This weekend Real Madrid, one of the most decorated European sides in football history, face their city rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final on Saturday. Here are ten classic European Cup finals available to watch in full, or as much footage was taken at the time. Again, I’m withholding scorelines to preserve some of the drama, though in the earlier matches you may want to look up the results to avoid confusion.
1. Real Madrid vs Eintracht Frankfurt (1960)
Featuring one of the most famous strike forces in European football history, with Puskas, Di Stefano and Gento providing some thrilling attacking football, this match is widely considered to be one of the best European Cup finals of all time.
2. Benfica vs Real Madrid (1962)
The previous season’s European Cup champions came up against a still potent Real Madrid front line and produced a back-and-forth battle and a tactical coup from famed Benfica coach Bela Guttman.
3. Celtic vs Inter (1967)
Jimmy Johnstone once described their haughty Inter opponents as appearing as “film stars” ahead of kick off in Lisbon, but Jock Stein managed an incredible feat with his hyper-local Scottish side against the favoured champions Inter.
A decade after the Munich Air disaster destroyed the core the Busby Babes and nearly led to the club folding, Man United and George Best faced the Portuguese powerhouse led by Eusebio.
5. Ajax vs Inter (1972)
The crystallization of the ‘Ajax Way’ and Total Football, this was the crown jewel of coach Stefan Kovacs’ quadruple that season. Still holds up.
6. Liverpool vs Borussia Moenchengladbach (1977)
The first of Liverpool’s European Cups in the late seventies and early eighties, and the continuation of Shankly’s vision under Bob Paisley. Sparked an English club renaissance before the European ban in 1985 after Heysel.
Few thought Barcelona would face much trouble against Fabio Capello’s Milan in the final, with a heap of the latter’s players missing through injury and Barca in their footballing prime. Sometimes though stuff happens.
Another cakewalk gone sour, Juventus were expected to dominate Dortmund in the final in Munich, this is still considered among the greatest European Cup upsets.
9. Manchester United vs Bayern Munich (1999)
Name. On. The trophy. Football, bloody hell.
10. Liverpool vs AC Milan (2005)
Probably one of the greatest comebacks in European Cup history, if not all football history. And one of the more memorable penalty shootouts, too.
Feature photo courtesy of Reuters/Sergio Perez