Final debutants PSG will take on five-time winners Bayern Munich in the 2019/20 Uefa Champions League final at the Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Portugal. The game will kick off at 21:00 tonight.
Without a doubt, the Champions League has brought some of the fascinating football scenes since the competition was rebranded from the European Cup to being the Champions League in 1992.
Ahead of the much-awaited showdown, FARPost takes you down the memory lane, capturing some of the greatest moments of the competition in the last decade.
Top 5 of the best Champions League games
5. Liverpool vs Barcelona, 7 May 2019
What an encounter this was. When many thought Barcelona had done its job in the first leg of the semi-final, the Reds executed the Houdini act, overturning a 3-0 deficit at Anfield. A 4-0 win saw them gain passage to the final. Divock Origi’s 79th minute goal will be remembered as the goal that made all the difference on the day.
4. Real Madrid vs Atletico Madrid, 24 May 2014
The 2014 UEFA Champions League final will go down in history books as one of the best finals we have ever witnessed in our lifetime. Diego Godin’s goal on the first half gave Atletico Madrid an upper hand in the game, but all of that came to an end when Sergio Ramos’ header on the 93rd minute levelled matters. Madrid managed to walk away victorious after the game went on extra time, securing their first Champions League title in 12 years.
3. Manchester City vs Monaco, 21 February 2017
The Champions League round of 16 first leg game between Man City and Monaco started like a house on fire. Raheem Sterling broke the deadlock when he netted the opener. But an unfazed Monaco bounced back into contention, thanks to a Ramadel Falcao strike in the 32nd minute. The Citizens piled on the pressure, as they scored another goal. The former England champions then killed it as a contest after scoring 3 more goals in 11 minutes to win the game 5-3.
2. Ajax Amsterdam vs Tottenham Hotspur, 8 May 2019
Tottenham came to the second leg of the Champions League semi-final trailing by one goal. As Ajax raced to take a 2-0 lead, it all looked sealed and done. But Lucas Moura’s second half hat-trick turned the tables around to complete one of the best comebacks in the Champions League, as the game ended up in 2-3 (Aggregate: 3-3, Tottenham won on away goal rule).
1. Barcelona vs Bayern Munich, 14 August 2020
Goals! Goals! Goals! It was goals galore. Unforeseen. Who expected the Catalonian giants to suffer their heaviest defeat since 1951 in a Champions League quarterfinal? The last time they had succumbed to a more humiliating defeat was 61 years ago when they fell 6-0 to Espanyol in a League tie. The Germany outfit were simply unstoppable and will be hoping to replicate that form against Neymar &Co tonight.
Champions League’s best teams
5. Bayern Munich
Bayern is one of the most successful teams in Europe after amassing 5 Champions League titles. They have a chance to make it 6 tonight and better Barcelona’s record.
4. FC Barcelona
Barcelona has also won 5 Uefa Champions League titles. However, after the enervating setback at the hands of Bayern, they would want to regroup and come back stronger in the next edition.
3. Liverpool FC
In 2018–19, Liverpool reached the Champions League final for the second consecutive year, this time winning the final 2–0 against Tottenham Hotspur, securing the club’s sixth European title and lifting their first European trophy since 2005.
2. AC Milan
Italian giants AC Milan have had the most success in the Champions League. They have won the Champions League 7 times. In fact, the Rossoneri was the first Italian side to win it in 1963. The other 6 victories came in 1961, 1989, 1990, 1994, 2003 and 2007.
1. Real Madrid
Madrid remains supreme when it comes to the Uefa Champions League titles. The club has won the competition 13 times more than any other team in Europe. The club participated in the first edition of UEFA Champions League, which was held in 1955.
Most dominant managers in the Champions League
5. Louis Van Gaal
The former Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Ajax Amsterdam and Barcelona Manager has had a remarkable run in the Champions League as a coach. Van Gaal’s career in the competition blossomed when he won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995. The Dutch football manager has a 60%-win rate in the Champions League. He has won 57 games, drew 16, and lost 22 games.
4. Jose Mourinho
Jose Mourinho is one of the most decorated managers in the world of football. He took the world by storm when he first won the Champions League with Porto in 2004 before moving to Chelsea. It was Porto’s first European Cup title since 1987. In 2010, he led Inter Milan to Uefa Champions League triumph. Mourinho has 56.74%-win rate in the Champions League. He has won 80 games, drew 36 and succumbed to 25 defeats.
3. Carlo Ancelotti
Carlo Ancelotti is the man considered to have taken advantage of Mourinho’s unintentional planning at Real Madrid. Well, that’s a story for another day. The Italian mentor has guided Milan to 2 Champions League wins that ought to have been 4 in five in years. Ancelotti has a 55.15%-win rate in the Champions League, having won 91 games, 38 draws, and lost 36 matches.
2. Pep Guardiola
The Man City football manager is considered as one of the greatest managers of all time. His work speaks for itself, as he holds the record for most consecutive league wins won in La Liga, and nobody has won the Champions League as impressively as uncle Pep has. However, he has not made the final since the 2011 victory where Barcelona defeated Man United 3-1. Guardiola has a 61%-win rate in the Champions League with 74 wins, 26 draws, and suffered 21 losses.
1. Zinedine Zidane
The man affectionately known as ‘Zizou’ is one of the best and most successful coaches across the globe. As football fundis would say; “it’s not about how many games you win, but how you win them,” Zidane is a true reflection of this saying. It took 3 seasons for him to win 3 Champions league titles with Madrid. And that is what makes him the best, among others. He boasts a 65%-win rate in the Champions League with 26 wins, 8 draws, and 6 losses.
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By Mauwane Raophala