Sunday Mirror (Northern Ireland) - - Sport -

go early, in­stead of fol­low­ing the team with a po­lice es­cort. He wanted to sam­ple the at­mos­phere.

“So a num­ber of us got on his coach, in­clud­ing Kenny Dal­glish and Steven Ger­rard. Later still, a cou­ple of miles away from the sta­dium, we got stuck in traf­fic and didn’t move for 30 min­utes.

“The driver can’t speak a word of English and none of us can speak Span­ish. They had shut the road off. John Henry made a phone call and told ev­ery­one not to worry be­cause in five min­utes the team coach will be com­ing past and we will get be­hind it.

“A few min­utes later, sure enough, the team coach is ar­riv­ing, but go­ing in the op­po­site di­rec­tion! Our driver had headed off the wrong way.

“So we all had to get out and walk. It was 36C and the blokes were in suits. UEFA were ringing me, ask­ing me where I was. I got there with five min­utes to spare to help take the Cham­pi­ons League tro­phy on to the pitch.”

Now he sees only Pep Guardiola’s Tre­ble-win­ning squad as the po­ten­tial road block to a ti­tle dur­ing Klopp’s ten­ure.

“Hope­fully, we’re start­ing the suc­cess­ful Jur­gen Klopp era – one that will go down in his­tory and be re­mem­bered like those of Bill Shankly and Bob Pais­ley,” added Rush. “Jur­gen is a great man­ager and I’m cer­tain he wouldn’t want to leave un­til he has won the Premier League.

“I love him. He’s fan­tas­tic. Ev­ery time you see him he gives you a big hug. He ex­udes pos­i­tive en­ergy and it’s in­fec­tious.”

One thing’s for sure Rush would love to see the gi­ant Ger­man hugging the

League tro­phy next May.

FEEL­ING THE LOVE AGAIN Ryan Ba­bel’s ca­reer has seen highs and lows, but he feels bet­ter now HARD TIMES: Dal­glish ditched Ba­bel in 2011 SEMI-FI­NAL THRILLER: Ba­bel bat­tling Kyle Walker last Thurs­day

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