UEFA Champions League 2016/17: 5 footballers who lifted the trophy in their hometown
We are only hours away from the 2016-17 Champions League final where the team who have scored the most number of goals in the tournament with 32 (Real Madrid) will be up against the team who have conceded the least number of goals with 3 (Juventus) at Cardiff.
While reigning champions Real Madrid’s home leg win over Atletico Madrid proved to be enough to guide them to the final, Juventus completely outplayed Monaco in both legs to reach the final. The last time the Bianconeri reached the Champions League final, they were thrashed 3-1 by Barcelona thanks to goals from Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez, and Neymar.
However, this time, the team look solid with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala, and of course their own BBC – Bonucci, Barzagli, and Chiellini. Both sides will be coming into the final after winning their respective league titles and the match is expected to be a humdinger.
The final will be huge for players from both teams but particularly Gareth Bale who will be playing in his hometown. If Real Madrid win the Champions League final, then Bale will become the sixth player to win the Champions League in his hometown. Here are the other five who have achieved that feat.
#1 Enrique Mateos, 1957
Enrique Mateos was among the first two players to win the Champions League (European Cup back then) in his hometown when he represented Real Madrid during the 1956-57 Champions League. The 1956-57 season was a brilliant season for Mateos as he scored 14 goals in the La Liga from 21 matches.
During the European Cup, Mateos scored two goals in the first leg of the quarter-finals against Nice at the Bernabeu and followed it up by scoring a goal in Real Madrid’s 3-1 win over Manchester United in the first leg of the semi-finals.
Real qualified for the final by winning 5-3 on aggregate where they came up against Fiorentina. The final was at the Bernabeu, Mateos’ hometown and birthplace. In front of a crowd of 120,000, Real Madrid retained their title by beating Fiorentina 2-0 thanks to goals from Alfredo di Stefano and Francesco Gento.