Liverpool fans have been waiting a long time to celebrate a league title and it looked like they would certainly do it in 2020 – until the coronavirus pandemic derailed pretty much everything.
Jurgen Klopp’s men still may be crowned champions – either if the Premier League continues or if league chiefs make a call on the matter – but the champagne is on ice for now.
Given that their wait has lasted three decades, a lot has happened since the Merseysiders last won the top prize in English football.
Goal takes a look back at how the football world looked when Liverpool won the league in 1990 and some of the notable things that have transpired since then until 2020.
How did football look when Liverpool won the league in 1990?
At the end of the 1989-90 season, when Liverpool were at the summit of English football, the world of football looked like this:
– Aston Villa finished second in the First Division, Tottenham finished third.
– Manchester United won the FA Cup, but finished 13th in the league, one place ahead of Manchester City.
– Gary Lineker was First Division top goalscorer with 24 goals for Tottenham.
– Diego Maradona’s Napoli won Serie A, with AC Milan finishing second.
– Real Madrid won their 25th Liga title. Valencia were a distant second, followed by Barcelona in third.
– Bayern Munich held off competition from Cologne, Eintracht Frankfurt and Borussia Dortmund to win the Bundesliga.
– Marseille won Ligue 1, with Jean-Pierre Papin hitting 30 goals.
– AC Milan beat Benfica to lift the European Cup for the fourth time.
– Juventus won the UEFA Cup, overcoming Fiorentina to lift the trophy for the second time.
– Sampdoria won the Cup Winners Cup, having defeated Anderlecht in the final.
– West Germany won the 1990 World Cup in Italy – their third world crown.
– England finished fourth at the World Cup, losing to Italy in the third-place play-off.
– Real Madrid’s Hugo Sanchez and CSKA Sofia’s Hristo Stoichkov shared the European Golden Boot (38 goals).
– Marco van Basten won the 1989 Ballon d’Or. Lothar Matthaus won the 1990 Ballon d’Or.
– Roberto Baggio became the most expensive player in the world in 1990 when Juventus signed him from Fiorentina for £8 million.
The Soviet Union collapsed
While it had been in decline in the late 1980s, the Soviet Union officially dissolved in December 1991, seeing a breakup of a geopolitical superpower that had held sway in eastern Europe for decades.
English First Division became the Premier League
When Liverpool won the league in 1990, it was in what is now known as ‘the old First Division’.
England’s top tier league was rebranded as the Premier League in 1992-93 following a decision to break away from the Football League and take advantage of a financially rewarding TV deal.
In the same season, the European Cup was rebranded as the Champions League.
Back-pass rule introduced
In 1992, the back-pass rule was introduced to football to prevent goalkeepers from being able to pick up the ball upon receiving a pass from a team-mate.
The Internet as we know it was born
It was brought in to discourage cynical exploitation of the rules, which became embarrassingly apparent during the 1990 World Cup.
The World Wide Web was released for public use in 1993 and the network is now completely enmeshed with global society.
Search engines such as Yahoo and Google were launched in 1994 and 1998 respectively.
Channel Tunnel built between UK & France
The famous Channel Tunnel linking the United Kingdom and France was opened in 1994. The route is located underneath the English channel at the strait of Dover.
Successful Mars landings
NASA first succeeded in landing on Mars with Pathfinder in 1996 and there have been a number of other successful landings since then, with rovers dispatched to explore the planet surface.
Man Utd surpassed Liverpool’s record title haul
Manchester United equalled Liverpool’s record number of league titles when they won the Premier League in 2008-09 and then surpassed their rivals when they won their 19th title in 2010-11.
The Red Devils won a further league crown in 2012-13 to take their tally to 21.
Barack Obama was elected U.S. President
In 2009, Barack Obama became the 44th President of the United States and the country’s first ever African-American leader. Obama served two terms as president, finishing up in 2017, with Donald Trump succeeding him.
Facebook and Twitter were born
The World Wide Web was in an embryonic stage when Liverpool won the league in 1990 and it has evolved into a central, crucial component of modern life in 2020.
While email had been around for a while, web mail emerged in 1993, with the wider public beginning to use it more and that was a gamechanger.
But the birth of social media websites such as Facebook in 2004 and then Twitter in 2006 have totally transformed the manner in which people communicate with one another.
The world record transfer has been broken 16 times
Transfer fees have grown exponentially since Liverpool won the league in 1990, with the record fee being broken on 16 occasions.
Ronaldo Nazario has been the subject of two world record transfers (1996 and 1997), with others such as Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale following.
From the £8m paid for Roberto Baggio in 1990, the record 30 years later stood at £198m, which was paid by Paris Saint-Germain to Barcelona for Neymar in 2017.
EA Sports released 36 FIFA games
The EA Sports FIFA franchise has evolved into the most popular football simulation game in the world and there have been 36 titles since Liverpool’s 1990 league win.
EA launched their first FIFA game in 1993 when FIFA International Soccer hit the shelves in video game stores across the world and they have built on that each year since.
As well as the annual FIFA games, EA Sports also launched FIFA Street and various World Cup spin-off games.
FIFA 20’s cover features Liverpool star Virgil van Dijk.
VAR brought into football
After years of complaints, video technology was introduced to football in order to assist referees in 2018 in the form of the Video Assistant Referee or VAR.
It was a monumental change and one that has not necessarily been positively received.
Liverpool won two more Champions Leagues
While Liverpool endured a three-decade-long drought in the league, there has been plenty of silverware since 1990, including two more Champions League titles.
The Reds won their fifth European Cup in spectacular fashion in 2005 when they came from behind to defeat AC Milan on penalties in what has been dubbed ‘The Miracle of Istanbul’. Their sixth European crown came in 2019 when they beat Tottenham 2-0.
In all, Liverpool have won 14 trophies since their league title win in 1990, including two Champions Leagues, the UEFA Cup, the Club World Cup and two FA Cups.
Brexit: UK left the European Union
When Liverpool were league champions in 1990, the United Kingdom was a long-established member of the European Union.
That membership came to an end in 2019 following a seismic and bitterly divisive referendum result in 2016.