Djibril Cisse reckons Steven Gerrard can become a great manager after explaining how he roused Liverpool to life during half-time in the 2005 Champions League final.
A Gerrard-inspired Liverpool produced arguably the greatest comeback in European history in 2005, leading the Reds from 3-0 down against AC Milan at half-time to a 3-3 draw after extra-time.
With goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek also in inspired form, Rafa Benitz’s side would eventually win on penalties, claiming their fifth European crown in one of the most memorable finals in living memory.
The recently-retired Cisse, who came on as a substitute and scored in the penalty shoot-out, says that Gerrard proved his credentials as a manager with a rousing half-time team talk.
“He was talking to us, trying to make us feel like we could give our best,” Cisse said. “I think he will be a great manager. It’s in his DNA. I don’t know if that’s what he wants to do, but he’s at the academy and it’s a great start for him and I see him as a manager.
“At half time, Rafa did a speech. He tried to boost and tried to put us back in the game. He was really optimistic. But what really changed the game was Stevie’s speech.
“He asked nicely to the staff to be alone with the players and he said that he is a Liverpool kid, always been his club, he didn’t want to see his club being like this, being humiliated and he said if we scored in the first 15 minutes we would win the game and he’s the guy who scored the first goal.
“He gave the best captain’s speech I ever heard in my career. He asked everyone to leave, including Rafa, he just asked to be with the players. That’s what gave us the power to go and win the game. You need to have some balls to do this.”