Steven Gerrard has discussed the similarities and differences between this Liverpool season and their previous European triumphs.
Liverpool head into the Europa League final against Sevilla on Wednesday with the objective of winning their first silverware since the 2012 Capital One Cup.
This has been a mixed season at Anfield, with the club finishing eighth in the Premier League but reaching the final of two competitions.
The club will be aiming to win their first European trophy since the memorable 2005 Champions League final shootout victory over AC Milan.
Gerrard believes that success, as well as the club’s other most recent European trophy – the 2001 UEFA Cup – bear similarities to this season. As he wrote in his Daily Telegraph column:
‘There are similarities to both the 2001 and 2005 season, but there are also notable differences. There is a manager who understands how to win in Europe, just like Gerard Houllier and Benitez, but the ownership situation is more stable and from next season Liverpool will finally be in that 54,000 stadium we’ve been waiting for. The club can kick on.
‘The difficult part – the most demanding challenge for any team and manager – is getting over that line and winning that first trophy.
‘I was interested in the statistic that on the eight occasions Liverpool reached the semi-final of a competition since 2006, we’ve only gone on to win the trophy once. We also finished runners-up in the league twice.
‘That tells me we’ve had good teams, great players and some fantastic victories but lacked that nous across the team to go that little bit further. In the 2001 side we had so much experience, so many players who knew what it took to get over the line who helped the youngsters along. We also had top class players on the bench who could make a difference when called upon. It was the same in 2005 and 2006.
‘In recent years, that strength in depth and experience was not there and too often there has been a setback at the wrong time. The manager is definitely a key part of that and I’ve said plenty of times before how I think Klopp will instil that belief into this current squad.’