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Fans stand with Cristiano, home fans sing YNWA on 7 minutes at Anfield

Liverpool and United have a long-standing rivalry but both sets of fans stood together in support of Cristiano, who suffered a personal tragedy this week.

Liverpool fans clap on the 7th minute in mark or respect to Cristiano Ronaldo following the death of his new-born son during the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture date: Tuesday April 19, 2022. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Mike Egerton - PA ImagesGetty

There is no rivalry in English football quite like the one which Liverpool and Manchester United have played out for the past few decades. It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when and why it all started. But it is not a rivalry between the two cities - just 50 kilometres apart; Liverpool don’t feel the same way about Manchester City and nor do United. Much of it is probably down to envy, on both sides. After all, they are the two most successful clubs in the English game - United with a total of 66 major trophies, Liverpool, 65. And both have had their own fair share of tragedies to deal with over the years...

Family tragedy

It’s been a bitter and sometimes grim rivalry but on Tuesday, it was put aside in a spontaneous show of humanity and support for one of the greatest players the game has ever seen, Cristiano Ronaldo. Ronaldo would have started for United at Anfield, but on the eve of the game, he received the heartbreaking news that his newborn son had died due to complications during childbirth. He and his partner Georgina Rodríguez were expecting twins. Understandably, he was left out of the squad on compassionate grounds.

When Liverpool’s game against United reached seven minutes, travelling United supporters broke into applause to show solidarity for Cristiano and his family - a few of them held up No.7 shirts. Touchingly, the home fans joined them, singing the club’s hymn, You’ll Never Walk Alone - usually reserved for when the teams come out and the end of games - as their own way of showing sympathy and support. Some things are more important than football.

Related: Cristiano Ronaldo and Georgina present daughter to the world

Jürgen Klopp was also captured by television cameras clapping with the rest of the stadium. The moment was one of the first subjects he spoke about in his post-match press conference. “My moment of the game, which was very important and a great result, was the seventh minute when our people showed pure class, the whole stadium together showed pure class in a moment in which obviously everyone knew since yesterday. There are so many things that are much more important in life than football. And obviously, we really feel for Cristiano and his family. So that was my moment of the game”.


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