Borussia Dortmund midfielder Axel Witsel has claimed that Liverpool’s atmosphere at Anfield is the best he’s ever played in.
Witsel was asked to name the best crowd he’s played in-front of during a Q&A via Borussia Dortmund’s Twitter page. Not allowed to choose Dortmund’s Signal Iduna Park, the Belgian instead picked Liverpool’s home stadium.
“The best atmosphere was when I played in Liverpool,” said Witsel.
It was almost 10 years ago that the 33-year-old last played at Anfield, it must have made some impression!
Axel Witsel at Anfield
Both of Witsel’s visits to Anfield came during European fixtures. Despite being continuously linked with a move to England, the midfielder is yet to play in the Premier League.
Although they weren’t the most high profile of games for Liverpool in Europe, the atmosphere must still have been electric.
Witsel first faced the Reds as a 19-year-old whilst playing for Standard Liege in 2008. That was in a Europa League qualifying round with Liverpool needing an extra-time winner from Dirk Kuyt to progress.
Five years later Witsel was at Anfield again, this time with Zenit St Petersburg, again in the Europa League.
On this occasion his team were comfortably beaten as Liverpool ran out 3-1 winners.
The Anfield effect
Witsel has played his whole career participating in top European competitions. He also has 120 caps for the Belgium national team.
He’s played in ferocious atmospheres all over Europe over the last 15 years. But in his mind clearly one stadium stands out above all the rest.
It’s a shame that Witsel didn’t make it to the Premier League in his pomp. The veteran’s contract is up at the end of the season though and he’ll be moving on from Dortmund.
Perhaps an English team will be on hand to allow him to experience his favourite stadium yet again. It wouldn’t go amiss if he could have a word in the ear of a certain midfield partner of his at Dortmund, either.