Luis Garcia wanted to take a penalty in Istanbul but wasn't allowed 4 years ago

Luis Garcia wanted to take a penalty in Istanbul but wasn't allowed

'I loved a Panenka. I think I would have attempted one in Istanbul...'

Rafa Benitez denied Luis Garcia the opportunity to take a penalty during Liverpool's victorious shootout over AC Milan in Istanbul in 2005.

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The forward was eager to add his name to the list of penalty-takers after Liverpool had recovered from a three-goal deficit against Carlo Ancelotti's side.

Despite being willing to put himself forward, his manager knocked him back - believing he would be too tired to take a penalty after his efforts throughout the evening.

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Luis Garcia on his Istanbul penalty rejection

"They wouldn’t let me take a penalty!" Garcia told FourFourTwo. "I wanted to take one but Rafa had other ideas. I think I would have been the sixth had it gone to sudden death."

His manager may not have backed Garcia but he definitely backed himself, going on to claim that he would have attempted to chip it down the middle if he had been given the chance to convert in the shootout.

"I did the same to score my first goal in Spain too," he added. "I loved a Panenka. I think I would have attempted one in Istanbul if I’d been allowed to take a penalty!"

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Hamann confirmed Garcia's story

Former teammate Didi Hamann, who was the first to take a penalty on that fateful night in Turkey, confirmed Garcia's story during an interview on Irish podcast The Stand.

The German explained how the order of takers was decided upon.

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"He (Benitez) came up to me and he said: 'You're taking a penalty'. I just nodded and about a minute or two minutes later, he came back to me and said: 'You're taking the first one'," Hamann revealed.

"I think it was pretty much set, because obviously Steven Gerrard would have taken the last one.

"(Djibril) Cissé was a penalty taker, (Vladimír) Šmicer was maybe a bit of a surprise, but he would have volunteered. And (John Arne) Riise was the only one who missed, he would have volunteered.

"Luis Garcia wanted to take one, I found that out afterwards. He said: 'No, you're not taking one'."

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