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India have made great strides in football: Robbie Fowler

Friday, December 08, 2017
By Parth Khatau

Mumbai: Liverpool legends Sami Hyypia, Robbie Fowler, Luis Garcia and Vladimir Smicer launched a three-day roadshow, 'LFC World' at the High Street Phoenix, Lower Parel yesterday. This is a unique experience for Liverpool fans who haven't had a chance to visit the club to get up close to the action in various ways such as a virtual reality experience that takes fans on an exclusive tour of the Club's ground, Anfield. Speaking at the launch, Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler said, "This is a wonderful way for fans who have not been to Liverpool to see what the stadium looks like and also gives them an idea of what it feels like to be a professional footballer. It is almost like being there."

Fowler, who scored 183 goals during his Liverpool career also spoke of his admiration of how Indian football has developed over the years. "I watched the FIFA U-17 World Cup closely and it was an amazing contest. India have made great strides in the past few years in football and they the only way is forward for them," he added.

When asked about the current form of his hometown team, Fowler said, "Liverpool have qualified for the knockout stages of the champions league for the first time since the 2008-09 season and that itself tells you about how well Jurgen Klopp has done and how the team has progressed under his leadership. I don't think any club in Europe would want to face Liverpool as we are absolutely devastating going forward," he added.

Another attraction for fans is the Champions League Trophy that is displayed, one that Liverpool won in 2005, making a great comeback after being 3-0 down at half-time against a world class A.C. Milan side. Three of the players who lined up for the reds on the night of May 25, 2005 at Istanbul's Ataturk Stadium, Sami Hyypia, Vladimir Smicer and Luis Garcia were also present at the event with Hyypia recalling the night as arguably the best of his career. "Yes, I get asked about it very often but it was an unbeleivable achievement to win the greatest prize in world football and also the manner that we won it in," said the lanky Finnish defender. "When it comes to the current Liverpool side I just feel they need a few more leaders, who will take matters by the scruff of the neck when the chips are down," he added.

Vladimir Smicer, the midfielder who scored Liverpool's second goal in the Champions League Final in 2005 expressed his admiration for the fan's passion for English Football in India. "It is always great coming to Asia and most fans we have here have never been to Liverpool," he said. "It is amazing how passionate they are and are proud to be red," he added.

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