Fireworks fizzed and popped and sprayed as the phalanx of scarlet coaches inched along the streets. Flares and smoke bombs spread a red mist across Merseyside, explosions of sparkling confetti shot again and again from an air cannon into the blue skies, as the best part of a million Liverpool fans thronged the route, sitting astride traffic lights and hanging out of windows, risking life and limb to get a glimpse of the returning heroes.
Jürgen Klopp, lager bottle in hand – one leg slung over the back of the open-top bus – looked at his clenched fists, then extended one finger, then two – until, one by one, he had counted to six. Another huge grin in the pyro glow, before, half-cut, he almost fell off the back of the bus.Liverpool Football Club, Champions of Europe. For a sixth time.
This is the story of how Liverpool went from no-hopers in 2015 to the kings of Europe four years later, by Paul Tomkins.