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Liverpool ambassador visits University in preparation for match at Notre Dame Stadium

| Thursday, April 25, 2019

While Notre Dame and European football club Liverpool are located on different continents, they will cross paths July 19, when England-based Liverpool takes the field against German football club Borussia Dortmund in Notre Dame Stadium.

This match will be part of a three-match Premier League series in the United States, all played between Liverpool and other top European sides. In addition to its match in Notre Dame Stadium, Liverpool will compete against Sevilla FC in Fenway Park and Sporting CP in Yankee Stadium this summer. Coming off a record season with the most Premier League points in club history, reaching the 2018 champions league final and currently contending for the Premier League title against the likes of rival Manchester City, Liverpool will be looking to keep challenging itself during the off season.

Ann Curtis | The Observer
Liverpool Football Club and Borussia Dortmund will compete in the first competitive soccer match in the history of Notre Dame Stadium on July 19.

In preparation for the match, Notre Dame hosted ex-player and current Liverpool ambassador Phil Babb — who suited up for the Reds from 1994-2000 — on Wednesday. Babb recorded 128 career appearances and a single goal for the club and appeared 35 times for the Irish national side. During his visit, Babb said Liverpool’s pending match in South Bend should provide plenty of excitement for the community.

“Liverpool’s brand is global. We used to go to Asia a lot and Australia, and now more and more in the U.S.,” he said. “Players are used to it. They enjoy it. The game on July 19, people will say it is a friendly, but it’s not a friendly; they’re training hard for the Premier League season. … It’s not going to be an easy stroll about in the park. This is going to be a high-level, high-intensity, technical, competitive game of football.”

Babb referenced many of the characteristics and attributes of Liverpool fans and of the club as a whole.

“Liverpool is such a unique club. It’s not just a team, it’s a family,” Babb said. “The fans around the world are so vocal and passionate and emotional about it, but all in a positive way. You see tears of joy. You’ll hear children and grandparents signing from the rafters. We are a very special club with very special fans.”

Vice president for University enterprises and events Micki Kidder is one of the people spearheading this partnership between Notre Dame and Liverpool. Kidder has been working diligently in an effort to attract more people and events to campus.

“In the past year, Notre Dame has welcomed over 700,000 guests to Notre Dame Stadium. That comes from a diverse variety of events — not just football,” Kidder said. “ … These 700,000 guests have come from concerts [such as Garth Brooks on Dec. 2] and from the Winter Classic. We expect nothing but a smashing success with the Liverpool game and hope to continue to invite more and more guests in the future to a variety of events, such as we’ve had the past few months.”

Liverpool and Dortmund will face off in Notre Dame Stadium on July 19.

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