Roma and Liverpool add a touch of class to the Champions League and a soccer world often devoid of it
The Champions League semifinalists are leading by example, so other clubs take note
Time and time again we see the ugly and the shocking. From players to owners to fans, it feels like a day doesn't go by where we are left dumbfounded how certain things in the soccer world could take place at the hands of people that seemingly lack compassion and reasoning.
But ahead of Tuesday's Champions League semifinal between Liverpool and Roma, the two American-owned clubs are showing the world how this sport should bring us all together and not apart, how it should unite us and not divide us, how we should love no matter what, and not hate.
This isn't thethe horrific violence we just saw in South Africa., , nor is this
Both Roma and Liverpool deserve massive praise () for their actions leading up to this match. They are refreshing, teach us all a lesson, and there's just no way it won't make you feel good.
It was back in April of 1989 in Sheffield, England when 96 people died and 766 were injured in what is the worst disaster in Great Britain's sports history. It was an FA Cup semifinal between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest when a human crush took place in the two standing-only areas of Hillsborough Stadium. Now known as the Hillsborough disaster, it's the darkest day in English soccer history and a day that has a spot in the heart of every Liverpool supporter.
Roma captain Daniele de Rossi laid a wreath at the Hillsborough memorial on behalf of the Roma squad after his team arrived in England. Check it out:
So much class. An unbelievable gesture that will bring tears to the eyes of every Reds fan in the world. So touching. They didn't have to visit the memorial, much less place a wreath. A lovely gesture. Bravo.
But that wasn't it. Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp then had a message on the team's Twitter.
"You have a reputation in world football as being world class. Passion, spirit, humor. But most of all, warm and welcoming," Klopp said.
"Here at Melwood, the players, plus me and my staff, have nothing but total respect for our opponents AS Roma. We respect them as people and as professionals. I know all true Liverpool supporters feel exactly the same. We want to beat them on the football pitch, but off the field we show respect.
"The 90 minutes is when we are opponents, the rest of the time they are our guests and we their hosts."
Gosh darnit, can they both win? So much class.
Only one team can win. But for everybody that has watched De Rossi's tribute, to everybody that heard the words of Klopp, they are what this beautiful sport is all about.
Franceso Totti put it best on Monday when talking about Liverpool.
"When I hear the world Liverpool, [I think] respect for a great club, team and fans comes to mind. They're a team to admire and a model club," Totti said.
Both Liverpool and Roma are. For 90 minutes this week and potentially even more than 90 next week, they are opponents under the lights with so much on the line.
But they are respectful, caring friends off of it.
An important message not only for sports, but for every aspect of life. Positivity, love and respect can take us a long, long way. And Liverpool and Roma are leading the charge in the sport world setting an example for all.
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