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5 greatest UEFA Champions League finals of all time

Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final
Abhinav Anand
ANALYST
Modified 23 Aug 2020, 15:45 IST
Top 5 / Top 10
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Regarded as the premier club competition in Europe, the UEFA Champions League has given us quite the ride over the years. From disappointing performances to exciting triumphs, from comebacks to heartbreaks, football has been at its very best in this tournament.

While recent finals have not been as exciting as they were some years ago (the 2019 final between Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur a prime example), there have been some nerve-wracking moments in the competition final which has truly established its legacy.

With some of the best clubs in Europe playing each other, and some of the best players involved, there has not been a shortage of quality in UEFA Champions League final fixtures.

We look at the:

5 greatest UEFA Champions League finals of all time


#5 CHELSEA 1-1 (4-3P) BAYERN MUNICH | 2012

Frank Lampard and Juan Mata celebrate Chelsea
Frank Lampard and Juan Mata celebrate Chelsea's Champions League victory

Roberto Di Matteo's Chelsea were the clear underdogs coming into this match, with Jupp Heynckes's Bayern Munich one of the best teams in Europe at that point.

The Bavarians controlled much of the match, with their talismanic wingers Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery in fine form. Their dominance resulted in Thomas Muller scoring in the 83rd minute, and Bayern looked to close out the game by being solid defensively.

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However, Didier Drogba scored in the 88th minute to equalize, and the match went into extra time. Bayern Munich's Mario Gomez had a chance to score, while Robben missed an important penalty. The game went to penalties.

Juan Mata missed for Chelsea, but goalkeeper Petr Cech saved efforts from Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger to secure Chelsea a historic UEFA Champions League title. This was the club's first ever triumph in the competition, having lost the final in 2008.


#4 AC MILAN 4-0 BARCELONA | 1994

Fabio Capello
Fabio Capello's(R) AC Milan beat Johan Cruyff''s(L) Barcelona
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Johan Cruyff's Barcelona are regarded as one of the best teams to have played the game, and they were at their very best coming into this fixture.

Add to that the fact that Fabio Capello's AC Milan were missing players like Marco van Basten, Franco Baresi and Alessandro Costacurta, and the Catalan club seemed to have won before the game even began. However, that was not what happened.

Milan dominated proceedings, exploiting Barcelona's defence relentlessly. Forward Dejan Savicevic was in top form, setting up Daniele Massaro's first goal and scoring the third one himself. Massaro got another goal in the first half, with Marcel Desailly completing the rout by scoring in the 58th minute.

Many critics opine that this AC Milan performance was the greatest ever by a team in the UEFA Champions League, with the club lacking star players yet managing to comfortably beat one of the greatest teams of all time.


#3 REAL MADRID 4-1 ATLETICO MADRID | 2014

Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final
Real Madrid v Atletico de Madrid - UEFA Champions League Final

Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid had surprised many by winning the La Liga that season, and reaching the UEFA Champions League final was seen as the cherry on top.

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Well-renowned for their defensive solidity, Atletico Madrid were up against Carlo Ancelotti's Real Madrid; who were in the hunt for the fabled "La Decima", their 10th Champions League title. They had last won the competition in 2002, when they beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1.

Star forward Diego Costa was not fully fit for Atleti, and despite starting the match was substituted in the ninth minute. The club took the lead via a Diego Godin header in the first half, and despite Los Blancos creating a plethora of chances they were unable to find the net.

That changed dramatically in the 93rd minute however; Sergio Ramos scored in the 93rd minute to equalize, before Gareth Bale, Marcelo and Cristiano Ronaldo scored in the last 10 minutes of the second half of extra time to beat their city-rivals and win the UEFA Champions League for the 10th time.


Also Read: 5 reasons why Bayern Munich will struggle against Paris Saint-Germain | UEFA Champions League 2019-20

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Published 23 Aug 2020, 15:45 IST
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