Former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso has revealed that the penalty he took for Liverpool during the 2005 Champions League final against AC Milan was his very first as a professional.
The ex-Spain international announced his retirement last year after a glittering career that saw him star for the Reds, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Alonso won the Champions League on two occasions, firstly with Liverpool and then with Real. But the amazing comeback from 3-0 down against Milan on May 25, 2005 should be one of his most memorable experiences ever.
Paolo Maldini and Hernan Crespo had given the Italian side a 3-0 lead, and it appeared to be curtains for the Reds. But Steven Gerrard and Vladimir Smicer scored four minutes apart to get the Andfield side to within one, before Alonso stepped up to take a penalty.
Said pen was saved by Milan keeper Dida, but the Spaniard would pounce on the rebound to equalise for his side, who ultimately won the final on penalties.
"At that point that makes the difference between being part of history or not being part of history, and it was my first professional penalty you know," Alonso revealed on talkSPORT.
"When you see the images, you see that my face was [like] 'wow this is taking big responsibility.
"I wasn't feeling nervous, but I was like 'well this is a big call, Xabi. let's try to get it right. And you know there was some kind of drama but at the end, the mission was accomplished."
Liverpool's sensational comeback will go down in history as one of the best moments in football. But perhaps it wouldn't have even been spoken of today had it not been for Alonso's precious equaliser.