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What Liverpool fans don’t know of Istanbul 2005 final — Didi Hamann



What Liverpool fans don't know of Istanbul 2005 final -- Didi Hamann

The Miracle of Istanbul they call it…

Istanbul 2005 final will remain a treasured history in the memories of every Liverpool fan born within and before that era.

That final wasn’t different from what many people will expect of a Champions League final, especially from a team filled with stars like AC Milan was at the time. It was about defying fate and rewriting history to suit the underdog.

What better narrative is there than that? After all, football in as much as it was about entertaining an audience, was about the moments and creating the headlines.

The headlines lined up with tales about Steven Gerrard inspiring what was the best ever Champions League final comeback, as Liverpool trailing 3-0 to a high firing AC Milan side, came back to score 3-times within 6 minutes to force the game into extra time and eventually into penalties.

Where are they now? Liverpool's 2005 UEFA Champions League winner Djimi  Traoré | Shoot - Shoot

But as the narratives and headlines make mention of Steven Gerrard, another Liverpool legend sees that night very differently.

According to Dietmar Hamann, popularly called Didi Hamann by fans and the media, though Steven Gerrard played a role in inspiring the famous Istanbul 2005 final, one name is absent from headlines — Djimi Traore.

In a recent appearance on That Peter Crouch Podcast, Hamann recounted Traore’s pivotal role in Liverpool’s miraculous turnaround. Despite Milan racing to a commanding 3-0 halftime lead, Traore’s resilience and determination shone through, earning him praise from his former teammate.

Hamann highlighted Traore’s mental strength, noting how the defender quickly refocused after being called back from the shower to continue his duties on the pitch.

The Miracle of Istanbul: How Liverpool's 2005 | beIN SPORTS

He credited Traore’s goal-line clearance and crucial tackles as instrumental in Liverpool’s eventual triumph.

“Djimi played as well as anyone in the second half and I always say my hero, the reason we won the Champions League, it’s not me, it’s not Steven Gerrard – it’s Djimi Traore.

“Because he had a goal-line clearance, he had a few last ditch tackles, one of the best tacklers, one of the quickest players and Djimi played as well as anyone and this is what set us apart from other teams.”

While Gerrard’s goal and influence on the comeback are widely celebrated, Hamann’s perspective shifts in favor of the unsung heroes who played pivotal roles in the 2005 final in Istanbul.