2019 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

A WINNING DAY TO REMEMBER

Liverpool fan Rachel Meredith was thrilled to win two tickets to the Champions League final in a European Nights competition 

It’s a few weeks on, and I’m still very happy with my time in Madrid. I smile every time I think about it. I’ll never forget the whole experience of being there – I wouldn’t change it for the world. I don’t think I’ll ever have the chance to see my team in person in the Champions League final again, let alone win it.

On winning the tickets…

I didn’t believe I could be so lucky. I remember I was having lunch outside when the email saying I’d won came through. I opened it but it took a while to sink in – I didn’t know if it was a hoax at first. I work with a lot of Liverpool fans, and they said they had never seen my smile so big after I won the tickets.

On deciding who to take with her…

I had a few moody family members who wanted me to take them to Madrid, but I decided to take my partner Sam, who’s 80% Liverpool and 20% Cardiff City.

Heading to Madrid…

I hadn’t been to Madrid before, but to be honest I didn’t get to see too much of it. We were there for 23 hours, and all I saw was a sea of red. We landed at 10.30am and headed straight for the fans’ zone. We didn’t see many Spurs fans and I was loving it.

 

Off to the game…

We spent all day in the fan zone before heading to the stadium at 6pm. I wanted to get there early to see the build-up. It wasn’t too packed on the tube, but there were enough people for lots of singing on the journey there.

 

Taking our seats…

We stayed outside the ground to soak up the atmosphere before going in at 7pm, and we had really good seats on the halfway line. We watched the teams warm up and then Imagine Dragons played. It was really special. I thought to myself, this time a week ago my plan was to watch the game on TV, and it made me feel emotional. The Champions League anthem when it started was really something, but the best for me was hearing our fans singing You’ll Never Walk Alone. I’ve never sung so loud. I was thinking of all the people at home and how it was a real honour to be there.

  

The match starts…

It all happened so quickly. To be honest, I hadn’t fully engaged with the game, and we got the early penalty. Because it was only 1-0, I was on the edge of my seat all match. It was nail-biting stuff as Spurs had quite a few chances.

The moment of triumph…

When Origi scored the second, we’d won it in my eyes. Tottenham weren’t coming back from that, and I started crying. The trophy lift was right in front of us, and we stayed on for about an hour while the players showed the trophy to the Liverpool fans and we sang different songs for all the players.

 

Abiding memories…

Even now, I watch the final and other games, like us beating Barcelona 4-0, and looking back it feels just special. I felt proud to be a Liverpool fan especially because of the amount of people who were there in Madrid and the passion they showed. It was nice to see everyone thought we had the belief to win it. Everyone was just so excited, even though we’ve won the trophy five times before.

To read the 2019 UEFA Champions League final programme, you can buy your printed copy, or sign up to read the digital version.

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