The best Champions League final moments from recent years

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Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Final - Real Madrid v Valencia

From the mid-eighties to the mid-noughties Manchester United were the only English team to make the final of the European Cup/Champions League, let alone win it. Then Liverpool opened the floodgates again in 2005 and since then English teams have once again been doing it for themselves.

In fact, last year’s final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich was the first time an English team hadn’t made the final in five years. We’re only making this point because most of our good moments from recent years have English teams in them and we don’t want to be accused of being too myopic.

There have been some epically good moments though…

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scores winner against Bayern Munich, 1999

As it’s Manchester United playing on Saturday, we’re gonna start with them and their first European Cup win under Sir Alex Ferguson. United were without Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and were second best for most of the game. Then substitutes Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored well late goals. Treble? Done.

Zinedine Zidane scores a goal, 2002

Excluding highlights packages, he’s the best player The Spoiler has ever seen in proper real-life. Effortless, graceful, occasionally mental… God, he was good…

The whole of Liverpool v AC Milan, 2005

The year Dudek, Finnan, Traore, Hyypia, Carragher, Riise, Gerrard, Luis Garcia, Alonso, Kewell/Smicer, Baros won the European Cup. Bloody amazing game and somehow The Spoiler had somehow almost completely forgotten about Jerzy Dudek’s save from Andriy Shevchenko in extra-time as well.

Jens Lehman gets sent off against Barcelona, 2006

The referee made a complete mess of the Lehman sending off – he totally should have played advantage and left it as 11v11. Anyway, it was amazing to see the Gunners go 1-0 up thanks to Sol Campbell before nearly holding out for the win. Thierry Henry also had a couple of brilliant chances to win it. Apart from the result it was a bloody good game.

John Terry misses penalty against Manchester United, 2008

The Spoiler watched this in a London pub with a lot of people who would have been quite happy to see neither side win this final. However, the joyous cheer that went up when John Terry missed will stay with us until our dying day… This is the only video we could find that didn’t have ‘embedding disabled by request’.

Lionel Messi scores a header against Manchester United, 2009

If only for this quote from Terry Venables the day before:
“If it does come down to Messi against Ronaldo, well, Messi is one of the best players in the world, but give me Ronaldo. Messi is wonderful on the right but Ronaldo is terrific on the right, the left and through the middle as well. He also scores goals with his head, which Messi couldn’t do even if they put a top hat on him.”

What have we missed? Let us know with a comment below…

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