By News Team
21st May 2020
Every football player’s dream is to play in the Champions League but to reach the final and have the chance of winning the competition is something else.
Over the years, there have been plenty of mesmerising finals, but we have narrowed it down to five of our favourites.
Liverpool vs AC Milan – Istanbul, 2005
With AC Milan 3-0 up after 50 minutes, it seemed impossible for Liverpool to stage any sort of comeback but what followed could be the greatest comeback in football history.
Steven Gerrard headed in to cut the deficit to two goals before Vladimir Smicer’s rocket of a strike found the bottom corner. Liverpool were within just one and the comeback was complete when Xabi Alonso followed up his missed penalty and found the net.
Jerzy Dudek made arguably one of the greatest Champions League saves of all time to deny Andriy Shevchenko in injury time before becoming the hero in the penalty shootout, saving from Shevchenko again, to crown Liverpool champions of Europe.
Manchester United vs Bayern Munich – Barcelona, 1999
Although the first 90 minutes were not the best, all the drama came in ‘Fergie time’. With Manchester United 1-0 down in the 91st minute, what came next was a sight to behold.
Teddy Sheringham’s scuffed shot found the bottom corner to bring the scores level but United were not done there.
In the 93rd minute, David Beckham’s corner was nodded on by Sheringham into fellow substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s path. The Norwegian forward flicked the ball into the top corner and United had done it – they had made history in the most dramatic of ways.
Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid – Lisbon, 2014
A first-half goal from Diego Godin meant that Atletico Madrid were only two minutes away from being crowned champions of Europe for the first time in the club’s history, but that was until Real Madrid were awarded a corner with 90 seconds to go.
The corner reached Sergio Ramos, who rose the highest and slotted the ball into the bottom corner, sending the game into extra-time.
Goals from Marcelo, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo in extra-time would blow Atletico away and see Real win their tenth European Cup. La Decima had been accomplished for the first time in history.
Barcelona vs Manchester United – London, 2011
The best team in England would meet the best team in Spain at Wembley for a magical Champions League final in 2011. Pedro gave Barcelona the lead before Lionel Messi doubled their advantage with a strike from 20 yards out.
Wayne Rooney’s goal gave United fans hope but that was taken away when David Villa’s beautiful curling shot flew past Edwin van der Sar to find the back of the net.
Just like in the 2009 final, Barcelona had defeated United and were crowned European champions. Sir Alex Ferguson went on to say a few years later that Pep Guardiola’s side was the greatest side Wembley had ever seen and was ever like to see.
Borussia Dortmund vs Juventus – Munich, 1997
Reigning champions Juventus would face a Borussia Dortmund side who were making their first ever appearance in a Champions League final in 1997 in Munich.
Karl-Heinz Riedle found the back of the net twice to give the Germans a comfortable half-time lead. Alessandro Del Piero got one back for Juventus and although the Italians were dominating and getting closer to an equaliser, Dortmund’s Lars Ricken sealed off the game with a magnificent chip just 16 seconds after coming on as a substitute.
The underdog story that was Borussia Dortmund had a beautiful ending.