The Champions League’s Finest Moments
September 08, 2015
Since its inception in 1992, the European Champions League has cemented its place as the most prestigious football tournament in the world. In doing so, it has arguably superseded the World Cup and European Championship formats, which once served as the pinnacle of any player’s career. The Champions League has certainly delivered some memorable moments in its unique 23 year history, from dramatic goals and incidents to incredible, last-gasp drama.
3 of the Best: The Defining Moments in Champions League History
It’s a debate which has torn the team at Bethut.co.uk. Eric Abidal lifting the trophy. Kluivert’s late winner in 1995. John Terry’s slip. It was a tough decision. But we finally whittled it down to three. And without further ado…
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Last-gasp winner (1999)
Arguably the most famous Champions League moment, Solskjaer’s memorable, match-winning intervention came in the final minute of stoppage time during the 1999 final between Bayern Munich and Manchester United. After trailing since the sixth minute, United had finally equalised at the end of normal time when Teddy Sheringham turned home a loose ball after a partially cleared corner. As Bayern prepared for extra-time, however, United pressed for a winner and Solskjaer delivered when he stabbed home from close-range flowing Sheringham’s deft flick-on.
Jerzy Dudek’s double save (2005)
No list of this type would be complete without reference to the so-called miracle of Istanbul, during which Liverpool overcame a 3-0 deficit against AC Milan to force a penalty shoot-out and win the famous trophy in 2005. While Liverpool’s three second-half goals in seven minutes dominated the headlines, however, it was Jerzy Dudek’s stunning double-save deep into extra-time that was the most miraculous of all. After showing incredible reflexes and recovery skills to deny Milan forward Andriy Shevchenko, even the Italian’s began to believe that it was not going to be their day.
Zinedine Zidane’s Goal at Hampden Park (2002)
Voted in UEFA’s poll as the second most famous Champions League moment of all time, Zidane’s match-winning goal earned Madrid a ninth European Cup triumph and their third in five years. It also happened to be arguably the finest goal in cup final history, as the Frenchman showed incredible technique to crash home an 18 yard volley after Roberto Carlos’ deflected cross and hurtled towards him. As Hampden Park rose in acclaim, Zidane celebrated with the calm air of a man who had incredible faith in his own extraordinary ability.
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