Berlin Calling! John Gibbons’ Champions League diary

John Gibbons and The Anfield Wrap crew have reached Berlin after 21 hours' worth of travelling. It's a long way to Kiev...

Greetings from Berlin where we are on the move again. The air conditioning is still broken on the bus and the beer is warm but we’re happy. We’re on the way to the European Cup final after all.

That said, there were highs and lows yesterday for each of us. Times we were flying and times we were crashing. For me the tough period came in a McDonald’s in Holland when I realised we were still seven hours away from Berlin having been on the road for fourteen. Crying alone into a caramel McFlurry isn’t a great look for anyone.

But I bounced back eventually, partly due to a sleep and partly due to a bottle of vodka bought from a petrol station, and when the sun went down and the bus was no longer 4000 degrees the tunes went on and everyone was bouncing.

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We finally rolled into Berlin around 22:30 where we all looked forward to a proper night’s sleep in a real bed. But then someone pointed out that the bars in Berlin are sound so we showered and went out instead. We all started out together but eventually split up by age, drunkenness and love of techno. I settled for three pints of pilsner and a kebab with the driver. As a result I felt rather fresher this morning than our camera man, who instead had finished the night calling himself Joe Salah and singing his own name down the street.

Today I’ve started getting texts and pictures from friends who are heading over by more conventional means like aeroplanes and that. Seeing Liverpool flags and familiar faces in airports and train stations across Europe is a great reminder of what this arduous journey is for. That we’re all punishing bodies and bank balances in the hope of seeing Liverpool lift number six.

I’ve been trying to keep up to date with team information as I go. The big talking points seem to be around Mo Salah fasting and Emre Can playing.

It has recently been revealed by Liverpool’s fitness team that Mo Salah won’t fast today or tomorrow as eating the day you travel is permitted during Ramadan. It’s always nice to find a loop hole. I haven’t felt completely comfortable with the debate to be honest. Ian from Milton Keynes telling a Muslim athlete not to be stupid on Twitter doesn’t feel right.

We’ve benefited from all of Salah’s brilliance so should accept whatever he feels is important to him.

That said, he’ll probably have more energy with some pasta and that so I’m glad they have found a solution Mo is happy with.

On Emre Can, there are those who don’t think a player who has been injured for a key part of the season and is about to leave for Juventus should be in our squad ahead of a player more committed to the cause. I don’t share that view.

He’s a Liverpool player right now and if he’s of use then use him. Besides our history is full of players having big impacts in European Cup finals in their last act for the club. Maybe Emre Can is the next. He’s certainly a big game player.

I’ll take an Emre Can winner before he rides off into the sunset. I’d take any winner. Mo Salah. Joe Salah. Any of them.

Just, please, Liverpool. Win the European Cup for me.

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