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UEFA Champions League: 4 most controversial finals of all time

Sumedh Pande
Top 5 / Top 10
03 Jun 2017, 16:01 IST
TURIN, ITALY - OCTOBER 20:  Juventus celebrate a goal during a Serie A match between Juventus and Inter Milan on October 20, 1996 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Allsport/Getty Images)
The Juventus team of 1996 were accused of doping before the final against Ajax

For any player, the Champions League final is a pinnacle of his career as not everyone gets to play the match which is undoubtedly the biggest game in club football. 22 men will play tonight in yet another grand finale of the elite competition that we have become used to call the UEFA Champions League.

Real Madrid take on Juventus at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff as the entire world will be glued to the action in Wales as Madrid's threatening attack goes against the peculiar mean Italian defence of Juventus. 

Though the competition is synonymous with a stage where heroes become champions as is proved by the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, there have been quite a few instances which have been controversial in nature and tarred the image of the tournament. 

Right from the match-fixing scandals to the blasphemous refereeing decisions, we have witnessed it all. From Real Madrid's scandalous win over Bayern Munich this season to Barcelona's infamous win over Chelsea in 2009, Champions League has given us many controversial episodes.

Bookmark this – Real Madrid vs Juventus Live

Right here, on the day of the big final, we present you the most controversial finals in the Champions League/European Cup history.

#4 Leeds United vs Bayern Munich - 1975 European Cup final

PARIS, FRANCE - MAY 28:  Peter Lorimer (6th left) has a goal disallowed for Leeds in the 62nd minute, when Billy Bremner (2nd left) was adjudged to be offside as Franz Beckenbauer (3rd left) and goalkeeper Sepp Maierlook on during the 1975 European Cup Final between Bayern Munich and Leeds United at Parc de Princes on May 28, 1975 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Allsport/Getty Images)
This was the chance where Leeds United were denied a goal

Don Revie's famous Leeds side reached their highest point when despite all odds, they reached the 1975 European Cup final after scrapping through four rounds of previous knockout games. Their opponents were the defending champions, Bayern Munich, who were led by the ever solid Franz Beckenbauer.

The Bavarians were favourites again that year but the referee, Michel Kitabdjian, turned out to be a crucial factor in the game rather than the players involved. 

Leeds started the game on a high and were the dominating side. They had two penalty appeals denied, one when Beckenbauer handled the ball and other when he tripped Allan Clarke, but the referee deemed it fair.


The tensions boiled over when a valid Leeds goal scored by Peter Lorimer was denied as the referee adjudged one of his teammates offside in the build-up. Initially, the referee had given it as a goal but the Bayern players suggested him to have a word with his linesman, which prompted the sudden change of heart by Kitabdjian. 

This angered the Leeds fans, who started a riot in the stadium, leading to a halt in the final. The match was resumed after a while but the refereeing decisions had broken the Leeds players who gave up and eventually lost 2-0.

Leeds fans created a ruckus in the stadium and outside of it as well, which prompted the governing body to ban the club from European competitions for four years. A ban, which was later reduced to two. The fans complained of cheating as they felt that it was their beloved Leeds who deserved to be champions of Europe in 1975.

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