Tuesday Mar 24, 2020. 13:00
Cameroonian defender Joel Matip has relived Liverpool’s incredible comeback against Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League last season – and the bizarre scene he shared with the world’s best player in its wake.
Liverpool famously defeated Barca 4-3 on aggregate over two legs of their semifinal: the Spanish side looked set to cruise into the final after a 3-0 home win in Catalonia, but the Reds turned the tables at Anfield with a stunning 4-0 triumph, capped off by Divock Origi’s late goal from Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quickly-taken corner kick.
Jurgen Klopp’s side went on to defeat fellow English club Tottenham Hotspur in the final in Madrid, bringing them a first piece of major silverware under the German manager.
Liverpool look very likely to add a second if and when the Premier League season resumes after the coronavirus crisis – they enjoyed a 25-point lead over second-placed Manchester City when the competition was suspended earlier this month.
In the current break from football, Matip told 11 Freunde that the period after the game was one of the most memorable of his career.
“After the game, we lined up arm-in-arm in front of the Kop together and sang ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ with the fans,” Matip explained.
“That was one of the most beautiful moments of my career, maybe on the same level as my debut for Schalke in Munich.
“I didn’t care about anything; I was floating on air after singing with the fans.”
Matip went on to add: “And when I came into the doping test room, there was a guy sitting there pretty depressed – Lionel Messi.
“You know each other from the pitch, but it’s not like you sit around with them every day in a small room like you’re getting coffee.
“Everyone is celebrating, and I’m sitting in a cubicle with Messi.”