Champions League Finals in Madrid

  • Final UCL 1979/80: Nottingham Forest – Hamburgo (1-0) © Getty Images
    final_ucl_nottingham_forest_-_hamburgo_.jpg
  • AC Milan celebrate winning the 1968/69 European Cup final © Getty Images​
    ac_milan_celebrate_winning_the_196869_european_cup_final_c_getty_images_.jpg
  • Eurocopa 1964: Final: España – URSS (2-1) Jesús María 'Chus' Pereda © Getty Images​​
    eurocopa_1964_final_espana_-_urss_2-1_jesus_maria_chus_pereda_c_getty_images_.jpg
  • Mundial 1982: Italia – Alemania Federal (3-1)
    mundial_1982_italia_-_alemania_federal_3-1.jpg

The city of Madrid has always been closely tied to football; it's home to Real Madrid, the most successful club in the Champions League's history, with 13 titles under its belt, as well as Atlético de Madrid and Rayo Vallecano. Our city has also hosted four Champions League finals, in addition to the FIFA World Cup final in ‘82 and the European Nations' Cup final in ’64. Another European final will soon be added to the list when the city hosts the 2018/19 Champions League Final on 1 June on the pitch at Atlético de Madrid's new stadium, the Metropolitano.

EUROPEAN CUP / CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

  • 1956/57 UCL FINAL: Real Madrid CF - AC Fiorentina (2-0)

This was the second edition of what was at the time called the European Champion Clubs' Cup, more commonly known as the European Cup. It was the second time that the UEFA had organised this tournament, which changed the course of football history when Real Madrid beat Stade de Reims 4-3 in the 1955/56 season final in Paris, earning its first title in a competition it has come to dominate.

That year, 22 teams took part in the preliminary round. Several of them received byes and advanced directly –along with the winners of the preliminary round matches– to the tournament phase, which resulted in a total of 16 teams. To decide who would take home the European Cup, the teams competed in a series of knockout rounds, with the victors advancing from a round of 16 to the eventual final between Real Madrid and Fiorentina. It was the first time Madrid had hosted the final, held on 30 May 1957 at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

The all-white team (nicknamed the “meringues” in Spain), coached by José Villalonga, beat Fiorentina, a squad coached by Bernardini that included Julinho, 2-0, with goals by Paco Gento and by Alfredo Di Stefano, who was the tournament's top scorer with 7 goals in total. La Saeta Rubia (the Blond Arrow) began his ascent to legendary status with the white team, winning 8 La Liga titles and 5 Champion Clubs' Cups (the first five editions of the competition) and scoring a total of 418 official goals for Real Madrid.

  • 1968/69 UCL FINAL: AC Milan - Ajax (4-1)

The Champion Clubs' Cup was well-established by this time, having reached its fourteenth edition. 32 teams competed in the tournament, which consisted entirely of knockout rounds played on a home and away basis, with the winners advancing from the round of 32 to the final. Once again, Santiago Bernabéu Stadium hosted the final. Real Madrid, however, was absent, having been eliminated in the round of 16 after a loss to Rapid Vienna.

The final was contested on 26 May 1969 between AC Milan, a squad that included Gianni Rivera, and Ajax, with a young Johan Cruyff. The Italians hoped to take home their second European Cup, after winning their first in 1963, while the Dutch team dreamt of being crowned champions (a dream that would come true just two editions later).

The win went to the club from Milan, which beat its opponents soundly 4-1. Italian forward Pierino Prati gave a particularly strong show, scoring a hat-trick.

  • 1979/80 UCL FINAL: Nottingham Forest – Hamburg (1-0)

The 25th final of Europe's top competition was contested at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium on 28 May 1980. It was the third time the stadium had hosted the final, which pitted Nottingham Forest, coached by the legendary Brian Clough, against Hamburg, whose squad included Keegan and Magath and had eliminated Real Madrid in the semi-finals.

The English team –an all-British squad who were the defending champions, having won the European Cup in 1979– won the match 1-0 with a goal scored by John Robertson. It was the culmination of an incredible turnaround by Peter Shilton’s team: from Second Division to two-time European champion in just four years.

  • 2009/10 UCL FINAL: Inter – Bayern Munich (2-0)

The 2009/10 final was the first to be held in Madrid with the name “Champions League”, following the competition’s rebranding with a new name and format in the 1992/93 edition.

71,569 spectators enjoyed the final, contested between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich at Santiago Bernabéu Stadium. Italy won 2-0 with two amazing goals by Diego Milito that secured the European Cup for Mourinho's Internazionale, a star-studded squad that included Eto’o, Sneijder, Zanetti, Cambiasso and Maicon. The German team, coached by Van Gaal, included Robben, Muller, Lahm and Schweinsteiger.

Inter - Bayern 2010. Finales de Champions en Madrid

  • Final UCL 2018-2019: Liverpool FC - Tottenham Hotspurs FC (2-0)

Atletico Madrid's brand-new stadium, the Metropolitano, welcomed 63,272 spectators to witness this year's decisive match between two historic English teams. Under the command of German Jürgen Klopp, Liverpool de Salah, Van Dijk, Alisson, Firmino and Mané, won 2-0 al Tottenham from Pochettino, Kane, Eriksen and Son (goals by Salah -p- and Origi) and won their sixth Champions League title.

 

LIBERATORS' CUP

  • Final of the Liberators' Cup 2018/2018: River Plate - Boca Juniors (3-1)

On December 9, 2018, the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium hosted the historic final of the Copa Libertadores, which was held outside the Americas for the first time and was an Argentine superclassic between two teams from Buenos Aires: Club Atlético River Plate and Club Atlético Boca Juniors.

After obtaining a 2-2 result in the first leg at La Bombonera, and after the suspension of the match that was to be played at El Monumental, the return of the final was finally held at the Madrid venue.

River Plate, under Matias Biscay's command, beat Boca Juniors 3-1 in a 120-minute match that was not decided until the end of extra time. The players Lucas Pratto (min.68), Juan Fernando Quintero (min.109), and Gonzalo Martinez (min.120), were responsible for the goals by the winning team while Dario Benedetto (min.44), scored the only goal of the team led by Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

 

NATIONAL TEAMS

  • 1964 European Nations’ Cup: Final: Spain – Soviet Union (2-1)

The 1964 European Championship was the second edition of the tournament, which was called the European Nations' Cup at the time. The championship was held in Spain, following an initial edition in France in 1960. The tournament was very different to the one we know today, as it consisted of just 4 matches: two semi-finals, the third-place play-off and the final. A number of preliminary rounds, including a round of 16 and a quarter-final round, began in 1962 during the season to decide who would compete in this short European Nations' Cup.

The final pitted Spain, a side coached by José Villalonga that included talented players like Iribar, Zoco, Amancio, Pereda, Marcelino and Luis Suárez, against defending champions the Soviet Union, who had won the 1960 edition. The Soviet squad was led by the legendary Lev Yashin (who had won the Ballon d'Or a year earlier). The hosts took the victory, winning 2-1 with goals by Pereda (6’), Khusianov (8') and Marcelino (84’).

  • 1982 World Cup: Italy – West Germany (3-1)

The 1982 FIFA World Cup in Spain was the twelfth edition of the World Cup football competition. This World Cup was very special for a number of reasons. In addition to being the first edition to feature the participation of 24 national teams, it was also the first to include representatives from every continent. To accommodate them all, the format was changed to one that was only used in this edition, featuring two group stages and a final knockout stage.

The final, on 11 July in Santiago Bernabéu Stadium, was contested between two of the strongest teams of that time, Italy and Germany, which both reached the final with two World Cups under their belts and excellent squads including players like Zoff, Bergomi, Gentile, Conti, Rossi (on the Italian side) and Schumacher, Breitner, Rummenigge, Littbarski and Briegel (on the German side).

The Italians took the title, winning 3-1 with goals by Rossi (57') (top scorer and player of the tournament, who also won the Ballon d'Or that year), Tardelli (69’), Altobelli (81') and Breitner (83’).

With Italy’s victory, Dino Zoff became the oldest player in history to win the World Cup, in a final that will always be remembered for the famous image of army veteran and Italian president Sandro Pertini's euphoria as he cheered from the VIP seats.

 

Image Credits:

  • 1964 European Nations’ Cup: Final: Spain – Soviet Union (2-1) Jesús María 'Chus' Pereda © Getty Images​
  • 1982 World Cup: Italy – West Germany (3-1)
  • 1979/80 UCL FINAL: Nottingham Forest – Hamburg (1-0) © Getty Images
  • AC Milan celebrate winning the 1968/69 European Cup final © Getty Images​

 

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