The Champions League Final is here! Real Madrid vs. Atletico Madrid sees two of the world’s biggest clubs facing off in one of the world’s most famous stadiums for the greatest prize in club football.
The San Siro has seen some incredible games over the years – it’s the home of both AC Milan and Inter Milan after all – and has hosted three previous finals.
Only the world’s top clubs get to compete for the big prize and Barcelona of course won the trophy last season, but who will win it this year in Milan?
The two Madrid clubs battled out in the Champions League final just two seasons ago as Real Madrid triumphed 4-1 to win ‘La Decima’ (their tenth European Cup). Although the match looked like a walkover for Real, the game was a lot closer than the scoreline suggests, with Atletico leading 1-0 until the dying seconds of the 90 minutes before Real Madrid ran away with the game in extra time.
But here, we look back at the FIVE best Champions League finals of all time.
In 1967, Celtic became the first British team to ever win the Champions League – back then, the trophy was called the European Cup – but this game was a match to be treasured for football history. Every Celtic player on the pitch was born in Glasgow and the game was a real fairytale for the Scottish side. Inter played with a defensive mindset and took the lead early on, but Celtic rallied on and replied with two goals to win the match, Bobby Murdoch with the winner, and becoming an instant British hero.
AC Milan finished this season in a miserable 7th position, but the Rosseneri used to be an incredible side. Milan have won the European Cup seven times and this was perhaps their greatest victory. The 1994 final saw Barcelona absolutely battered and out-classed by the Italians who ran away with the game and left Barcelona embarrassed. It was definitely one of the greatest final performances of all time.
AND SOLSKJAER HAS WON IT! Manchester United won the second of their three European Cup titles in 1999 in the most dramatic fashion. Bayern Munich took the lead at the Camp Nou in just the 6th minute of the match, Manchester United grabbed an equaliser with what looked to be the last kick of the game through Teddy Sheringham but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer snatched the win for United deep into injury time. United scored two goals in a matter of minutes to snatch the trophy from Bayern Munich’s hands.
The fifth ever European Cup final is to this day, the record holder of the highest attendance and the most goals. Real Madrid won the cup for the fifth year in succession, this year the Madrid giants are hoping to claim the trophy for the 11th time. This game in 1960 saw just two players grab the goals for Real Madrid, 4 from Ferenc Puskas and a hat trick from Alfredo DI Stefano completely swept away the German side.
And of course, Liverpool vs. AC Milan, you knew it when you clicked on the gallery. Milan stormed to a 3-0 lead at half time through goals from captain (and oldest Champions League final goalscorer ever), Paolo Maldini and a further two from Hernan Crespo. Astonishingly Liverpool recovered from the three goal deficit and brought the match back to 3-3 in a staggering six minute spell, with Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso rescuing the match for the Reds. An inspired performance from Jerzy Dudek, in which he made a few incredible stops from Andriy Shevchenko, took the game to a penalty shootout where Liverpool triumphed 3-2 thanks to Dudek’s heroics.
In Istanbul… WE WON IT 5 TIMES.