The Champions League song will be played this Tuesday evening at the Estadio da Luz for the quarterfinals of the first leg between Benfica and Liverpool. This time, the Reds will challenge the first team of the Lisbon team. For in May 2019, Jürgen Klopp’s troops, who were looking for a friendly match to refine their preparation a few days before their C1 final against Tottenham in Madrid (2-0), faced Aguias’ reserve. Pedro Marques, technical director of the SLB at the time, recalls target contacted by Julian Ward, who is responsible for players on loan and partnerships with other clubs.
“I immediately said it would be a great opportunity for our young players and we would see if we could do it.”, he said, admitting he had trouble keeping the secret. Renato Paiva, then a training coach (now with the Independiente del Valle in Ecuador), remembered this part in the columns of the Portuguese daily newspaper in Bola many months ago. “They couldn’t play against an English team because the information would leak. They couldn’t handle a Spanish team because Pochettino (the Spurs coach at the time) had spent a lot of time in Spain. They couldn’t play against a French team because Lloris (Tottenham’s goalkeeper) is the French team’s goalkeeper. So they chose a Portuguese team.he explained.
Benfica played as Tottenham
Benfica B therefore flew to Marbella to join the Scousers in full preparation to play this training match on a Saturday, at the same time as the scheduled final, and agreed to fulfill some of their requirements. “We have recreated two of their offensive phases and two of their defensive phases, as well as their organization on set pieces. We copied their way of building the goalkeeper and the central, their 4-2-3-1 scheme with the attacker obstructing the exit of the ball and the n°10 who finds himself in the zone of the n°6 of Liverpool put . Vinicius played the part of Eriksen, Bernardo who evolved from Alli and José Gomes like Kane.detailed Paiva.
History will remember that the residents of Anfield had won (3-0) and the first goal, signed Sadio Mane, looked like two drops of water for the action that resulted in the penalty for Mohamed Salah’s opener in the final. “It was a privilege. We all understood that we were on a mission, but we also knew how to take advantage of it. It was a great experience. (…) The Liverpool players had been great. They’d traded with our boys, given them jerseys and gear. They had been stylish. (…) We supported them in the final. We had been part of their preparation, so we were excited to see them win., recalls Marquis. This Tuesday night probably won’t be the same scenario.
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