Liverpool Football Club is an institution steeped in history.
A club with names of legends who roll off the tongue, with managers and coaches who have led their side to glory year after year and fans who like no others can inspire their team to super-human efforts, even when it seems the whole outside world is against them.
But more than anything else, Liverpool FC is a club which was built and mastered towards a dedication of winning trophies.
In those terms, the club has excelled: a magnificent haul of 40 major competition wins include 18 League Title Championships, a UK record-breaking five European Cups, seven FA Cups, seven League Cups and three UEFA Cups.
Added to that the plethora of Charity/Community Shields, European Super Cups and lower-league titles, and it is easy to see why the history and tradition of the club is much admired and even envied by those around the country and indeed the globe.
True, in recent years such silverware has been in short supply—Liverpool have not won a major final since the 2006 FA Cup—but the Reds are never far from the top and in the midst of a major rebuilding under new stewardship at both boardroom and training ground level few would bet against them adding to their vast numbers of trophies in the near future.
Of course, no one single man can take all credit for any trophy win. Even in those matches where an outstanding individual display wins a prestigious cup final, there would still be games in previous rounds when his team mates did the business to get the team anywhere near the final.
And in the course of a final match, any number of saves by a goalkeeper or great set-piece delivery can go largely ignored in the annuls of time, despite being thoroughly key to the triumph of the team on the day—though of course, we should always strive to remember such performances.
But in the end, only the most tangible of footballing commodities can win a team a cup final title.
We pay homage now to those Liverpool heroes who, Liver Bird upon their chest, took their chances when it mattered most to help the Reds on the path to glory—or despairing, defeated agony.
We kick off the slideshow with a legend, a minor trophy and a little bit of history. The 1990 Charity Shield was the last occasion when this trophy would be shared between the two sides before the penalty shoot-out rule came into effect.
This time around though, Liverpool faced Manchester United and drew 1-1, with the teams taking the Shield for six months apiece.
John Barnes was Liverpool's goalscorer, netting the equalising penalty.
Full circle for Michael Thomas (right of picture) came in the final game of the 1991-92 season. Three years earlier, at the end of the 1988-89 season, he had scored the goal against the Reds which clinched the league title for his team at the time, Arsenal.
Fast forward three seasons and Thomas opened the scoring for the Reds in the FA Cup Final against Sunderland, en-route to a 2-0 victory.
Liverpool had laboured their way to the final, needing replays to knock out Bristol Rovers, Ipswich Town and Portsmouth as well as soundly beating Crewe Alexandra and defeating Aston Villa, but they made short work of Sunderland in the big game at Wembley.
Goal No. 2 came courtesy of the ever-deadly Ian Rush, with a sublime passed effort into the back of the net.
"Rushie" was an FA Cup great, netting 39 times for Liverpool in the competition and 44 overall in his career, better than anyone else from any other team since the late 1800s.
Rushie again now. The traditional 1992-93 curtain-raiser featured Liverpool in action in the Charity Shield again. This time, however, they fell to defeat after a crazy 3-4 reversal against Leeds United, winners of the league the previous season.
After Leeds took the lead midway through the first half, it was Ian Rush, scoring Liverpool's last goal of the previous season and the first goal of this season, who equalised less than 10 minutes later.
That was far from the end of it though...
... Leeds were back in front before halftime, and this time it was Rush's strike partner, Dean Saunders, who drew the Reds level for a second time.
However, it was not enough for Liverpool as Leeds took the initiative by scoring twice more to lead 4-2, before a late Gordon Strachan own goal pulled one back for Liverpool as a consolation.
If I could find a video of the goal I'd do an extra slide for it as Strachan got his feet into a terrifically funny muddle on the goal line. Alas, his blushes are spared for now.
In what became known as the "McManaman Final," Academy product Steve McManaman was the shining light who led the Reds to victory.
A virtuoso display from winger McManaman saw him net a brace, once in each half, giving Liverpool a 2-1 victory and their first major title in three years.
What a spectacular goal this was.
Liverpool's only major final since the '95 League Cup was the FA Cup final one year later, a dour 0-1 defeat against Manchester United.
In 2001, under Gerard Houllier, Liverpool won every cup competition going, and it all kicked off with the League Cup final against Birmingham City.
Fowler's magnificent volley on the half-hour mark appeared to have the Reds heading for victory until a late penalty levelled up matters.
The game went through extra time without further changes to the scoreline, and in the penalty shoot-out, Gary McAllister, Nick Barmby and Christian Ziege all scored before Didi Hamann missed the fourth.
Fowler himself scored the fifth, and Jamie Carragher netted the all-important sudden death spot kick to seal the trophy for the Reds.
The second final of the 2001 season saw Liverpool take on Arsenal in the FA Cup.
The Reds had beaten Rotherham, Leeds United, Manchester City, Tranmere Rovers and Wycombe Wanderers to reach the final, but the Gunners looked for much of the match like they would deny Liverpool a second trophy of the season.
Arsenal took the lead in the second half and Liverpool seemed without an answer, until two Michael Owen strikes in the final 10 minutes swung the game on its head and won Liverpool the trophy.
Just four days after winning the FA Cup against Arsenal, Liverpool faced up to their third major final of the season, travelling to Dortmund to contest the UEFA Cup Final against Spanish outfit Alaves.
Rapid Bucharest, Slovan Liberec, Olympiacos, Roma, Porto and Barcelona had all fallen by the wayside en-route to Germany, and at first it seemed that Alaves would follow suit. Markus Babbel scored inside four minutes for Liverpool, heading in a Gary Mac free kick from close range.
In what would become one of the all-time epic European finals, this was only the beginning.
Only a quarter of an hour into the game, Liverpool went 2-0 up. Skinhead Scouser Steven Gerrard fired into the corner after Hamann and Owen exchanged passes.
At this point it seemed only a matter of who would score next for Liverpool and by how many they would win, but Alaves in fact grabbed the next goal, and the game was back on.
A genuine cult hero if not bona fide legend of the club, Gary Mac grabbed Liverpool's third strike of the evening to put the Reds 3-1 ahead from the penalty spot.
Michael Owen had won it after a run into the penalty area, and McAllister's composure remained, putting Liverpool back in the driving seat.
Liverpool led 3-1 at halftime and looked set for glory, but within 10 minutes of the restart, Alaves had struck twice, levelling matters against all expectancy.
Man of the Match in the League Cup final but left out of the starting lineup for both FA and UEFA Cup Finals, Robbie Fowler came off the bench to do what he did best, scoring and putting Liverpool back in front less than 20 minutes before the end of the game.
Fowler cut in from the left and ran across the box, firing home confidently to take Liverpool one step closer to lifting their third trophy of the season.
Again there was drama to follow though, as Alaves equalised again just a minute before full time.
Extra time loomed, and Liverpool took advantage of the Golden Goal rule to win the UEFA Cup after another Gary McAllister free kick was headed into his own goal by Delfi Geli.
A truly momentous match finished 5-4 to Liverpool, giving the Reds their third trophy in less than three months.
Another big game, another penalty, another Gary Mac moment.
The following season's Charity Shield pitted Liverpool against Manchester United, and within two minutes, the Reds had taken the lead.
A quarter of an hour into the game and Michael Owen raced away to put the Reds two up.
Manchester United pulled a goal back in the second half, but Liverpool ran out 2-1 winners, notching their fourth trophy in six months in the process.
Fast forward another two weeks and Liverpool were in search of an amazing fifth trophy in just six months and indeed their fourth trophy in just eight matches!
Bayern Munich, as reigning European Cup champions, were the opponents in France in the showpiece event at the beginning of the 2001-02 season.
It was a game to remember for one John Arne Riise as he opened the scoring midway through the first half, starting and finishing the move to put the Reds ahead.
Just on the stroke of halftime, Liverpool doubled their advantage with a far-from-customary strike from Emile William Ivanhoe Heskey.
Not that scoring a goal itself was strange. At the time Heskey was enjoying his most prolific form of his career, but the finish was very un-Heskey-esque. A composed little dink past the goalkeeper into the far corner.
It was 2-0 to Liverpool at halftime, and the Reds were looking good for another trophy win.
Once the second half kicked off, it didn't take Liverpool long to extend their lead even further.
Fewer than 20 seconds after the restart, Michael Owen latched onto a through ball from Jamie Carragher and buried the ball past the Bayern 'keeper.
Before the hour mark, the Germans had clawed one goal back, and they scored a second a few minutes from full time, but Liverpool had done enough. Gerard Houllier and his team had completed a magnificent quintet of trophies in the calendar year of 2001.
Liverpool contested the 2002 Community Shield but failed to score in a 0-1 defeat to Arsenal.
In 2003 though, Liverpool returned to scoring—and winning—ways in cup finals with a memorable 2-0 win over Manchester United.
Steven Gerrard set Liverpool on their way to victory by blasting in from distance with the help of a deflection shortly before halftime.
Liverpool had defended well the entire game, and Manchester United pressed late on for an equaliser.
However, it was the Reds who scored the second and final goal of the game after Owen sprinted away from the defence onto a through ball and found the far corner of the net to seal another trophy for the Merseysiders.
Now this was a humdinger of a goal.
In the League Cup final of 2005, one of the first of many Benitez vs Mourinho encounters, John Arne Riise gave Liverpool the perfect start with a volleyed goal less than a minute into the match.
For much of the game, it seemed a worthy strike to give the Reds the first piece of silverware under the new regime, until an ill-timed leap from Steven Gerrard saw him net an own goal and send the game into extra time.
The late equaliser seemed to have taken the sting out of Liverpool and Chelsea pushed on, filled with renewed hope, after the 90 minutes were up.
Two extra-time goals gave the Londoners some breathing space before Antonio Nuñez netted his only Reds goal with a consolation strike for the Reds.
However, Liverpool didn't have long to wait to win their first trophy under Benitez....
As iconic an image as Shankly with his hands raised, Emlyn Hughes clenching his fists before picking up the cup or Kenny wheeling away with a smile as wide as the river Mersey after scoring another goal.
At 3-0 down at halftime in Istanbul to AC Milan in the biggest final of all, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard rose above everyone to head home a glimmer of hope from John Arne Riise's cross.
It was still an uphill battle for Liverpool from here, but what was to come afterwards would surpass even the incredible scenes of Dortmund four years earlier.
Rarely, if ever during his time at Liverpool, did Vladi Smicer strike a ball sweeter than he did just a couple of minutes after Gerrard had headed home Liverpool's first.
Big credit should also go to Milan Baros who sucked in his stomach at the last moment. An inch closer to the ball and it probably would have deflected into the goalkeeper's gloves.
As it was, Smicer's shot buried itself inside the far post, and the great comeback was well and truly on.
Xabi Alonso: the man who shattered a million Kopites' dreams and resurrected them less than a second later.
After Steven Gerrard won a penalty just six minutes after he headed his the first goal, Xabi stepped up to take the resulting spot kick.
His initial effort was saved, but he reacted quickest to smack home with his left foot, levelling up matters after a simply incredible spell of football.
Liverpool went on to claim the trophy 3-2 on penalties with Didi Hamann and Djibril Cisse scoring, John Arne Riise having his saved and Vladi Smicer scoring the Reds' fourth one.
As a result of further European success Liverpool were back in the European Super Cup, and this time they faced Russian outfit CSKA Moscow.
Djibril Cisse started the game on the bench, but after the Reds found themselves a goal behind, they turned to the Frenchman, to great effect.
His first goal came as a result of a defensive mix up, allowing Cisse to tap home easily and force extra time.
In the added 30 minutes Cisse scored again after his initial shot was saved, putting the Reds 2-1 up.
Liverpool were eventually running out comfortable winners in the Super Cup, but there was still time for the icing on the cake.
The great impact Cisse had had was further exemplified as he provided the run and cross for Luis Garcia to finish to make it 3-1 to the Reds.
The victory was Benitez's second trophy in slightly more than a year in charge of Liverpool and already his third final with the club.
Liverpool competed in the 2005 World Club Cup Championship in Japan but despite bossing the majority of the final they were unable to find a way past Sao Paolo—at least without the referee disallowing the goal for one reason or another—and they were defeated 1-0.
Come the end of the season though Benitez led Liverpool to their fifth final in his two years in charge with an FA Cup final appearance against West Ham United.
Overwhelming favourites going into the game, it didn't go to plan at first for the Reds as they found themselves two goals behind in less than half an hour.
Again Cisse proved himself the man for the big occasion as he superbly volleyed home just after the 30-minute mark to put the Reds back in the game.
I know I've used the word before, but what else can you say about either strike from Steven Gerrard in this game?
Gerrard superbly half-volleyed Liverpool level in the second half from inside the penalty area, before West Ham took the lead yet again.
As the clock ticked down towards full time the ball dropped for Gerrard fully 30 yards out, and the Huyton Hammer let loose with his dynamite right boot.
The ball rocketed into the corner and a year on from their triumph over AC Milan in Turkey, Liverpool were at it again.
The match finished 3-3, and the Reds triumphed on penalties 3-1, with Hamann, Gerrard and Riise scoring with just Sami Hyypia failing to net.
The follow up to Liverpool's dramatic FA Cup win over West Ham was the curtain raiser against Chelsea the following season.
John Arne Riise got Liverpool off to a good start with a goal after less than 10 minutes.
Chelsea equalised before halftime, and it was left to beanpole striker Peter Crouch to bag the winner for the Reds as he knocked in at the far post, just 10 minutes before the end of the game.
Liverpool had now played in six finals in the first two-and-a-bit years under Rafael Benitez, winning four of them.
Almost two years to the very day after the thrilling final of Istanbul, Liverpool and AC Milan were back at it, this time in Athens.
However there was no repeat for Liverpool as the Italians led 2-0 until the final moments, when Dutch striker Dirk Kuyt nodded in his first Champions League goal for the Reds.
It was just a consolation though, and Liverpool were defeated.
Well there you have it.
Certainly more victories than defeats in the games which really matter, and almost all of them have seen Liverpool players write their names into the history books with cup final goals.
From Barnes to Crouch, Rush to Cisse and every other player in between, their names will never be forgotten by Reds fans the world over.
Steven Gerrard's haul of scoring (and winning) in League, FA, UEFA and Champions League Cup finals is a British-based player record.
Under King Kenny Dalglish Liverpool now look to rebuilding those great times we have witnessed—and that is just over the past 20 years—perhaps far more success than some are keen to give Liverpool FC credit for.
Could many other clubs boast such a rich list of players scoring and titles won in cup finals?
For now we wait and watch and hope for a return of the day pictured above, when Reds fans in their hundreds of thousands flocked to the streets to welcome home their triumphant heroes, Champions of Europe again.