One-time Champions League finalist Peter Crouch will be sitting on the fence when two of his former clubs meet in the competition’s piece de resistance tomorrow.
The veteran striker, who is still mulling over his future at Turf Moor, has a foot in both Liverpool and Spurs camps having made 228 appearances during spells at Anfield and White Hart Lane.
Crouch, capped 42 times for England, scoring 22 times for the Three Lions, came on as a late substitute for Javier Mascherano when the Reds, under Rafael Benitez, lost 2-1 against AC Milan at the Olympic Stadium in Athens in 2007.
Filippo Inzaghi netted twice for the Italians before Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt pulled one back with a minute of the tie remaining.
The 38-year-old also helped engineer a route to the quarter-final with Tottenham in 2010/11, scoring a hat-trick against Young Boys to seal a passage to the group stages, and then linking up with future Clarets team-mate Aaron Lennon to score the winning goal against Milan at the San Siro in the second round, first leg.
However, he was dismissed in the 14th minute against Real Madrid after picking up two yellow cards.
“It’s a difficult one for me,” he said. “I’ve got friends in both camps and I’ve got a wife [Abbey Clancy] who is from Liverpool and her dad is a massive Liverpool fan.
“I’ve got loads of friends who are Tottenham fans too so what I’m going to do is sit on a massive fence!
“I’m not sure about getting a ticket. My wife’s due to give birth quite soon so the family planning is terrible!
“I don’t know if I’ll get away with that one.”
Crouch added: “I look back on my career with nothing but pride.
“I got to a Champions League final and won the FA Cup with Liverpool, we had an amazing adventure and got into the Champions League for the first time at Tottenham and got to the quarter-finals.
“We beat AC Milan, Inter Milan, there’s so many great memories so I don’t have regrets.
“There’s a bit of jealousy, don’t get me wrong, the Champions League final is the pinnacle and of course you want to play in all the big games.
“I’ve had a great time though and have only got happy memories.”
Whatever happens at The Estadio Metropolitano, home to Atletico Madrid, tomorrow, Crouch believes Jurgen Klopp and his squad can hold their heads high.
They pushed Premier League champions Manchester City right to the wire, finishing as runners up with 97 points, and they’ve seen off some big sides in Europe.
They beat PSG, Napoli, Bayern Munich and Porto in Europe, but their most outstanding result was the comeback against La Liga champions Barcelona in the semi-final.
Trailing 3-0 after the first leg at the Nou Camp, Liverpool struck back in style with two goals apiece from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum in the return leg.
“I was gutted for them [in the Premier League] but I think we knew really.
“I didn’t think City were going to lose to Brighton and they did the job.
“It’s an amazing achievement to get so close to Man City, they are possibly the best team I’ve ever played against.
“I played against the tail end of Arsenal’s Invincibles and they were incredible.
“It’s a close one but City are incredible and Liverpool have matched them every step of the way and there’s the Champions League final and they can take great pride in their season.”
He added: “I’d never seen anything like it [against Barcelona].
“I played in some great nights at Anfield and getting to the Champions League final in 2007 when we beat Chelsea was electric.
“They’ve beaten Real Madrid there and had some great nights there but I’ve never seen anything like that, 4-0 against Barcelona after being 3-0 down.”