Top Six: Champions League finals (with video goodness)


21st, May 2008

Six of the best CL finals (or European Cup finals, if you’re old school), with all the YouTube evidence you need
1. Real Madrid 7-3 Eintracht Frankfurt (1960)

A ten-goal thriller, although the result was never really in doubt. Frankfurt actually scored first, but Madrid’s legendary side hit back in crushing fashion, thanks to four goals by Ferenc Puskas and a hat-trick by Alfredo di Stefano.

2. Benfica 5-3 Real Madrid (1962)

Real Madrid were on the wrong end of another goal fest, despite taking a two-goal lead (both goals by Puskas, who went on to score a hat-trick in his last European final) in the first half. But the Portuguese side, inspired by the great Eusebio (playing in his first European final), roared back to win a thrilling encounter.
3. Celtic 2-1 Internazionale (1967)

Scottish football’s finest hour, as the “Lisbon Lions” deservedly got the better of Italy’s cynical giants. After Inter had taken the lead from a penalty, they went on the defensive and didn’t even win a single corner; Celtic, by contrast, had more than 40 shots on goal. This was a victory for beautiful adventure over ugly negativity. Famously, all of Celtic’s starting line-up were born within 30 miles of Glasgow.
4. Man Utd 4-1 Benfica (1968)

The scoreline makes it sound like a thrashing, but it was 1-1 after 90 minutes. United lasted the pace better than their Portuguese opponents, scoring three goals in extra time – including one memorable finish by the great George Best, then at the peak of his considerable powers. United in blue though? It just looks wrong.
5. Man Utd 2-1 Bayern Munich (1999)

Not a great match, if truth be told, but definitely one of the most exhilarating climaxes to any big game of football. Shame about Clive Tyldesley’s orgasmic commentary, but you can’t have it all.
6. Liverpool 3-3 AC Milan, Liverpool win on penalties (2005)

Probably the most dramatic final of all time. You just don’t come back from three goal down against a top Italian team – even Milan’s players were celebrating at half time. It never happens. It did in Istanbul. Anyway, no more words: watch and enjoy (unless you support Milan, natch).
Let’s hope tonight’s game can hit the heights as well…

Posted in Champions League, Liverpool, Man Utd

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