Football: Liverpool fans in Madrid and Singapore celebrate Reds' Champions League win over Tottenham

Dinesh Kumar, a 34-year-old Liverpool fan, and his 62-year-old Tottenham-supporting father Dewadas Vellasamy, were part of a group of 20 Singaporeans who had made their way to Madrid last week.
Dinesh Kumar, a 34-year-old Liverpool fan, and his 62-year-old Tottenham-supporting father Dewadas Vellasamy, were part of a group of 20 Singaporeans who had made their way to Madrid last week.PHOTO: DINESH KUMAR
A general view of the Liverpool team bus during the parade on June 2, 2019.
A general view of the Liverpool team bus during the parade on June 2, 2019.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - They had already spent about $2,000 each for flights and accommodation, and were planning to try their luck with scalpers for the Champions League final tickets in Madrid.

Dinesh Kumar, a 34-year-old Liverpool fan, and his 62-year-old Tottenham-supporting father Dewadas Vellasamy, were willing to pay about $6,000 each but were quoted almost $10,000 each and decided to pass.

Yet the duo, who were part of a group of 20 Singaporeans who had made their way to the Spanish capital last week, still had the time of their lives on Saturday (June 1) with the football festivities that unfolded outside the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium as Liverpool beat Tottenham 2-0 to lift their sixth European Cup.

Dinesh, who works in the oil and gas industry, told The Straits Times: "It was hot and humid and we were surprised the Liverpool fan zone at Plaza Felipe II had no live screening. We were directed to bars, but they were fully booked and the commentary was in Spanish.

"In the end, we found an Indian bistro which was willing to let us to make a booking and watch the game. Fans from Hong Kong, Australia, Egypt, Malaysia, India and England started streaming in.

"There were so many fans like us who did not have tickets, but we ended up having a crazy party.

"At the final whistle, we were in tears because some of us went to Kiev last year when Liverpool lost and this felt like consolation.

 
 
 

"We went to the fan zone again where people gathered and celebrated with song and dance until 6am."

Dewadas, a retiree who has supported Tottenham since 1974, added: "Naturally, we Spurs fans are quite disappointed. I feel Liverpool won by luck because of the penalty and Alisson's saves.

"But I'm also very happy to be part of history with Tottenham's first Champions League final and witness in person what fans are willing to do for the love of their clubs."

Aaron Kok, a Liverpool fan who runs The Experiences Firm that took 11 fans to Madrid, was impressed by the respect both sets of fans showed despite the intense rivalry.

The 42-year-old said: "Spurs fans deserve huge credit. Visibly fewer in numbers, they were still great sport and created insane noise and atmosphere. They were respectful with friendly banter which should be how all sports fans should behave regardless of the team we support."

He and two other Liverpool fans left their hotel at 4am on Sunday to begin a 12-hour commute by plane and car to Merseyside via Rome and London for the trophy parade.

Kok said: "This trip to Liverpool is really quite illogical as there was no guarantee of victory and we could have gone to a very sad city. But life has to be lived through the heart as much as the brain."

Meanwhile, fans in Singapore had various options to follow Saturday's action, including at the Osim Sundown Marathon, where around 300 people gathered to watch the live telecast on a big screen at the runners' village.

After completing the half-marathon in a black Liverpool kit, Eddy Chua, a 22-year-old national serviceman, said: "There was a very lively atmosphere. Even though we were all tired after the run, we kept the atmosphere going.

"I was there alone, but it felt like I was there with friends as we were in it together, cheering for our team when Liverpool scored.

"I supported Liverpool only since 2006 and, from that time on, our only major trophy was the League Cup in 2012. But the Champions League win was our moment to tell the world that this is our time."

Tottenham fan Raama Subramaniyam, a 42-year-old who was also clad in his Spurs jersey, added: "I like the set-up of the live screening, it was well organised and the sound system was good. I just wish I had more friends and Spurs fans around me.

"It was quite a boring game, to be honest. The three-week break after the last Premier League game caused both teams' form to drop and they were both so cautious.

"Spurs attacked in the second half, but didn't convert (their chances), so hard luck to them and congratulations to Liverpool."