Top 5 Champions League Finals Ranked
Over the years, UEFA Champions League finals have taken football fans on a rollercoaster of emotions. There have been matches that were lifelessly cautious or one sided. On the other hand, we have also witnessed some end-to-end encounters that sent a rush of adrenaline through our veins.
With an all-English Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea on the horizon, we decided to take a look back at previous finals and rank the 5 best Champions League finals. Let's get started.
5. Manchester United 1 (6)- Chelsea 1 (5)
Venue: Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia.
Date: 21 May, 2008
Manchester United and Chelsea were no strangers to each other, but that didn't stop the two from producing one of the best Champions League final displays in history. Both teams had plethora of chances to outscore their opponents. So, the 1-1 stalemate after the regulation and extra time seemed like a fair score.
Cristiano Ronaldo had scored for the Mancunians in the first half, but he failed to score past Petr Cech in the shootouts. But, that didn't prove costly for the Red Devils as Edwin van Der Saar denied Nicolas Anelka before Chelsea skipper John Terry slipped and fired his shot well over the bar.
Both Manchester United and Chelsea were wearing their home kits for the final. Manchester United wore thier classic AIG home shirt, red top with white shorts. Whilst Chelsea wore thier classic Samsung home kit, dressed all in blue.
4. AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona
Venue: Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece.
Date: 18 May, 1994.
AC Milan had a richer European heritage going into the final than their opponents Barcelona. But, the Rossoneri were the ones on the backfoot as they didn't have the likes of Franco Baresi, Marco van Basten and other important players.
But, that didn't stop them from cruising to an emphatic 4-0 victory. Johan Cruyff saw his high-flying Barcelona team succumbing to a helpless defeat as Daniel Massaro put the Italians 2-0 up in half time before Dejan Savicevic and Marcel Desailly put the final nail in Barca's coffin.
Barcelona wore their home kit with blue and red stripes. Whilst AC Milan took to the field wearing their white away strip.
3. Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich
Venue: Camp Nou, Barcelona, Spain.
Date: 26 May, 1999.
Both Manchester United and Bayern Munich entered the fray with treble ambitions. Sir Alex Ferguson's side had already secured the Premier League title and the FA Cup, whereas Bayern Munich had won the Bundesliga and were on the DFB Pokal Cup final.
Mario Basler put the German champions ahead in the 6th minute and it seemed to be the decisive goal before Teddy Sheringham leveled the tie in the first minute of injury time. In a dramatic turn of events, Manchester United nicked the winner through Ole Gunnar Solskjaer two minutes later.
Manchester United got to wear their home kit colours after winning a coin toss. United played in thier red and white shirt, whilst Bayern Munich wore their away kit colours in silver and maroon.
2. Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid
Venue: Estadio da Luz, Lisbon, Portugal.
Date: 24 May, 2014.
Atletico Madrid had their sight set on a prestigious double after winning the La Liga ahead of Real Madrid and Barcelona. The Roji Blancos lost their star striker Diego Costa in the 9th minute, but they still managed to draw first blood as Diego Godin guided the ball into the net in the 36th minute.
Real Madrid, who didn't win the trophy since 2002, seemed destined for another heartbreak. But, captain Sergio Ramos handed Los Blancos a lifeline as he equalised in the 93rd minute. A dominant extra time display from Los Blancos saw them finish the game 4-1 and clinch the esteemed La Decima.
Atletico and Real both wore their home kits. Real Madrid's vintage football shirt was white with back shoulder stripes and side stripes on the shorts. Whilst Atletico's classic football kit included the classic red stripes over white shirt and blue shorts.
1. Liverpool 3 (3)- AC Milan 3(2)
Venue: Atartuk Olympic Stadium, Istanbul
Date: 25 May, 2005
Duly known as the ''Miracle of Istanbul'', Liverpool's 2005 Champions League triumph over AC Milan is undoubtedly the greatest ever final the competition has seen till now. AC Milan went three goals up in the first half as Hernan Crespo followed up Paolo Maldini's first-minute opener with a brace.
Rafael Benitez reshuffled his team in a 3-5-2 formation in the second half and it immediately paid dividends. Liverpool restored parity within the first 15 minutes. The match went into penalties in the end, and the Merseyside outfit won by 3-2. Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was named man of the match for his heroics.
Liverpool donned their home strips in red, whilst AC Milan put on their white away kit for this classic match.
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- Lewis Davison