10) Liverpool 1-0 Club Brugge – 1978
Kenny Dalglish A legend was born, he scored the only goal in the game, chipping the ball over Brugge’s keeper and then leaping joyfully over the advertising hoardings.
9) Real Madrid 2-0 Fiorentina – 1957
Defending the European Cup in their own stadium, with Real fan General Franco watching on… let’s just say the fates leant in Real’s favour. Their first goal remains controversial to this day: referee Leo Horn ignored a linesman’s offside flag to award Real a penalty, that looked outside the area. Still, Alfredo Di Stefano scored it, then Gento added another.
8) Real Madrid 1-0 Juventus – 1998
Predrag Mijatovic probably shouldn’t have played in the 1998 Champions League final: he had a calf injury but neglected to tell manager Jupp Heynckes, a plan which worked out quite well. Mijatovic scored the winner after 66 minutes, inching around Juventus keeper Angelo Peruzzi and sealing their first victory in the competition since 1966. “It was possibly the most important game in Real Madrid’s history,” captain Manolo Sanchis said later.
7) Real Madrid 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen – 2002
Other things happened in the 2002 Champions League final, but they were all insignificant compared to Zinedine Zidane’s goal. “I tried to score the same way again later, even during shooting an advertisement,” Zidane said, years later. “But it never happened again. Never. I tried in training, but it never happened. It was perfect the day it happened.”
6) Real Madrid 4-1 Atletico Madrid – 2014
Simply written down, it might look like Real Madrid battered their city rivals, but in reality they were seconds from losing the game. Diego Godin gave Atletico the lead in the 36th minute, and they held out until the 93rd. Then Sergio Ramos equalised. And in the second half of extra-time Real ran in three more, breaking their rivals’ hearts.
5) Liverpool 1-1 Roma (Liverpool won 4-2 on penalties) – 1984
The European Cup has been decided 11 times by a penalty shootout, but this was the first. Goals from Phil Neal and Roberto Pruzzo left the sides deadlocked after 120 minutes, but when penalties rolled around goalkeeper Bruce Grobbelaar had a plan. His attempts to put the Roma players off, in their home stadium, with his wobbly legs worked as Bruno Conti and Francesco Graziani missed.
4) Liverpool 3-1 Borussia Monchengladbach – 1977
The start of an extraordinary few years of English dominance, this was Liverpool’s first European Cup, won at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome. They took the lead in the first-half through Terry McDermott, only for Allan Simonsen to equalise for the Germans. But Tommy Smith put Liverpool back ahead, and a Phil Neal penalty sealed things. “Rome will never fade from my memory,” said McDermott, years later. “I’ll always remember it until the day I die.”
3) Real Madrid 4-3 Stade de Reims – 1956
Some teams and countries took a while to figure out the European Cup, but Real were on board from day one. But their remarkable run of winning the first five tournaments nearly faltered in the first, French side Stade de Reims going 2-0 up after ten minutes then 3-2 ahead after an hour. But goals from Hector Rial and Marquitos won it.
2) Liverpool 3-3 Milan (Liverpool won 3-2 on penalties) – 2005
How to make sense of the most extraordinary comeback in the history of the competition? In the history of football, perhaps. The odd thing was that Milan basically dominated this game for 114 minutes, but the six in which Liverpool went from 3-0 down to 3-3 were the crucial ones. From there, it was down to Jerzy Dudek to repeat Grobbelaar’s antics in 1984, Liverpool winning on penalties to seal this most incredible story.
1) Real Madrid 7-3 Eintracht Frankfurt – 1960
The drama of Istanbul nearly took top spot, but this match was such an extraordinary exhibition of football that it has to be No. 1. A young Sir Alex Ferguson was among the 134,000 in attendance at Hampden Park to see this great Real team perform their masterpiece, hammering Eintracht Frankfurt after the West Germans took an early lead. Di Stefano got a hat trick, Puskas scored four; everyone was dazzled and amazed.