make their return to the Champions League, Steven Gerrard has called on Kopites to try and help inspire Brendan Rodgers' team to a successful European campaign.

The Reds will end their five-year absence from the tournament when they tackle Ludogorets at Anfield on Tuesday night.

Fans will celebrate the occasion with a special pre-match mosaic on the Kop - and Gerrard feels their backing could prove decisive once again in the competition.

"There's no doubt about it, we wouldn't have got over the line in 2005 and lifted the trophy without the backing we got from the supporters," Gerrard told the Liverpool Echo.

"My message to the supporters is that we need that kind of support going into the Champions League this year.

"All the big trophies I've ever experienced winning, it's always been because the crowd have got behind us, both at Anfield and away from home.

"The support we got at half-time in Istanbul is the reason why Liverpool fans are the best in the world.

"At 3-0 down, the game was almost over but they found their voices. They sang You'll Never Walk Alone and the hairs on the back of my neck stood up.

"It was incredible. I'm proud to have them as my supporters.

"For our new signings, I'm sure they will know before kick-off on Tuesday that a European night at Anfield is a bit different because the support will be phenomenal.

"They have got to enjoy it. It's what football is all about and where every player wants to be."

Liverpool's last involvement in the Champions League came in December 2009 - a 2-1 home defeat to Fiorentina which confirmed their exit from the group stages.

Gerrard acknowledges watching fellow Barclays Premier League clubs compete in the tournament since has been tough.

"There has almost been a jealousy and an envy that we weren't involved," he said.

"Watching the likes of Chelsea and Man United in it when we were finishing outside the top four was tough. I've been craving it.

"I'm just glad it's finally here. It's reward for all the hard work last season.

"Everyone is looking forward to hearing that music. We need to enjoy it but we're not in it to make the numbers up. We want to do as well as we can."

2014-15 will mark a decade since Liverpool defied the odds to lift the Champions League trophy in Istanbul.

10 years on, Gerrard admits the memories of that incredible journey to the Ataturk Stadium will live with him forever.

"The way the game went and the journey we went on during that season it's no surprise to me that people are still making films about it nine and a half years later," Gerrard said.

"It's memories that will go to the grave with me. Not just the final but the journey we went on.

"Olympiacos when we looked dead and buried, Juventus and then Chelsea who were big favourites over two legs but we put our bodies on the line.

"In the first half of the final it looked like the game was over. At half-time I was thinking this could be five, six or seven. To go out there and turn it around was a dream come true.

"The feeling when Jerzy [Dudek] saved the last penalty is difficult to put into words. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

"When you become a Liverpool player, there's almost a responsibility and a big pressure to deliver trophies, especially the European Cup.

"It was almost a relief as well as a celebration when we got over the line."