When last night, Liverpool beat Barcelona to qualify for the 2019 Champions League Final, I was one of those that concluded before the match that Liverpool would never make it. I didn’t bother talking about it on the social media because I felt it was a foregone issue.
I didn’t watch the match because I was busy at work, but I followed the update on BBC Sport, just for the sake of enjoying football. When at the seventh minute, Origi scored for Liverpool, I thought it was just one of those, and that sooner than later, Barcelona would cancel out the goal, and may even add one or two before the end of the game. I knew when the first half was getting ended, because I refreshed the page.
For about an hour, I didn’t have the time to check the scores, but when I finally did, I screamed aloud with excitement. It was four nil, in favour of Liverpool, and it was already injury time. I took my phone, went on Facebook, and typed, “The word is BELIEVE. Another is POSSIBILITY. And the last is LIVERPOOL.” I waited for the game to end – it was a minute and half to go. When I saw FT on the screen, I excitedly shared the message.
I am not a Liverpool fan – but I have only been, twice, and on both occasions, they’ve had remarkable comeback – these two occasions have been Champions League matches. The first was in 2005, when they were down by three goals against AC Milan in the Champions League final, and they fought back to win the cup. I remember vividly that day – I was at work in More London Estate, beside London Bridge, and a cafeteria put a TV out for members of the public to watch. We all stood, at first, looking depressed, because AC Milan kept dropping in the goals like it was a basketball game, but our depression turned into a wild frenzy when Liverpool equalised, and ended up with the trophy.
The second time I’ve been a Liverpool fan was last night. No one messes with Messi – no one messes with Barcelona. If Barcelona is a goal ahead of you in Camp Nou, they can come to your yard and beat you five nil. Liverpool lost to Barcelona three nil in the first leg, and almost everyone said goodbye to them in the competition because only a few didn’t believe that they would be beaten by a minimum of two nil on their own ground.
Mo Salah, Liverpool’s main striker had concussion in their previous game, and so didn’t feature against Barcelona in the second leg, and for that, their write-off was worse. The odd against Liverpool qualifying for the final was one in two hundred – no one, including most of their fans gave them a chance. But one thing stood out yesterday – Mo Salah, in spite of not playing, wore a t-shirt with a bold caption, “NEVER GIVE UP.” That message was a driving force!
Most fans believe that the power behind Liverpool’s performance last night was the message, “NEVER GIVE UP!” One fan echoed the message when he wrote, “Never give up!!! Even when the whole world writes you off.” Another said, “Salah didn’t play tonight but he’s being talked about tonight because of the inscription on his shirt. These little details can go a long way.”
Liverpool never gave up, and the funny aspect of it was that most people that wrote them off, and made bold to post it on the social media before the match, deleted their messages when the table started turning. And I didn’t hesitate to mock them when I posted this message on Facebook, as a follow up to the first one, “I’ve been going through the accounts of those who said it was the end of Champions League for Liverpool, and all messages have been deleted. I REPEAT: I’ve been going through the accounts of those who said it was the end of Champions League for Liverpool, and all messages have been deleted. I REPEAT: I’ve been going through the accounts of those who said it was the end of Champions League for Liverpool, and all messages have been deleted.”
My first message to you is NEVER GIVE UP. My second message to you is NEVER GIVE UP. My third message to you is NEVER GIVE UP. Harriet Beecher Stowe said, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
When the stars write you off, never give up. When superstars write you off, never give up. When experts write you off, never give up. When pundits write you off, never give up. When specialists and all the consultants write you off, never give up. When life itself writes you off, never give up. The only person that can stop you is you. The odds against you might be taller than the highest mountains, but never ever give up.