Didi Hamann calls former Liverpool boss a 'pervert' as he recalls key advice

Former Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann has described Rafa Benitez as a 'pervert' such was the manager's passion for penalties.

Hamann, famously, scored the first spot kick during Liverpool's shootout win over AC Milan in the Champions League final of 2005.

The Reds, of course, went on to win the shootout 3-2, having pulled the game back from 3-0 down to 3-3 in normal time, during what is now known as the 'Miracle of Istanbul'.

Discussing that iconic game on ‘That Peter Crouch Podcast’, Hamann retold the story of the final, revealing the key advice detail-obsessed manager Benitez had given him regarding penalties.

"I couldn't have hit it [my penalty] any better, because it was exactly the place I wanted to hit it, and I did remember because Rafa he was a penalty pervert, wasn’t he?" The ex-midfielder said to fits of laughter from the hosts.

He continued: "He knew everything about penalties, it was his passion... passion I wanted to say. And I remember him saying that there’s a stat that, I think, there’s a 90 or 91% better chance if you hit it above hip height.

"So it doesn’t really matter where you hit it, yeah, whether you hit the corner or whether you hit it in the middle, if you hit it at a certain height – it’s got a far better chance [of going in] because all the penalties are saved down [low].

"I did remember that and I was trying to hit it above hip height, obviously don't want to hit it too high, and as I said, I couldn't have hit it any better and obviously a bit relieved when it did go in."

Trainer Rafael Benitez und Steven Gerrard beide Liverpool präsentieren stolz die Trophäe

Hamann's penalty was preceded by a miss from AC Milan's Serginho, while Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko would also fail to convert their efforts in a dramatic end to perhaps the most legendary final in football history.

Meanwhile, John Arne Riise was the only player to miss for Liverpool, with Djibril Cisse and Vladimir Smicer both scoring, negating the need for a fith Reds taker — widely reported to have been Steven Gerrard.

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