PETALING JAYA: It may be mission impossible but diehard fans of Liverpool are determined to be in the Wanda Metropolitano stadium to witness the English football team play in the Champions League final in Madrid on June 1.
After Liverpool’s stunning comeback victory over Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals yesterday, Asran Rozain, 37, scrambled to book his flight despite not having tickets for the finals.
“I only have the flight tickets but no accommodation or local transportation. A few other people are going too.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to get into the stadium. We don’t have the match tickets yet. Online prices are ridiculous. It can reach RM15,000 and even up to RM40,000,” said the human resources manager, adding that accommodation in Madrid had also gone up to about €1,000 (RM4,650) per night.
However, Asran, who has been a Liverpool fan for 25 years, believes in the old adage that “when there’s a will, there’s a way”.
“The main thing at this point of time is patience because everybody is excited to go. I’ve had experience going to the finals. Some with tickets, some without,” said Asran, who is due to fly out to Madrid on a 2am flight on May 31.
He recalled how in 2007, along with two other friends, he went to Athens for the Champions League final match between AC Milan and Liverpool with no tickets.
“On match day, two of my friends gave up and watched it at a pub.
“Somehow, I managed to befriend a Greek police officer and just after kickoff, he brought me into the stadium. It was pure luck,” he laughed, adding that he promised his family that he would be back in time for Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which is expected to fall on June 5.
Another superfan Tim Johnson, 49, said he had been to every Champions League final or Europa League final featuring Liverpool since 2005.
However, this time around, Johnson has not been able to score tickets through the Union of European Football Associations ballots and is now trying to find other means, such as entering contests or asking around.
“I’m hoping to get my match tickets first before I book my flight and my accommodation but I know it’s going to be a problem because lots of people will also be booking,” said Johnson, who is the senior vice-president for marketing, products and partnerships at a private university.
He said if he could not get tickets, he would watch the final game at home with his friends.
“I’ll be more depressed if I go there and have no tickets,” said Johnson, whose fondest memory in football includes being in the stadium in Istanbul in 2005 when Liverpool won against AC Milan.
Sports consultant Kahar Kassim, 48, said it was important for him to witness the final in Madrid.
“I’ve never had the pleasure of seeing my club win the final in the three occasions that I went to see the games live in Europe. That’s why I need to go again,” said Kahar, who has been a fan since the 1980s.