Luis Garcia Tribute: 5 Stunning Goals That Defined His Liverpool Career
Former Liverpool attacking midfielder Luis Garcia announced his retirement from football on Tuesday, bringing back floods of happy memories for Reds fans.
Garcia hangs up his boots at the age of 35 with a career of glory behind him and fond memories with Liverpool fans from his time at Anfield between 2004 and 2007.
During his time on Merseyside, Garcia played a major part in the Reds' success, eventually moving to Atletico Madrid after two European Cup finals and one FA Cup final with Liverpool.
As the song goes, Garcia was Liverpool's little magician from Barcelona and brought with him a slice of football heaven.
He drinks san-gri-a
He came from Barca
To bring us joy
He's five foot seven
He's football heaven
Oh please don't take our Luis away
Garcia Becomes Kop Hero
In one of his first games for Liverpool, Garcia hit home this stunning second-half strike to help the Reds to a 2-0 victory over Charlton Athletic at Anfield in October 2004.
John Arne Riise had given the Reds the lead with a superb volley of his own shortly after half-time, before Garcia buried this unstoppable shot past Addicks goalkeeper Dean Kiely in front of the Kop.
Stunning Garcia Volley Defeats Juventus
Liverpool beat some giants of Europe en route to their European Cup triumph of 2005, among them Juventus in the first leg of their quarter-final clash at Anfield.
On an emotional meeting between the sides, paying tribute to those who lost their lives at Heysel in 1985, Garcia struck home Liverpool's second of the game inside 25 minutes with a stunning volley from outside the area following Anthony Le Tallec's through ball.
Sami Hyypia had earlier given Liverpool the lead after 10 minutes, and Juve pulled one back in the second half—Fabio Cannavaro heading Gianluca Zambrotta's cross past Scott Carson.
The Reds then went to Italy and held Juventus to a goalless draw and set up a Champions League semi-final with Chelsea.
Garcia Goal Sends Liverpool to the European Cup Final
Barely four minutes had been played in the Champions League semi-final's second leg when Milan Baros was brought down by Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech in the area.
Garcia ran on and touched the ball toward Chelsea's goal at the Kop end.
As Chelsea scrambled to clear it, referee Lubos Michel of Slovakia awarded the goal, which was enough to send Liverpool to their first European Cup final in 20 years.
The Reds went on to win the final in dramatic circumstances in Istanbul, defeating AC Milan on penalties, having previously come back from three goals down to send the game into extra time.
Garcia Header Gives Liverpool Hope in Europe
Carrying the tag of "European Champions" into the 2005/06 season, Liverpool struggled domestically to get going.
By the time they faced Anderlecht at home in the group stage of the Champions League, Rafael Benitez's side were a mere 13th in the Premier League.
This 3-0 victory over the Belgian side in November 2005 gave Liverpool fresh confidence to reignite their season on all fronts.
Garcia's excellent header from the edge of the area, from Steve Finnan's cross, was sandwiched between goals from Fernando Morientes and Djibril Cisse.
Garcia Sends Liverpool to FA Cup Final
Having broken Chelsea hearts the year before with a Champions League semi-final goal, Garcia did it again—this time at Old Trafford in the 2006 FA Cup semi-final.
Riise had given Liverpool a first-half lead with a superb free-kick, before Garcia sweetly struck home a half-volley to send Rafa Benitez's Reds to the final.
Liverpool went on to beat West Ham on penalties in the last FA Cup final to be played in Cardiff.