Amid EVERYTHING that has gone on the past week and a half, the UEFA Champions League Final is tomorrow. Barcelona faces Juventus and regardless of who wins, they will complete the 8th treble in European soccer history. The previous seven include Celtic ’67, Ajax ’72, PSV ’88, Manchester United ’99, Barcelona ’09, Inter ’10 and Bayern Munich ’13.
With two teams going for a treble, this is shaping up to already be a classic game and they haven’t even kicked off. How will it stack up to these 10 classic Finals?
10) May 31, 1972: Ajax 2-0 Inter Milan – Stadion Feijenoord, Rotterdam, Netherlands
The game that really brought “Total Football” to the masses in Europe. This was the second of Ajax’s three European Cups in the 70’s and took “Total Football” from a possible fad to a revolution of how soccer can be played. Johan Cruyff bagged a brace with tremendous skill on both goals and Ajax were European champions.
9) May 18, 1994: AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona – Olympic Stadium, Athens, Greece
Speaking of “Total Football,” this was one of those times where it didn’t work for Cruyff’s team. This time as a manager, Cruyff assembled an incredible roster built around the “Total Football” philosophy. This stacked team was supposed to easily beat AC Milan but Milan beat down Barcelona with one of the greatest upsets in Champions League Final history. Not to mention, the game featured one of the greatest goals in Champiosn League Final history as Dejan Savicevic took advantage of a lapse in concentration and looped in a fantastic goal over Andoni Zubizarreta’s head for Milan’s third goal.
8) May 21, 2008: Manchester United 1 (6)-(5) 1 Chelsea – Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow, Russia
The first ever all-England Champions League Final proved to be a thriller right down to the very end. After trading goals in the first half, the game entered PK’s at 1-1. After Cristiano Ronaldo’s PK was saved, John Terry had a chance to seal the win and get Chelsea their first Champions League title. In the crucial moment, he slipped (hmm, sound familiar) and his shot bounced off the post. United would take advantage and win 6-5 in penalties.
7) May 29, 1968: Manchester United 4-1 Benfica – Wembley Stadium, London, England
Not only was this a great game, this was a very important game in Manchester United’s history. Man United was still reeling 10 years after the Munich Air Disaster and were looking to win their first European Cup. After going into extra time tied 1-1 with Benfica, Manchester United jumped into overdrive in their home country. Scoring three goals in the first 10 minutes of extra time, Manchester United cruised to a 4-1 win and earned their first continental title.