Champions League finals are the greatest occasion for any club. Having made it so far through a grueling schedule, starting from the group stage and then through the minefield of the two-legged knockout rounds ever since, clubs go through a lot to get to the “promised land”. The matches are mostly tightly contested affairs as the very best of Europe compete for the trophy.
But, throughout the years since the inception of the Champions League in 1992, there have been some memorable matches in the finals, with the team winning dramatically going down in folklore. It is also interesting to note that no team in the Champions League era has ever managed to defend their title, which just goes to show howe competitive it is.
Here are five such finals that have gone down in history as some of the greatest football games ever:
#5 2014 : Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid
Lisbon, 2014. The first ever Madrid derby in the final of the Champions League. It was all set to be a special occasion as Real Madrid, 9-time winners of the prestigious competition were set to meet their city rivals, Atletico Madrid, still trying to open their account, in the final. The pursuit of “the tenth” had really irritated Los Blancos as it had been 12 years since they last won the trophy, courtesy a certain Zinedine Zidane goal.
Atleti though were no easy opponent as a strong defense and an incredibly hard working team managed to be a brick wall in the way of Madrid’s ‘BBC’ triumvirate.
Diego Godin gave Los Colchoneros the lead in the first half as Iker Casillas committed a mistake in trying to clear the ball. Bale and Benzema missed a host of chances as it seemed to be yet another failure in trying to win the prestigious competition. 90 minutes were up and 5 minutes of time was added. Real were trying their best to score, pouring everybody forward and won a corner as the clock passed 2 minutes.
Luka Modric whipped in a cross as Sergio Ramos rose highest to finally break the defense of Thibaut Courtois at 92:48 with an unstoppable header, sending the men in white into raptures. Atleti were distraught and Real sensing the mood, honed in for the kill as Bale, Marcelo, and Cristiano Ronaldo eventually scored to end the game 4-1 and bring home the coveted La Decima.
The two teams will be up against each other once more tomorrow in Milan as Atletico look for revenge, whereas Real have La Undecima in their sights. Let’s hope the best team wins, in thrilling fashion.