‘Olympiacos 2004 was mad – probably the best moment of my career’

Liverpool fans usually want to speak to Florent Sinama-Pongolle about one game.

December 8, 2004. The Reds trail 1-0 to Olympiacos at half-time in their final match of the Champions League group stage.

Rafael Benitez’s side must score three goals without reply in the next 45 minutes at Anfield or their European Cup campaign is over for the season.

Sinama-Pongolle – a 2003 signing from Le Havre – forms part of Benitez’s rescue plan, sent on at the outset of the second half in place of defender Djimi Traore.

The forward is somewhat surprised to be thrust into the responsibility, but shakes off any uncertainty to nudge in a goal within two minutes of the restart.

Later, it’s Sinama-Pongolle’s intelligent cross that leads to Neil Mellor forcing home a second strike for Liverpool, laying the foundations for Steven Gerrard’s iconic winner.

“I remember it was mad,” he recalled to Liverpoolfc.com this week.

“I was on the bench, we were 1-0 down, we knew we had to score three goals. He [Benitez] came to me, ‘You’re going to come in.’ I didn’t tell him anything but in my head I was thinking, ‘Does he really think I’m going to turn this game [around]?’

“But he was right – two minutes after I came on, 47, magic. Honestly, this night was probably the best memory of all my career.

“Every time I come to Liverpool or get in touch with fans or Tweet or whatever, that’s what they always want to tell me about.

“When Stevie G scored that goal – you saw a million replays of this goal – and you see the cameraman when he tries to follow Stevie celebrating, it’s shaking. The guy cannot even focus on him.

“Great memories. I always get goose bumps every time I talk about this great time.”

Watch our full chat with Florent Sinama-Pongolle on the 2004-05 campaign and more below. App users should click here to access the video.

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