It’s not just carnival time in the global south. Liverpool FC won the Carling Cup on Sunday, ending a six-year trophy drought. The Reds rolled Fat Tuesday and J’Ouvert Morning into one, and turned the dressing room at Wembley Stadium into their own Sambadrome.
Capturing a record eighth Carling Cup (also known as the League Cup) was an accomplishment in which the whole club participated. It was only fitting that the whole club — players, management, and over 30,000 supporters — shared in the celebrations.
“We’re where we are because of the work of everyone – not just me,” manager Kenny Dalglish said. “The owners, supporters, players – everybody has chipped in. The closer we are, the stronger we’ll be together.
“Today has been the culmination of a lot of hard work of an awful lot of people in every aspect of the football club, whether owner, director, player or groundsman, everybody has worked as hard as they possible could to move the club forward.”
It was a remarkable achievement that took contributions from almost the entire first-team squad. Dalglish mixed and matched his lineups throughout a journey that saw LFC pass four road tests before eliminating league-leading Manchester City at Anfield in the semifinal.
“We’ve made a lot of changes as well through the various ties. I think every member of the squad, apart from Fabio [Aurelio] has had a game,” Dalglish added. “Doni hasn’t had a game because Pepe has played every game.”
Liverpool’s American owners flew in for the occasion, and even they were not spared from champagne that was flying around the dressing room. But the triumphant scenes at Wembley more than made up for the dry-cleaning bill that is to come.
“It’s certainly at the very top (of what I’ve ever achieved), and to go into that dressing room and see the joy those players had: it’s a memory we have and want to share with our fans,” LFC chairman Tom Warner said.
See a video of LFC’s locker-room celebrations in the video below (courtesy of LiverpoolFC.tv)
Review all the action from Sunday’s game in our Liverpool Live Blog.