From Steaua Bucharest, which ended up facing River in the Intercontinental, to teams whose country no longer exists. Sight!
We are nowhere near a new end of UEFA Champions League. The most important tournament in Europe, where the best footballers in the world play, will define this Saturday from 16 (Argentine time) a new champion, who will come out of Manchester City y Chelsea, two of the teams with the best news and history on the planet.
But if we look at the Champions League finals over the years, we can see that it was not always like this, but that there have been several surprises, unexpected protagonists of the game that every European wants to reach.. Here, we review some of the most unusual. Did you have them?
Partizan (Yugoslavia), finalist in 1966
In these times it was still called the European Champions Cup. A humble club from Belgrade, which at that time still belonged to Yugoslavia, eliminated a certain Manchester United in the semifinals and faced Real Madrid in the final match, at that time already five-time champion of the continent.
Partizan began winning the game thanks to a goal from Velibor Vasović in the 55th minute. But the Spanish team showed all their power and turned it around: in five minutes, with goals from Amancio Amaro and Fernando Serena, they defeated the Yugoslav team 2-1 in Brussels, Belgium.
Leeds United (England), finalist in 1975
In recent times, in these parts of the world, Leeds became more popular because Marcelo Bielsa became their coach and returned them to the Premier League after 16 years. Although it was always a rather mid-table team, it had a heyday in which it reached the final of the European Champions Cup.
It happened in 1975. In the semifinals he surprisingly eliminated Barcelona and in the final they fell 2-0 against Bayern Munich (Franz Roth and Gerd Müller, the authors of the goals). History remembers that game with controversy, since the referee did not take two penalties for the English team and doubtfully expelled a footballer.
Nottingham Forest (England), champion in 1979 (and 1980)
This story is better known. An already legendary team from England, who knew how to be two-time champion of the European Champions Cup. Led by his coach Brian Clough, he was promoted to First in 1977. The following season he had a very good campaign and qualified for the first time at the top international tournament in 1978/79, where he broke everything: after eliminating Liverpool, among others, champion of the two previous editions, he defeated Malmo of Sweden 1-0 in the final and reached the top of the continent.
The unexpected consecration did not stop there, but the following year, which had to defend the title obtained, he returned to the top. They beat German Hamburg 1-0 in the final, having left out teams like Ajax. It is still the only institution that went from being a Second Division team to becoming two-time European champion in just four years.
Steaua Bucharest (Romania), champion in 1986
This is another well-known case, because being champion of the European Champions Cup, he qualified for the Intercontinental, where he was defeated by River, who had just raised the Libertadores.
Steaua is the best team in their country, but in the international arena they don’t have much history. Except for what happened in 1986. Against all odds, he won the final 2-0 against Barcelona on penalties with his goalkeeper Helmut Duckadam as a figure, who saved all four of the Blaugrana’s penalties. Thus, the Romanian team became the first champion belonging to Eastern Europe. A color detail is that Steaua raised the cup with the stadium practically empty, since the majority were Barcelona fans, who left the stadium after the defeat.
Red Star (Yugoslavia), champion in 1991
Another team belonging to a country that no longer exists. Today from Serbia, he also knew how to surprise friends and strangers and reach the top of Europe. In 1991, they defeated Bayern Munich in the semifinals and Olympique de Marseille 5-3 on penalties in the final, after a 0-0 in regulation time and overtime.
Red Star became the second champion belonging to Eastern Europe. His country at that time, Yugoslavia, was already immersed in a great crisis that led to its final dissolution in 1992, just one year after the title obtained.
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