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Gerrard desperate for Rome return

04 Apr 2009 15:00:00

Gerrard desperate for Rome return

Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard has underlined his desire to take the Reds back to Rome, where they won their first European Cup in 1977.Gerrard, 29 next month, will lead his side into yet another Champions League battle with Chelsea on Wednesday in a quarter-final first leg at Anfield.He has already lifted the European crown once after inspiring Liverpool's astonishing comeback in Istanbul to beat AC Milan in the 2005 final.But Rome means an awful lot to Liverpool and their fans, and Gerrard knows it.May 27 in the Stadio Olimpico is where Gerrard wants to lead his team for this season's Champions League final, the same venue in which the first of their five European Cups over 20 years ago.It is a venue etched in Liverpool history.Back in '77 they beat Borussia Monchengladbach 3-1. Tommy Smith, Terry McDermott and Phil Neal scoring the goals on a wondrous night of Scouse celebration.In 1984 they were back in the Italian capital again to beat Roma on penalties and lift the crown for the fourth time.Now Gerrard wants his place in history by completing the hat-trick.He said: "Of course this season's final venue adds significance for Liverpool."Obviously that's the history of the club, and the idea for us players today is to add to that history, we want to be the team that goes to Rome and does it again."As fans we remember those magical nights, so if we were to go and do that again, it would be really special."Talking to the UEFA website, he added: "It means everything to me. I've supported the club ever since I started watching football."A lot of my family are Liverpool supporters, a lot of my friends, and I still live in the city. So when we do win and get good results and win trophies, it's nice to be part of it and enjoy it with the supporters."I am going to be biased and say that the 2005 final was the best final ever. I don't think there is one that turned out the way that game did - 3-0 down, then 3-3, and then a penalty shoot-out."It was fantastic entertainment for the neutral, but to play in it was an unbelievable experience."I think everyone has seen by my reaction when I lifted the cup in 2005 how much the trophy means to myself, to my team-mates and to the Liverpool supporters."That was the best night of my football life so far. So I want to go and match that and experience that feeling again."Despite Liverpool's burning desire for domestic success, Gerrard admits European glory is never far from his mind."I have still got many more dreams and ambitions to achieve with Liverpool. Obviously the Premier League - that's the only medal that is missing from my collection," he said."But it would be nice to lift a second European Cup, so there are still many, many things I want to achieve with the club."And obviously for England it would be nice to go to a tournament and be successful. To go one better than a quarter-final, to get into the last four, or maybe a final - that would be a fantastic achievement."To achieve his club ambitions, Gerrard knows that Liverpool have to get past Chelsea again, with the second leg at Stamford Bridge on April 14.These latest showdowns will be the ninth and 10th times the clubs have met in the Champions League since 2005.Last season Liverpool lost in the semi-finals to Chelsea, having beaten them in the 2004-05 and 2006-07 semi-finals. And the clubs also shared two 0-0 draws in the group stages of the 2005-06 season.They have clashed regularly in all competitions since manager Rafael Benitez took over in June 2004. It is 22 matches now since then, with Liverpool winning seven, losing


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