The 2018–19 UEFA Champions League was the 64th season of Europe’s premier club football tournament organised by UEFA, and the 27th season since it was renamed from the European Champion Clubs’ Cup to the UEFA Champions League.
2018–19 UEFA Champions League
The final was played at the Estadio Metropolitano in Madrid, Spain, between Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool. It was the second all-English final after the 2008 final, which was contested between Manchester United and Chelsea in Moscow. Liverpool defeated Tottenham 2–0 and have earned the right to play against Chelsea, the winners of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League, in the 2019 UEFA Super Cup; they also qualified for the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup in Qatar. They automatically qualified for the 2019–20 UEFA Champions League group stage. As Liverpool had already qualified for the group stage by clinching the second place at domestic league, the berth reserved for the English runner-up was given to the champions of the 2018–19 Austrian Bundesliga – the 11th-ranked association according to next season’s access list.
For the first time, the video assistant referee (VAR) system was used in the competition from the round of 16 onward.
Real Madrid were the defending champions, having won each of the last three titles. They were eliminated by Ajax in the round of 16.
Contents 1 Format changes 2 Association team allocation 2.1 Association ranking 2.2 Distribution 2.3 Teams 3 Round and draw dates 4 Preliminary round 5 Qualifying rounds 5.1 First qualifying round 5.2 Second qualifying round 5.3 Third qualifying round 6 Play-off round 7 Group stage 7.1 Group A 7.2 Group B 7.3 Group C 7.4 Group D 7.5 Group E 7.6 Group F 7.7 Group G 7.8 Group H 8 Knockout phase 8.1 Bracket 8.2 Round of 16 8.3 Quarter-finals 8.4 Semi-finals 8.5 Final 9 Statistics 9.1 Top goalscorers 9.2 Top assists 9.3 Squad of the season
On 9 December 2016, UEFA confirmed the reforming plan for the UEFA Champions League for the 2018–2021 cycle, which was announced on 26 August 2016. As per the new regulations, the previous season’s UEFA Europa League winners will qualify automatically for the UEFA Champions League group stage (previously they would qualify for the play-off round, but would be promoted to the group stage only if the Champions League title holder berth was vacated, although this promotion to the group stage had been made in all three seasons since it was established from 2015–16). Meanwhile, the top four teams from the leagues of the four top-ranked national associations in the UEFA country coefficients list will qualify automatically for the group stage as well. Only six teams will qualify for the group stage via the qualification rounds, down from ten in the previous season.
Association Team Allocation
79 teams from 54 of the 55 UEFA member associations participate in the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League (the exception being Liechtenstein, which does not organise a domestic league). The association ranking based on the UEFA country coefficients is used to determine the number of participating teams for each association:
Associations 1–4 each have four teams qualify.
Associations 5–6 each have three teams qualify.
Associations 7–15 each have two teams qualify.
Associations 16–55 (except Liechtenstein) each have one team qualify.
The winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League and 2017–18 UEFA Europa League are each given an additional entry if they do not qualify for the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League through their domestic league.
The winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League, Real Madrid, have qualified through their domestic league, meaning the additional entry for the Champions League title holders is not necessary.
The winners of the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League, Atlético Madrid, have qualified through their domestic league, meaning the additional entry for the Europa League title holders is not necessary.
For the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League, the associations are allocated places according to their 2017 UEFA country coefficients, which takes into account their performance in European competitions from 2012–13 to 2016–17.
Apart from the allocation based on the country coefficients, associations may have additional teams participating in the Champions League, as noted below:
(UCL) – Additional berth for the 2017–18 UEFA Champions League winners
(UEL) – Additional berth for the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League winners
Association Ranking for 2018–19 UEFA Champions League
In the default access list, the Champions League title holders qualify for the group stage. However, since Real Madrid already qualified for the group stage via their domestic league (as third place of the 2017–18 La Liga), the following changes to the access list were made:
The champions of association 11 (Czech Republic) entered the group stage instead of the play-off round.
The champions of association 13 (Netherlands) entered the play-off round instead of the third qualifying round.
The champions of association 15 (Austria) entered the third qualifying round instead of the second qualifying round.
The champions of associations 18 and 19 (Denmark and Belarus) entered the second qualifying round instead of the first qualifying round.
In addition, the Europa League title holders qualify for the group stage. However, since Atlético Madrid, the Europa League champions, already qualified for the group stage via their domestic league (as second place of the 2017–18 La Liga), the following changes to the access list were made:
The third-placed team of association 5 (France) entered the group stage instead of the third qualifying round.
The runners-up of association 10 and 11 (Turkey and Czech Republic) entered the third qualifying round instead of the second qualifying round.
Access list for 2018–19 UEFA Champions League
League positions of the previous season shown in parentheses (TH: Champions League title holders; EL: Europa League title holders).
Qualified Teams for 2018–19 UEFA Champions League (by entry round)
Albania (ALB): In March 2018, Skënderbeu were handed a 10-year ban from UEFA club competitions over match fixing. Since they finished as champions of the 2017–18 Albanian Superliga, the runners-up of the league, Kukësi, entered the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League instead of the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League.
France (FRA): Monaco are a club based in Monaco (which is not a UEFA member), but participate in the Champions League through one of the berths for France (any coefficient points they earn count towards France’s total).
Round and Draw Dates
The schedule of the competition is as follows (all draws are held at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, unless stated otherwise).
Schedule for 2018–19 UEFA Champions League
In the preliminary round, teams were divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2018 UEFA club coefficients, and then drawn into one-legged semi-final and final ties. The draw for the preliminary round was held on 12 June 2018. The semi-final round was played on 26 June, and the final round was played on 29 June 2018, both at the Victoria Stadium in Gibraltar. The losers of both semi-final and final rounds entered the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round.
Drita’s win on 26 June 2018 was the first time that a team representing Kosovo had won a game in any UEFA competition.
In the qualifying and play-off rounds, teams are divided into seeded and unseeded teams based on their 2018 UEFA club coefficients, and then drawn into two-legged home-and-away ties.
First Qualifying Round
The draw for the first qualifying round was held on 19 June 2018. The first legs were played on 10 and 11 July, and the second legs were played on 17 and 18 July 2018. The losers entered the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League second qualifying round, except for the losers of the Cork City/Legia Warsaw tie who were randomly drawn to receive a bye to the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
A. Order of legs reversed after original draw.
Second Qualifying Round
The second qualifying round is split into two separate sections: Champions Path (for league champions) and League Path (for league non-champions). The draw for the second qualifying round was held on 19 June 2018. The first legs were played on 24 and 25 July, and the second legs were played on 31 July and 1 August 2018. The losers from both Champions Path and League Path entered the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League third qualifying round.
Third Qualifying Round
The third qualifying round is split into two separate sections: Champions Path (for league champions) and League Path (for league non-champions). The draw for the third qualifying round was held on 23 July 2018. The first legs were played on 7 and 8 August, and the second legs were played on 14 August 2018. The losers from Champions Path enter the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League play-off round, while the losers from League Path enter the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage.
The play-off round was split into two separate sections: Champions Path (for league champions) and League Path (for league non-champions). The draw for the play-off round was held on 6 August 2018. The first legs were played on 21 and 22 August, and the second legs were played on 28 and 29 August. The losers from both Champions Path and League Path entered the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League group stage.
The draw for the group stage was held on 30 August 2018 at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco. The 32 teams were drawn into eight groups of four, with the restriction that teams from the same association could not be drawn against each other. For the draw, the teams were seeded into four pots based on the following principles (introduced starting this season):
Pot 1 contained the Champions League and Europa League title holders, and the champions of the top six associations based on their 2017 UEFA country coefficients. If either or both title holders were one of the champions of the top six associations, the champions of the next highest ranked association(s) are also seeded into Pot 1.
Pot 2, 3 and 4 contained the remaining teams, seeded based on their 2018 UEFA club coefficients.
In each group, teams play against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format. The group winners and runners-up advance to the round of 16, while the third-placed teams enter the 2018–19 UEFA Europa League round of 32. The matchdays are 18–19 September, 2–3 October, 23–24 October, 6–7 November, 27–28 November, and 11–12 December 2018.
The youth teams of the clubs that qualify for the group stage also participate in the 2018–19 UEFA Youth League on the same matchdays, where they compete in the UEFA Champions League Path (the youth domestic champions of the top 32 associations compete in a separate Domestic Champions Path until the play-offs).
A total of 15 national associations are represented in the group stage. 1899 Hoffenheim, Red Star Belgrade (1991 European champions) and Young Boys will make their debut appearances in the group stage (although Red Star Belgrade have appeared in the European Cup group stage).
Teams were ranked according to points (3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, 0 points for a loss), and if tied on points, the following tiebreaking criteria were applied, in the order given, to determine the rankings (Regulations Articles 17.01):
Points in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
Goal difference in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
Goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
Away goals scored in head-to-head matches among tied teams;
If more than two teams were tied, and after applying all head-to-head criteria above, a subset of teams were still tied, all head-to-head criteria above was reapplied exclusively to this subset of teams;
Goal difference in all group matches;
Goals scored in all group matches;
Away goals scored in all group matches;
Wins in all group matches;
Away wins in all group matches;
Disciplinary points (red card = 3 points, yellow card = 1 point, expulsion for two yellow cards in one match = 3 points);
UEFA club coefficient.
In the knockout phase, teams play against each other over two legs on a home-and-away basis, except for the one-match final.
The mechanism of the draws for each round is as follows:
In the draw for the round of 16, the eight group winners are seeded, and the eight group runners-up are unseeded. The seeded teams are drawn against the unseeded teams, with the seeded teams hosting the second leg. Teams from the same group or the same association cannot be drawn against each other.
In the draws for the quarter-finals and semi-finals, there are no seedings, and teams from the same group or the same association can be drawn against each other. As the draws for the quarter-finals and semi-finals are held together before the quarter-finals are played, the identity of the quarter-final winners is not known at the time of the semi-final draw. A draw is also held to determine which semi-final winner is designated as the “home” team for the final (for administrative purposes as it is played at a neutral venue).
Round of 16
The draw for the round of 16 was held on 17 December 2018. The first legs were played on 12, 13, 19 and 20 February, and the second legs were played on 5, 6, 12 and 13 March 2019.
The draw for the quarter-finals was held on 15 March 2019. The first legs were played on 9 and 10 April, and the second legs were played on 16 and 17 April 2019.
A. Order of legs reversed after original draw, in order to avoid a scheduling conflict with the Manchester City v Tottenham Hotspur match in the same city.
The final was played on 1 June 2019 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. The “home” team (for administrative purposes) was determined by an additional draw held after the quarter-final and semi-final draws.
The final was played on 1 June 2019 at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid. The “home” team (for administrative purposes) was determined by an additional draw held after the quarter-final and semi-final draws.
Statistics exclude qualifying rounds and play-off round.
Squad of the Season
On 2 June 2019, the UEFA technical study group selected the following 20 players as the squad of the tournament.
Jürgen Norbert Klopp (German pronunciation: [ˈjʏɐ̯ɡn̩ ˈklɔp] (About this soundlisten); born 16 June 1967) is a German professional football manager and former player who is the manager of Premier League club Liverpool. Often credited with popularising the football philosophy known as Gegenpressing, Klopp is regarded by many as one of the best managers in the world.
As a player, Klopp spent the majority of his career at Mainz 05 in the second tier of German football after signing for the club in 1990. A hard-working and physical player, he was initially deployed as a striker, before converting to play as a defender for the rest of his career. Upon his retirement in 2001, Klopp became the club’s manager, leading them to promotion to the Bundesliga in 2004. After suffering relegation in the 2006–07 season and being unable to achieve promotion the following campaign, Klopp resigned at Mainz in 2008, departing as the club’s longest-serving manager.
Klopp then became manager of Borussia Dortmund, guiding them to the Bundesliga title in 2010–11. The next season Klopp guided Dortmund to their first ever domestic double. In 2013, he guided Dortmund to the UEFA Champions League Final, where they lost 2–1 to Bayern Munich. He left Dortmund in 2015 as their longest-serving manager.
Klopp was appointed manager of Liverpool two months into the 2015–16 season and led them to the finals of that season’s EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League, although they finished runners-up in both competitions. Liverpool finished fourth in the league in his first two full seasons in charge. He guided the club to successive UEFA Champions League Finals in 2018 and 2019, with the club winning the 2019 Final. He also led Liverpool to second in the 2018–19 Premier League with a record number of points in Europe’s top five leagues for a runner-up (97).
Early Life and Playing Career
Born in Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, to Norbert Klopp, a travelling salesman and a former goalkeeper, Klopp grew up in the countryside in the Black Forest village of Glatten near Freudenstadt with two older sisters. He started playing for local club SV Glatten and later TuS Ergenzingen as a junior player, with the next stint at 1. FC Pforzheim and then at three Frankfurt clubs, Eintracht Frankfurt II, Viktoria Sindlingen and Rot-Weiss Frankfurt during his adolescence.Introduced to football through his father, Klopp was a supporter of VfB Stuttgart in his youth. As a young boy, Klopp aspired to become a doctor, but he did not believe he “was ever smart enough for a medical career”, saying “when they were handing out our A-Level certificates, my headmaster said to me, ‘I hope it works out with football, otherwise it’s not looking too good for you'”.
While playing as an amateur footballer, Klopp worked a number of part-time jobs including working at a local video rental store and loading heavy items onto lorries. In 1988, while attending the Goethe University of Frankfurt, as well as playing for Eintracht Frankfurt non-professionals, Klopp managed the Frankfurt D-Juniors. In the summer of 1990, Klopp was signed by Mainz 05. He spent most of his professional career in Mainz, from 1990 to 2001, with his attitude and commitment making him a fan-favourite. Originally a striker, Klopp began playing as a defender in 1995. That same year, Klopp obtained a diploma in sports science at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, writing his thesis about walking. He retired as Mainz 05’s record goal scorer, registering 56 goals in total, including 52 league goals
Klopp confessed that as a player he felt more suited to a managerial role, describing himself saying “I had fourth-division feet and a first-division head”. Recalling his trial at Eintracht Frankfurt where he played alongside Andreas Möller, Klopp described how his 19-year-old self thought, “if that’s football, I’m playing a completely different game. He was world-class. I was not even class”. As a player, Klopp closely followed his manager’s methods on the training field as well as making weekly trips to Cologne to study under Erich Rutemöller to obtain his Football Coaching Licence.
Upon his retirement playing for Mainz 05, Klopp was appointed as the club’s manager on 27 February 2001 following the sacking of Eckhard Krautzun. The day after, Klopp took charge of their first match, which saw Mainz 05 secure a 1–0 home win over MSV Duisburg. Klopp went on to win six out of his first seven games in charge, eventually finishing in 14th place, avoiding relegation with one game to spare. In his first full season in charge in 2001–02, Klopp guided Mainz to finish 4th in the league as he implemented his favoured pressing and counter-pressing tactics, narrowly missing promotion. Mainz finished 4th in 2002–03, denied promotion again on the final day on goal difference. After two seasons of disappointment, Klopp led Mainz to a third place finish in the 2003–04 season, securing promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time in the club’s history.
Despite having the smallest budget and the smallest stadium in the league, Mainz finished 11th in their first top-flight season in 2004–05. Klopp’s side finished 11th again in 2005–06 as well as securing qualification for the 2005–06 UEFA Cup, although they were knocked out in the first round by eventual champions Sevilla. At the end of the 2006–07 season, Mainz 05 were relegated, but Klopp chose to remain with the club. However, unable to achieve promotion the next year, Klopp resigned at the end of the 2007–08 season. He finished with a record of 109 wins, 78 draws and 83 losses.
In May 2008, Klopp was approached to become the new manager of Borussia Dortmund. Despite having interest from German champions Bayern Munich, Klopp eventually signed a two-year contract at the club, which had finished in a disappointing 13th place under previous manager Thomas Doll. Klopp’s opening game as manager was on 9 August 2008 in a 3–1 DFB-Pokal victory away to Rot-Weiss Essen. In his first season, Klopp won his first trophy with the club after defeating German champions Bayern Munich to claim the 2008 German Supercup. He led the club to a sixth-place finish in his first season in charge. The next season Klopp secured European football as he led Dortmund to a fifth-place finish, despite having one of the youngest squads in the league.
After losing 2–0 to Bayer Leverkusen on the opening day of the 2010–11 season, Klopp’s Dortmund side won fourteen of their next fifteen matches to secure the top spot in the league for Christmas. They clinched the 2010–11 Bundesliga, their seventh league title, with two games to spare on 30 April 2011, beating 1. FC Nürnberg 2–0 at home. Klopp’s side were the youngest ever side to win the Bundesliga. Klopp and his team successfully defended their title, winning the 2011–12 Bundesliga. Their total of 81 points that season was the greatest total points in Bundesliga history and the 47 points earned in the second half of the season also set a new record. Their 25 league wins equalled Bayern Munich’s record, while their 28-league match unbeaten run was the best ever recorded in a single German top-flight season. Dortmund lost the German Super Cup in 2011 against rivals Schalke 04. On 12 May 2012, Klopp sealed the club’s first ever domestic double, by defeating Bayern Munich 5–2 to win the 2012 DFB-Pokal Final, which he described as being “better than [he] could have imagined”.
Dortmund’s league form during the 2012–13 season was not as impressive as in the previous campaign, with Klopp insisting that his team would focus on the UEFA Champions League to make up for their disappointing run in that competition in the previous season. Klopp’s team were drawn against Manchester City, Real Madrid and Ajax in the competition’s group of death. However, they did not lose a game, topping the group with some impressive performances.Dortmund faced José Mourinho’s Real Madrid again, this time in the semi-finals. After an excellent result against them at home in the first leg, a 4–1 victory, a 2–0 loss meant Dortmund narrowly progressed to the final. On 23 April 2013, it was announced that Dortmund’s crucial playmaker Mario Götze was moving on 1 July 2013 to rivals Bayern Munich after they had triggered Götze’s release clause of €37 million. Klopp admitted his annoyance at the timing of the announcement of Götze’s move, as it was barely 36 hours before Dortmund’s Champions League semi-final with Real Madrid. Klopp later said that Dortmund had no chance of convincing Götze to stay with Dortmund, saying, “He is a Pep Guardiola favourite”. Dortmund lost the final 2–1 to Bayern Munich, with an 89th-minute goal from Arjen Robben. Dortmund finished in second place in the Bundesliga. They also lost the 2012 DFL-Supercup, and were knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in the round of 16.
At the beginning of the 2013–14 season, Klopp extended his contract until June 2018. Klopp received a fine of €10,000 on 17 March 2014 after getting sent off from a Bundesliga match against Borussia Mönchengladbach. The ejection was a result of “verbal attack” on the referee. Deniz Aytekin, who was the referee, stated that Klopp’s behavior was “rude on more than one occasion”. Borussia Dortmund vorstand chairman Hans-Joachim Watzke stated that “I have to support Jürgen Klopp 100 percent in this case” because he saw no reason for a fine and denied that Klopp insulted the fourth official. Dortmund finished the 2013–14 season in second place. On 4 January 2014 it was announced that Klopp’s star striker Robert Lewandowski signed a pre-contract agreement to join Bayern Munich at the end of the season, becoming the second key player after Götze to leave the club within a year. Also during the 2013–14 season, Dortmund won the German Super Cup, but were knocked out of the Champions League in the quarter-finals by eventual champions Real Madrid.
Dortmund started the 2014–15 season by winning the German Super Cup. After a disappointing beginning of the season, Klopp announced in April that he would leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of the 2014–15 season, saying “I really think the decision is the right one. This club deserves to be coached from the 100% right manager” as well as adding “I chose this time to announce it because in the last few years some player decisions were made late and there was no time to react”, referring to the departures of Götze and Lewandowski in the seasons prior. He denied speculation that he was tired of the role, saying, “It’s not that I’m tired, I’ve not had contact with another club but don’t plan to take a sabbatical”. Confronted with the thesis that Dortmund’s form immediately improved after the announcement, he joked, “If I’d known, I would have announced it at the beginning of the season”. His final match in charge of the team was the 2015 DFB-Pokal Final, which Dortmund lost 3–1 against VfL Wolfsburg. Dortmund finished in the league in seventh place and were knocked out of Champions League in the round of 16 by Juventus. He finished with a record of 179 wins, 69 draws, and 70 losses.
On 8 October 2015, Klopp agreed a three-year deal to become Liverpool manager, replacing Brendan Rodgers. According to El País, Liverpool co-owner John W. Henry didn’t trust public opinion so he looked for a mathematical method very similar to Moneyball, the approach that Henry used for the Boston Red Sox (in guiding them to three World Series wins) which he also owns via Fenway Sports Group. The mathematical model turned out to be that of Cambridge physicist Ian Graham, which was used to select the manager (Klopp) and players essential for Liverpool to win the UEFA Champions League. In his first press conference, Klopp described his new side saying “it is not a normal club, it is a special club. I had two very special clubs with Mainz and Dortmund. It is the perfect next step for me to be here and try and help” and stating his intention to deliver trophies within four years. During his first conference, Klopp dubbed himself ‘The Normal One’ in a parody of José Mourinho’s famous ‘The Special One’ statement in 2004. His debut was a 0–0 away draw with Tottenham Hotspur on 17 October 2015. On 28 October 2015, Klopp secured his first win as Liverpool manager against Bournemouth in the League Cup to proceed to the quarter-finals. His first Premier League win came three days later, a 3–1 away victory against Chelsea. After three 1–1 draws in the opening matches of the UEFA Europa League, Liverpool defeated Rubin Kazan 1–0 in Klopp’s first win in Europe as a Liverpool manager. On 6 February 2016, he missed a league match to have an appendectomy after suffering suspected appendicitis.
On 28 February 2016, Liverpool lost the 2016 League Cup Final at Wembley to Manchester City on penalties. On 17 March 2016, Klopp’s Liverpool progressed to the quarter-final of the UEFA Europa League by defeating Manchester United 3–1 on aggregate. On 14 April 2016, Liverpool fought back from a 3–1 second half deficit in the second leg of their quarter-final match against his former club, Borussia Dortmund, to win 4–3, advancing to the semi-finals 5–4 on aggregate. On 5 May 2016, Klopp guided Liverpool to their first European final since 2007 by beating Villarreal 3–1 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League. In the final, Liverpool faced Sevilla, losing 1–3 with Daniel Sturridge scoring the opening goal for Liverpool in the first half. Liverpool finished the 2015–16 season in eighth place.
On 8 July 2016, Klopp and his coaching staff signed six-year extensions to their deals keeping them at Liverpool until 2022. Liverpool qualified for the Champions League for the first time since 2014–15 on 21 May 2017, after winning 3–0 at home against Middlesbrough and placing fourth in the 2016–17 Premier League season. Klopp guided Liverpool to their first UEFA Champions League Final since 2007 in 2018 after a 5–1 aggregate quarter-final win against the eventual Premier League champions, Manchester City and 7–6 aggregate win over Roma in the semi-final. However, Liverpool went on to lose in the final 3–1 to Real Madrid. This was Klopp’s sixth defeat in seven major finals. Despite their attacking prowess, Klopp’s side had been criticised for their relatively high number of goals conceded, something which Klopp sought to improve by signing defender Virgil van Dijk in the January transfer window, for a reported fee of £75 million, a world record transfer fee for a defender. Klopp’s side finished fourth in the 2017–18 Premier League, securing qualification for the Champions League for a second consecutive season. Along with the emergence of Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold as regular starters at fullback, Van Dijk and Dejan Lovren built a strong partnership at the heart of Liverpool’s defence, with the Dutchman being credited for improving Liverpool’s previous defensive issues.
In the summer transfer window, Klopp made a number of high profile signings including midfielders Naby Keïta and Fabinho, forward Xherdan Shaqiri and goalkeeper Alisson Becker. Liverpool started the 2018–19 season with their best league start in the club’s 126 year history, winning all of their first six matches. On 2 December 2018, Klopp was charged with misconduct after running onto the pitch during the Merseyside Derby to celebrate Divock Origi’s 96th minute winning goal with goalkeeper Alisson Becker. Following a 2–0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves), Liverpool ended Christmas Day four points clear at the top of the Premier League. A 4–0 win against Newcastle United on Boxing Day saw Klopp’s side extend their lead in the league to six points at the half-way point of the season, as well as becoming only the fourth Premier League team to be unbeaten at this stage. It was Klopp’s 100th win as Liverpool manager in 181 matches. Klopp’s defensive additions proved to be effective as his side equalled the all-time record for the fewest goals conceded at this stage of a top-flight season, conceding just 7 goals and keeping 12 clean sheets in 19 matches.
On 29 December 2018, Klopp’s side thrashed Arsenal 5–1 at Anfield, extending their unbeaten home run in the league to 31 matches, their joint-longest ever unbeaten home run in the competition. The result also saw them move nine points clear at the top of the league, and meant Liverpool won all 8 out of their 8 matches played in December. Klopp subsequently received the Premier League Manager of the Month award for December 2018. Klopp’s side finished the season as runners-up to Manchester City, to whom they suffered their only league defeat of the season. Winning all of their last nine matches, Klopp’s Liverpool scored 97 points, the third-highest total in the history of the English top-division and the most points scored by a team without winning the title, and remained unbeaten at home for the second season running. Their thirty league wins matched the club record for wins in a season. Success eluded Klopp’s Liverpool side in both domestic club competitions in 2018–19. On 26 September 2018, Klopp’s side were knocked out in the third round of the League Cup after losing 2–1 to Chelsea, their first defeat of the season in all competitions. Liverpool were knocked out of the FA Cup after losing 2–1 to Wolves in the third round.
In the 2018–19 UEFA Champions League, Klopp’s side finished second in their group by virtue of goals scored to qualify for the knockout phase after winning 1–0 against Napoli. Klopp’s side were matched against German champions Bayern Munich in the round of 16. A scoreless draw in the first leg, followed by 3–1 victory in the second leg at the Allianz Arena saw Liverpool qualify for the quarter-finals. Liverpool won their quarter-final tie against Porto with an aggregate score of 6–1, winning 2–0 in the first leg at home and 4–1 away at the Estádio do Dragão. In the semi-finals, Klopp’s Liverpool faced tournament favourites Barcelona. After suffering a 3–0 defeat at the Nou Camp, Klopp reportedly asked his players to “just try” or “fail in the most beautiful way” in the second leg of the tie at Anfield. In the second leg, Klopp’s side overturned the deficit with a 4–0 win, advancing to the final 4–3 on aggregate, despite Salah and Firmino being absent with injuries, in what was described as one of the greatest comebacks in Champions League history. In the final at Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Madrid against Tottenham Liverpool won 2–0 with goals from Mohamed Salah and Origi, giving Klopp his first trophy with Liverpool and also his first Champions League title which was the club’s sixth overall.
Road to UEFA Champions League Final 2019 in Madrid
Liverpool Squad 2018-2019 Season
English Premier League Table 2018-2019 Season
Klopp is a notable proponent of Gegenpressing, a tactic in which the team, after losing possession of the ball, immediately attempts to win back possession, rather than falling back to regroup. Klopp has stated that a well-executed counter-pressing system can be more effective than any playmaker when it comes to creating chances. Commenting on his pressing tactics, Klopp said that “The best moment to win the ball is immediately after your team just lost it. The opponent is still looking for orientation where to pass the ball. He will have taken his eyes off the game to make his tackle or interception and he will have expended energy. Both make him vulnerable”. The tactic requires great amounts of speed, organisation and stamina, with the idea of regaining possession of the ball as far up the pitch as possible in order to counter possible counter-attacks. It also requires high levels of discipline: The team must be compact to close down spaces for the opponent to thread passes through, and must learn when to stop pressing to avoid exhaustion and protect from long balls passed into the space behind the pressing defence. Despite Klopp’s pressing tactics resulting in a high attacking output, his Liverpool side were criticised at times for their inability to control games and keep clean sheets. However, Klopp developed his tactics to incorporate more possession based football and more midfield organisation, as well as overseeing the transfers of Alisson, Van Dijk, Keïta and Fabinho ahead of the 2018–19 season which saw Liverpool achieve their best league start in the club’s history, and equal the all-time record for the fewest goals conceded at the mid-point of a top-flight season, conceding just 7 goals and keeping 12 clean sheets.
One of Klopp’s main influences is Italian coach Arrigo Sacchi, whose ideas about the closing down of space in defence and the use of zones and reference points inspired the basis of Klopp’s counter-pressing tactics, as well Wolfgang Frank, his former coach during his time as a player for Mainz from 1995–97 and then 1998–2000. Klopp himself said “I’ve never met Sacchi, but I learned everything I am as a coach from him and my former coach [Frank], who took it from Sacchi”.
The importance of emotion is something Klopp has underlined throughout his managerial career, saying “Tactical things are so important, you cannot win without tactical things, but the emotion makes the difference”. He believes that the players should embrace their emotions, describing how “[football is] the only sport where emotion has this big of an influence”. Ahead of the Merseyside Derby in 2016, Klopp said “The best football is always about expression of emotion”.
“If you win the ball back high up the pitch and you are close to the goal, it is only one pass away a really good opportunity most of the time. No playmaker in the world can be as good as a good counter-pressing situation.” —Klopp explaining his belief in the effectiveness of Gegenpressing in creating chances.
In his first two full seasons at Liverpool, Klopp almost exclusively employed a 4–3–3 formation, utilising a front three of wingers Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané surrounding false-9 Roberto Firmino, supported by Philippe Coutinho in midfield. The foursome earned the moniker of the ‘Fab Four’ as they supplied the majority of the team’s goals over this period of time. Firmino’s exceptionally high number of tackles for a striker under Klopp’s management encapsulates his style of play, demanding a high-press from all his players and having his striker defend from the front. Following Coutinho’s departure in January 2018, the remaining front three increased their attacking output and continued to create chances as Salah won the Premier League Golden Boot in 2018, before sharing the award with his team-mate, Mané, in 2019. In the early part of the 2018–19 season Klopp, at times, utilised the 4–2–3–1 formation, which he had previously used at Dortmund. While this was partially to account for a number of injuries to key players, it also allowed Klopp to accommodate new signing Xherdan Shaqiri, playing Firmino in a more creative role and allowing Salah to play in a more central offensive position. However, for the remainder of the season, the 4–3–3 formation, as with the previous two seasons, became Klopp’s preferred setup as his side finished as runners-up in the Premier League and reached a second-consecutive Champions League final, where Klopp won his first Champions League title as a manager.
Klopp is often credited with pioneering the resurgence of Gegenpressing in modern football, and is regarded by fellow professional managers and players as one of the best managers in the world. In 2016, Guardiola suggested that Klopp could be “the best manager in the world at creating teams who attack”. As well receiving plaudits for his tactics, Klopp is also highly regarded as a motivator, with striker Roberto Firmino saying “He motivates us in a different way every day”, and being praised by Guardiola as a “huge motivator”. Klopp has also received praise for building competitive teams without spending as much as many direct rivals, placing emphasis on sustainability.
Klopp has gained notoriety for his enthusiastic touchline celebrations, although received criticism in 2018 for taking things ‘too far’ when running to on to the pitch to embrace Alisson Becker in celebrating an added time winner in the Merseyside Derby. Pep Guardiola spoke in defence of Klopp, saying “I did it against Southampton. There are a lot of emotions there in those moments”.
“Maybe Klopp is the best manager in the world at creating teams who attack […] I don’t think there is another team in the world attacking in this way with so many players capable of launching moves in an instant. […] When Klopp speaks about his football being heavy metal, I understand completely. It is so aggressive. For the fans it is really good.” —Pep Guardiola speaking about Klopp, who remains the only manager with a positive head-to-head record against the Spaniard, in 2016.
Klopp has been married twice. He was previously wedded to Sabine and they have a son, Marc (born 1988), who has played for a number of German clubs including FSV Frankfurt under-19s, KSV Klein-Karben, SV Darmstadt 98, Borussia Dortmund II and the Kreisliga side VfL Kemminghausen 1925. On 5 December 2005, Klopp married social worker and children’s writer Ulla Sandrock. They met at a pub during an Oktoberfest celebration that same year. She has a son, Dennis, from a previous marriage. Klopp is a Protestant Christian who has referred to his faith in public, citing the importance of Jesus in his life in a media interview.
In an interview for The Guardian in April 2018, Klopp expressed his opposition to Brexit. Politically, Klopp considers himself left-wing, stating: “I’m on the left, of course. More left than middle. I believe in the welfare state. I’m not privately insured. I would never vote for a party because they promised to lower the top tax rate. My political understanding is this: if I am doing well, I want others to do well, too. If there’s something I will never do in my life it is vote for the right”.
In 2005, Klopp was a regular expert commentator on the German television network ZDF, analysing the Germany national team. He worked as a match analyst during the 2006 World Cup, for which he received the Deutscher Fernsehpreis for “Best Sports Show” in October 2006, as well as Euro 2008. Klopp’s term came to an end after the latter competition and he was succeeded by Oliver Kahn. During the 2010 World Cup, Klopp worked with RTL alongside Günther Jauch, for which Klopp again won the award for the same category. Klopp has also appeared in the documentary films Trainer! (2013) and Und vorne hilft der liebe Gott (2016).
Klopp’s popularity is used in advertisements by, among others, Puma, Opel and the German cooperative banking group Volksbanken-Raiffeisenbanken. According to Horizont, trade magazine for the German advertising industry, and the business weekly Wirtschaftswoche, Klopp’s role as “brand ambassador” for Opel successfully helped the struggling carmaker to increase sales. He is also an ambassador for the German anti-racism campaign “Respekt! Kein Platz für Rassismus” (“Respect! No room for racism”).
a. All appearances in DFB-Pokal. b. Appearances in Aufstiegsrunde 2. Bundesliga (Promotion play-offs). c. Appearances in the 2. Bundesliga Süd as the league was split into a ‘North’ and ‘South’ due to the merging of clubs from former East Germany.
As of match played 1 June 2019
As of match played 1 June 2019
2 Bundesliga third-place promotion: 2003–04
Bundesliga: 2010–11, 2011–12
DFL-Supercup: 2013, 2014
UEFA Champions League runner-up: 2012–13
UEFA Champions League: 2018–2019; Runner-up: 2017–2018
Football League Cup runner-up: 2015–2016
UEFA Europa League runner-up: 2015–2016
German Football Manager of the Year: 2011, 2012
Premier League Manager of the Month: September 2016, December 2018, March 2019
Deutscher Fernsehpreis (German Television Award): 2006, 2010
Liverpool Football Club is a professional football club in Liverpool, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top tier of English football. The club has won 5 European Cups, more than any other English club, 3 UEFA Cups, 3 UEFA Super Cups, 18 League titles, 7 FA Cups, 8 League Cups, and 15 FA Community Shields.
Founded in 1892, the club joined the Football League the following year and has played at Anfield since its formation. Liverpool established itself as a major force in English and European football in the 1970s and 1980s when Bill Shankly and Bob Paisley led the club to 11 League titles and seven European trophies. Under the management of Rafael Benítez and captained by Steven Gerrard, Liverpool became European champions for the fifth time in 2005.
Liverpool was the ninth highest-earning football club in the world in 2016–17, with an annual revenue of €424.2 million, and the world’s eighth most valuable football club in 2018, valued at $1.944 billion. The club is one of the best supported teams in the world. Liverpool has long-standing rivalries with Manchester United and Everton.
The club’s supporters have been involved in two major tragedies:
The Heysel Stadium disaster, where escaping fans were pressed against a collapsing wall at the 1985 European Cup Final in Brussels, with 39 people – mostly Italians and Juventus fans – dying, after which English clubs were given a five-year ban from European competition, and
The Hillsborough disaster in 1989, where 96 Liverpool supporters died in a crush against perimeter fencing.
New Liverpool Football Club Anfield Stadium Map
The team changed from red shirts and white shorts to an all-red home strip in 1964 which has been used ever since. The club’s anthem is “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
2| Colours and badge
5| Ownership and finances
6| Liverpool in popular culture
7.1| First-team squad
7.2| Out on loan
7.3| Reserves and Academy
7.4| Former players
7.5| Player records
7.6| Club captains
7.7| Player of the Season
8| Club Officials
9.3| Doubles and Trebles
Liverpool F.C. was founded following a dispute between the Everton committee and John Houlding, club president and owner of the land at Anfield. After eight years at the stadium, Everton relocated to Goodison Park in 1892 and Houlding founded Liverpool F.C. to play at Anfield. Originally named “Everton F.C. and Athletic Grounds Ltd” (Everton Athletic for short), the club became Liverpool F.C. in March 1892 and gained official recognition three months later, after The Football Association refused to recognise the club as Everton. The team won the Lancashire League in its début season, and joined the Football League Second Division at the start of the 1893–94 season. After finishing in first place the club was promoted to the First Division, which it won in 1901 and again in 1906.
Liverpool reached its first FA Cup Final in 1914, losing 1–0 to Burnley. It won consecutive League championships in 1922 and 1923, but did not win another trophy until the 1946–47 season, when the club won the First Division for a fifth time under the control of ex-West Ham Utd centre half George Kay. Liverpool suffered its second Cup Final defeat in 1950, playing against Arsenal. The club was relegated to the Second Division in the 1953–54 season. Soon after Liverpool lost 2–1 to non-league Worcester City in the 1958–59 FA Cup, Bill Shankly was appointed manager. Upon his arrival he released 24 players and converted a boot storage room at Anfield into a room where the coaches could discuss strategy; here, Shankly and other “Boot Room” members Joe Fagan, Reuben Bennett, and Bob Paisley began reshaping the team.
John Houlding, the founder of Liverpool F.C.
Sculptor Tom Murphy alongside the John Houlding bronze bust
The club was promoted back into the First Division in 1962 and won it in 1964, for the first time in 17 years. In 1965, the club won its first FA Cup. In 1966, the club won the First Division but lost to Borussia Dortmund in the European Cup Winners’ Cup final. Liverpool won both the League and the UEFA Cup during the 1972–73 season, and the FA Cup again a year later. Shankly retired soon afterwards and was replaced by his assistant, Bob Paisley. In 1976, Paisley’s second season as manager, the club won another League and UEFA Cup double. The following season, the club retained the League title and won the European Cup for the first time, but it lost in the 1977 FA Cup Final. Liverpool retained the European Cup in 1978 and regained the First Division title in 1979. During Paisley’s nine seasons as manager Liverpool won 21 trophies, including three European Cups, a UEFA Cup, six League titles and three consecutive League Cups; the only domestic trophy he did not win was the FA Cup.
Paisley retired in 1983 and was replaced by his assistant, Joe Fagan. Liverpool won the League, League Cup and European Cup in Fagan’s first season, becoming the first English side to win three trophies in a season. Liverpool reached the European Cup final again in 1985, against Juventus at the Heysel Stadium. Before kick-off, Liverpool fans breached a fence which separated the two groups of supporters, and charged the Juventus fans. The resulting weight of people caused a retaining wall to collapse, killing 39 fans, mostly Italians. The incident became known as the Heysel Stadium disaster. The match was played in spite of protests by both managers, and Liverpool lost 1–0 to Juventus. As a result of the tragedy, English clubs were banned from participating in European competition for five years; Liverpool received a ten-year ban, which was later reduced to six years. Fourteen Liverpool fans received convictions for involuntary manslaughter.
Statue of Bill Shankly outside Anfield. Shankly won promotion to the First Division and the club’s first league title since 1947.
Fagan had announced his retirement just before the disaster and Kenny Dalglish was appointed as player-manager. During his tenure, the club won another three league titles and two FA Cups, including a League and Cup “Double” in the 1985–86 season. Liverpool’s success was overshadowed by the Hillsborough disaster: in an FA Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on 15 April 1989, hundreds of Liverpool fans were crushed against perimeter fencing. Ninety-four fans died that day; the 95th victim died in hospital from his injuries four days later and the 96th died nearly four years later, without regaining consciousness. After the Hillsborough disaster there was a government review of stadium safety. The resulting Taylor Report paved the way for legislation that required top-division teams to have all-seater stadiums. The report ruled that the main reason for the disaster was overcrowding due to a failure of police control.
Liverpool was involved in the closest finish to a league season during the 1988–89 season. Liverpool finished equal with Arsenal on both points and goal difference, but lost the title on total goals scored when Arsenal scored the final goal in the last minute of the season.
Dalglish cited the Hillsborough disaster and its repercussions as the reason for his resignation in 1991; he was replaced by former player Graeme Souness. Under his leadership Liverpool won the 1992 FA Cup Final, but their league performances slumped, with two consecutive sixth-place finishes, eventually resulting in his dismissal in January 1994. Souness was replaced by Roy Evans, and Liverpool went on to win the 1995 Football League Cup Final. While they made some title challenges under Evans, third-place finishes in 1996 and 1998 were the best they could manage, and so Gérard Houllier was appointed co-manager in the 1998–99 season, and became the sole manager in November 1998 after Evans resigned. In 2001, Houllier’s second full season in charge, Liverpool won a “Treble”: the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup. Houllier underwent major heart surgery during the 2001–02 season and Liverpool finished second in the League, behind Arsenal. They won a further League Cup in 2003, but failed to mount a title challenge in the two seasons that followed.
The Hillsborough memorial, which is engraved with the names of the 96 people who died in the Hillsborough disaster.
Houllier was replaced by Rafael Benítez at the end of the 2003–04 season. Despite finishing fifth in Benítez’s first season, Liverpool won the 2004–05 UEFA Champions League, beating A.C. Milan 3–2 in a penalty shootout after the match ended with a score of 3–3. The following season, Liverpool finished third in the Premier League and won the 2006 FA Cup Final, beating West Ham United in a penalty shootout after the match finished 3–3. American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks became the owners of the club during the 2006–07 season, in a deal which valued the club and its outstanding debts at £218.9 million. The club reached the 2007 UEFA Champions League Final against Milan, as it had in 2005, but lost 2–1. During the 2008–09 season Liverpool achieved 86 points, its highest Premier League points total, and finished as runners up to Manchester United.
In the 2009–10 season, Liverpool finished seventh in the Premier League and failed to qualify for the Champions League. Benítez subsequently left by mutual consent and was replaced by Fulham manager Roy Hodgson. At the start of the 2010–11 season Liverpool was on the verge of bankruptcy and the club’s creditors asked the High Court to allow the sale of the club, overruling the wishes of Hicks and Gillett. John W. Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox and of Fenway Sports Group, bid successfully for the club and took ownership in October 2010. Poor results during the start of that season led to Hodgson leaving the club by mutual consent and former player and manager Kenny Dalglish taking over. In the 2011–12 season, Liverpool secured a record 8th League Cup success and reached the FA Cup final, but finished in eighth position, the worst league finish in 18 years; this led to the sacking of Dalglish. He was replaced by Brendan Rodgers, whose Liverpool team in the 2013–14 season mounted an unexpected title charge to finish second behind champions Manchester City and subsequently return to the Champions League, scoring 101 goals in the process, the most since the 106 scored in the 1895–96 season. Following a disappointing 2014–15 season, where Liverpool finished sixth in the league, and a poor start to the following campaign, Rodgers was sacked in October 2015. He was replaced by Jürgen Klopp, who in his first season at Liverpool, took the club to the finals of both the Football League Cup and UEFA Europa League, finishing as runner-up in both competitions.
The European Cup trophy won by Liverpool for a fifth time in 2005
2| Colours and Badge
For much of Liverpool’s history its home colours have been all red, but when the club was founded its kit was more like the contemporary Everton kit. The blue and white quartered shirts were used until 1894, when the club adopted the city’s colour of red. The city’s symbol of the liver bird was adopted as the club’s badge in 1901, although it was not incorporated into the kit until 1955. Liverpool continued to wear red shirts and white shorts until 1964, when manager Bill Shankly decided to change to an all red strip. Liverpool played in all red for the first time against Anderlecht, as Ian St. John recalled in his autobiography:
He [Shankly] thought the colour scheme would carry psychological impact – red for danger, red for power. He came into the dressing room one day and threw a pair of red shorts to Ronnie Yeats. “Get into those shorts and let’s see how you look”, he said. “Christ, Ronnie, you look awesome, terrifying. You look 7 ft tall.” “Why not go the whole hog, boss?” I suggested. “Why not wear red socks? Let’s go out all in red.” Shankly approved and an iconic kit was born.
Liverpool’s home colours worn from 1892 to 1896
The Liverpool away strip has more often than not been all yellow or white shirts and black shorts, but there have been several exceptions. An all grey kit was introduced in 1987, which was used until the 1991–92 centenary season, when it was replaced by a combination of green shirts and white shorts. After various colour combinations in the 1990s, including gold and navy, bright yellow, black and grey, and ecru, the club alternated between yellow and white away kits until the 2008–09 season, when it re-introduced the grey kit. A third kit is designed for European away matches, though it is also worn in domestic away matches on occasions when the current away kit clashes with a team’s home kit. Between 2012–15, the kits were designed by Warrior Sports, who became the club’s kit providers at the start of the 2012–13 season. In February 2015, Warrior’s parent company New Balance announced it would be entering the global football market, with teams sponsored by Warrior now being outfitted by New Balance. The only other branded shirts worn by the club were made by Umbro until 1985, when they were replaced by Adidas, who produced the kits until 1996 when Reebok took over. They produced the kits for 10 years before Adidas made the kits from 2006 to 2012.
Liverpool was the first English professional club to have a sponsor’s logo on its shirts, after agreeing a deal with Hitachi in 1979. Since then the club has been sponsored by Crown Paints, Candy, Carlsberg and Standard Chartered Bank. The contract with Carlsberg, which was signed in 1992, was the longest-lasting agreement in English top-flight football. The association with Carlsberg ended at the start of the 2010–11 season, when Standard Chartered Bank became the club’s sponsor.
The Liverpool badge is based on the city’s liver bird, which in the past had been placed inside a shield. In 1992, to commemorate the centennial of the club, a new badge was commissioned, including a representation of the Shankly Gates. The next year twin flames were added at either side, symbolic of the Hillsborough memorial outside Anfield, where an eternal flame burns in memory of those who died in the Hillsborough disaster. In 2012, Warrior Sports’ first Liverpool kit removed the shield and gates, returning the badge to what had adorned Liverpool shirts in the 1970s; the flames were moved to the back collar of the shirt, surrounding the number 96 for the number who died at Hillsborough.
A version of Liverpool’s Crest as depicted on the Shankly Gates
Anfield, home of Liverpool F.C.
Anfield was built in 1884 on land adjacent to Stanley Park. It was originally used by Everton before the club moved to Goodison Park after a dispute over rent with Anfield owner John Houlding. Left with an empty ground, Houlding founded Liverpool in 1892 and the club has played at Anfield ever since. The capacity of the stadium at the time was 20,000, although only 100 spectators attended Liverpool’s first match at Anfield.
The Kop was built in 1906 due to the high turnout for matches and was called the Oakfield Road Embankment initially. Its first game was on 1 September 1906 when the home side beat Stoke City 1–0. In 1906 the banked stand at one end of the ground was formally renamed the Spion Kop after a hill in KwaZulu-Natal. The hill was the site of the Battle of Spion Kop in the Second Boer War, where over 300 men of the Lancashire Regiment died, many of them from Liverpool. At its peak, the stand could hold 28,000 spectators and was one of the largest single-tier stands in the world. Many stadia in England had stands named after Spion Kop, but Anfield’s was the largest of them at the time; it could hold more supporters than some entire football grounds.
Anfield could accommodate more than 60,000 supporters at its peak, and had a capacity of 55,000 until the 1990s. The Taylor Report and Premier League regulations obliged Liverpool to convert Anfield to an all-seater stadium in time for the 1993–94 season, reducing the capacity to 45,276. The findings of the Taylor Report precipitated the redevelopment of the Kemlyn Road Stand, which was rebuilt in 1992, coinciding with the centenary of the club, and was known as the Centenary Stand until 2017 when it was renamed the Kenny Dalglish Stand. An extra tier was added to the Anfield Road end in 1998, which further increased the capacity of the ground but gave rise to problems when it was opened. A series of support poles and stanchions were inserted to give extra stability to the top tier of the stand after movement of the tier was reported at the start of the 1999–2000 season.
Because of restrictions on expanding the capacity at Anfield, Liverpool announced plans to move to the proposed Stanley Park Stadium in May 2002. Planning permission was granted in July 2004, and in September 2006, Liverpool City Council agreed to grant Liverpool a 999-year lease on the proposed site. Following the takeover of the club by George Gillett and Tom Hicks in February 2007, the proposed stadium was redesigned. The new design was approved by the Council in November 2007. The stadium was scheduled to open in August 2011 and would hold 60,000 spectators, with HKS, Inc. contracted to build the stadium. Construction was halted in August 2008, as Gillett and Hicks had difficulty in financing the £300 million needed for the development. In October 2012, BBC Sport reported that Fenway Sports Group, the new owners of Liverpool FC, had decided to redevelop their current home at Anfield stadium, rather than building a new stadium in Stanley Park. As part of the redevelopment the capacity of Anfield was to increase from 45,276 to approximately 60,000 and would cost approximately £150m. When construction was completed on the new Main stand the capacity of Anfield was increased to 54,074. This £100 million expansion added a third tier to the stand. This was all part of a £260 million project to improve the Anfield area. Jurgen Klopp the manager at the time described the stand as “impressive.”
Kopites in The Kop Stand
Liverpool is one of the best supported clubs in the world. The club states that its worldwide fan base includes more than 200 officially recognised Club of the LFC Official Supporters Clubs in at least 50 countries. Notable groups include Spirit of Shankly. The club takes advantage of this support through its worldwide summer tours, which has included playing in front of 101,000 in Michigan, U.S., and 95,000 in Melbourne, Australia. Liverpool fans often refer to themselves as Kopites, a reference to the fans who once stood, and now sit, on the Kop at Anfield. In 2008 a group of fans decided to form a splinter club, A.F.C. Liverpool, to play matches for fans who had been priced out of watching Premier League football.
The song “You’ll Never Walk Alone”, originally from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel and later recorded by Liverpool musicians Gerry and the Pacemakers, is the club’s anthem and has been sung by the Anfield crowd since the early 1960s. It has since gained popularity among fans of other clubs around the world. The song’s title adorns the top of the Shankly Gates, which were unveiled on 2 August 1982 in memory of former manager Bill Shankly. The “You’ll Never Walk Alone” portion of the Shankly Gates is also reproduced on the club’s crest.
The Shankly Gates, erected in honour of former manager Bill Shankly
The club’s supporters have been involved in two stadium disasters. The first was the 1985 Heysel Stadium disaster, in which 39 Juventus supporters were killed. They were confined to a corner by Liverpool fans who had charged in their direction; the weight of the cornered fans caused a wall to collapse. UEFA laid the blame for the incident solely on the Liverpool supporters, and banned all English clubs from European competition for five years. Liverpool was banned for an additional year, preventing it from participating in the 1990–91 European Cup, even though it won the League in 1990. Twenty-seven fans were arrested on suspicion of manslaughter and were extradited to Belgium in 1987 to face trial. In 1989, after a five-month trial in Belgium, 14 Liverpool fans were given three-year sentences for involuntary manslaughter; half of the terms were suspended.
The second disaster took place during an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield, on 15 April 1989. Ninety-six Liverpool fans died as a consequence of overcrowding at the Leppings Lane end, in what became known as the Hillsborough disaster. In the following days The Sun newspaper published an article entitled “The Truth”, in which it claimed that Liverpool fans had robbed the dead and had urinated on and attacked the police. Subsequent investigations proved the allegations false, leading to a boycott of the newspaper by Liverpool fans across the city and elsewhere; many still refuse to buy The Sun more than 20 years later. Many support organisations were set up in the wake of the disaster, such as the Hillsborough Justice Campaign, which represents bereaved families, survivors and supporters in their efforts to secure justice.
The Merseyside derby at Anfield in 2006
Liverpool’s longest-established rivalry is with fellow Liverpool team Everton, against whom they contest the Merseyside derby. The rivalry stems from Liverpool’s formation and the dispute with Everton officials and the then owners of Anfield. The Merseyside derby is one of the few local derbies which do not enforce fan segregation, and hence has been known as the “friendly derby”. Since the mid-1980s, the rivalry has intensified both on and off the field and, since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, the Merseyside derby has had more players sent off than any other Premier League game. It has been referred to as “the most ill-disciplined and explosive fixture in the Premier League”.
Liverpool’s rivalry with Manchester United stems from the cities’ competition in the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century. The two clubs alternated as champions between 1964 and 1967, and Manchester United became the first English team to win the European Cup in 1968, followed by Liverpool’s four European Cup victories. Despite the 38 league titles and eight European Cups between them the two rivals have rarely been successful at the same time – Liverpool’s run of titles in the 1970s and 1980s coincided with Manchester United’s 26-year title drought, and United’s success in the Premier League-era has likewise coincided with Liverpool’s ongoing drought, and the two clubs have finished first and second in the league only five times. Nonetheless, former Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson said in 2002, “My greatest challenge was knocking Liverpool right off their fucking perch”, and the last player to be transferred between the two clubs was Phil Chisnall, who moved to Liverpool from Manchester United in 1964.
5| Ownership and Finances
John W. Henry of Fenway Sports Group, the parent company of Liverpool
As the owner of Anfield and founder of Liverpool, John Houlding was the club’s first chairman, a position he held from its founding in 1892 until 1904. John McKenna took over as chairman after Houlding’s departure. McKenna subsequently became President of the Football League. The chairmanship changed hands many times before John Smith, whose father was a shareholder of the club, took up the role in 1973. He oversaw the most successful period in Liverpool’s history before stepping down in 1990. His successor was Noel White who became chairman in 1990. In August 1991 David Moores, whose family had owned the club for more than 50 years became chairman. His uncle John Moores was also a shareholder at Liverpool and was chairman of Everton from 1961 to 1973. Moores owned 51 percent of the club, and in 2004 expressed his willingness to consider a bid for his shares in Liverpool.
Moores eventually sold the club to American businessmen George Gillett and Tom Hicks on 6 February 2007. The deal valued the club and its outstanding debts at £218.9 million. The pair paid £5,000 per share, or £174.1m for the total shareholding and £44.8m to cover the club’s debts. Disagreements between Gillett and Hicks, and the fans’ lack of support for them, resulted in the pair looking to sell the club. Martin Broughton was appointed chairman of the club on 16 April 2010 to oversee its sale. In May 2010, accounts were released showing the holding company of the club to be £350m in debt (due to leveraged takeover) with losses of £55m, causing auditor KPMG to qualify its audit opinion. The group’s creditors, including the Royal Bank of Scotland, took Gillett and Hicks to court to force them to allow the board to proceed with the sale of the club, the major asset of the holding company. A High Court judge, Mr Justice Floyd, ruled in favour of the creditors and paved the way for the sale of the club to Fenway Sports Group (formerly New England Sports Ventures), although Gillett and Hicks still had the option to appeal. Liverpool was sold to Fenway Sports Group on 15 October 2010 for £300m.
Liverpool has been described as a global brand; a 2010 report valued the club’s trademarks and associated intellectual property at £141m, an increase of £5m on the previous year. Liverpool was given a brand rating of AA (Very Strong). In April 2010 business magazine Forbes ranked Liverpool as the sixth most valuable football team in the world, behind Manchester United, Real Madrid, Arsenal, Barcelona and Bayern Munich; they valued the club at $822m (£532m), excluding debt. Accountants Deloitte ranked Liverpool eighth in the Deloitte Football Money League, which ranks the world’s football clubs in terms of revenue. Liverpool’s income in the 2009–10 season was €225.3m.
6| Liverpool in Popular Culture
Because of its successful history, Liverpool is often featured when football is depicted in British culture and has appeared in a number of media firsts. The club appeared in the first edition of the BBC’s Match of the Day, which screened highlights of its match against Arsenal at Anfield on 22 August 1964. The first football match to be televised in colour was between Liverpool and West Ham United, broadcast live in March 1967. Liverpool fans featured in the Pink Floyd song “Fearless”, in which they sang excerpts from “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. To mark the club’s appearance in the 1988 FA Cup Final, Liverpool released a song known as the “Anfield Rap”, featuring John Barnes and other members of the squad.
A documentary drama on the Hillsborough disaster, written by Jimmy McGovern, was screened in 1996. It featured Christopher Eccleston as Trevor Hicks, whose story is the focus of the script. Hicks, who lost two teenage daughters in the disaster, went on to campaign for safer stadiums and helped to form the Hillsborough Families Support Group. Liverpool featured in the film The 51st State (also known as Formula 51), in which ex-hitman Felix DeSouza (Robert Carlyle) is a keen supporter of the team and the last scene takes place at a match between Liverpool and Manchester United. The club was featured in a children’s television show called Scully; the plot revolved around a young boy, Francis Scully, who tried to gain a trial match with Liverpool. The show featured prominent Liverpool players of the time such as Kenny Dalglish.
7.1| First-team squad
As of 30 August 2018
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
7.2 | Out on loan
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
7.3| Reserves and Academy
Further information on the academy squads: Liverpool F.C. Reserves and Academy § Academy squads
7.4| Former players
Further information: List of Liverpool F.C. players, List of Liverpool F.C. players (25–99 appearances), List of Liverpool F.C. players (1–24 appearances), and Category:Liverpool F.C. players
7.5| Player records
For player records, see List of Liverpool F.C. records and statistics.
7.6| Club captains
Since the establishment of the club in 1892, 45 players have been club captain of Liverpool F.C. Andrew Hannah became the first captain of the club after Liverpool separated from Everton and formed its own club. Initially Alex Raisbeck, who was club captain from 1899 to 1909, was the longest serving captain before being overtaken by Steven Gerrard who served 12 seasons as Liverpool captain starting from the 2003–04 season. The present captain is Jordan Henderson, who replaced Gerrard in the 2015–16 season following Gerrard’s move to LA Galaxy.
7.7| Player of the Season
Steven Gerrard, four-time winner of the award
Luis Suárez, two-time winner of the award
8| Club Officials
Replicas of the four European Cups Liverpool won from 1977 to 1984 on display in the club’s museum
Liverpool’s first trophy was the Lancashire League, which it won in the club’s first season. In 1901, the club won its first League title, while its first success in the FA Cup was in 1965. In terms of the number of trophies won, Liverpool’s most successful decade was the 1980s, when the club won six League titles, two FA Cups, four League Cups, five Charity Shields (one shared) and two European Cups.
The club has accumulated more top-flight wins and points than any other English team. Liverpool also has the highest average league finishing position (3.3) for the 50-year period to 2015 and second-highest average league finishing position for the period 1900–1999 after Arsenal, with an average league placing of 8.7. Liverpool has won the European Cup, UEFA’s premier club competition, five times, an English record and only surpassed by Real Madrid and Milan. Liverpool’s fifth European Cup win, in 2005, meant that the club was awarded the trophy permanently and was also awarded a multiple-winner badge. Liverpool also hold the English record of three wins in the UEFA Cup, UEFA’s secondary club competition.
First Division [English Premier]
Winners (1): 1892–93
Football League Cup
FA Charity / Community Shield
Sheriff of London Charity Shield
Winners (1): – 1906
Football League Super Cup
Winners (1): 1985–86
European Cup/UEFA Champions League
1976–1977 [Olympic Stadium, Rome, Italy – Bob Paisley] Liverpool 3-1 Borussia Mönchengladbach. Kevin Keegan
1977–1978 [London, England – Bob Paisley] Liverpool 1-0 Real Madrid. Kenny Dalglish
1980–1981 [Paris, France- Bob Paisley] Liverpool 1-0 Club Brugge. Kenny Dalglish
1983–1984 [Olympic Stadium, Rome, Italy – Joe Fagan] Liverpool 1 – 1 Roma. Penalty Kick 4-2. Kenny Dalglish
2004–2005 [Istambul, Turkey – Refail Benitez] Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan. Penalty Kick 3-2. Steven Gerrard
2018-2019 [Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in Madrid, Spain 1st June 2019 Jurgen Klopp] Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham Hotspur. Mohamed Salah-Mane-Firmino.
1984-1985 [Heysel Stadium, Brussels] Juventus 1-0 Liverpool
2006-2007 [Stadion Olimpiade, Athena. 23 Mei 2007 Rafael Benítez] AC Milan – Liverpool 2-1. Steven Gerrard
2017-2018 [Kiev, Ukraine Jurgen Klopp] Liverpool-Real Madrid 3-1. Mohamed Salah-Mane-Firmino.
UEFA League Cup
UEFA Super Cup
9.3| Doubles and Trebles
League and FA Cup: 1 – 1985–86
League and League Cup: 2
European Double (League and European Cup): 1 – 1976–77
League and UEFA Cup: 2
League Cup and European Cup: 1 – 1980–81
League, League Cup and European Cup: 1 – 1983–84
FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup: 1 – 2000–01
Especially short competitions, such as the FA Community Shield and the UEFA Super Cup, are not generally considered to contribute towards a Double or Treble.
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