The champions league is considered the most prestigious club competition in Europe and even the world, and winning this competition can be very important.
Inspired by the South American Club Cup, Gabriel Hanau, the editor of L’equipe, convinced UEFA, with the help of Jean Fran, to create a new competition consisting of the best teams from continental Europe.
Some football matches in UCL will live in the memory of football fans everywhere.
Today we want to mention the top 10 matches in this competition. Without further ado, we move to the first item of our list of
best matches in champions league history
1998/99 season, group stage
Although you may not remember this memorable match or had not been born yet, there were three of Europe's best clubs in the group stage of the champions league 1998-99:
Manchester United with players like Jaam Stam, Neville Brothers, Roy Kean, etc.. Barcelona club under Louis Van Gaal and many star players like Rivaldo, Luis Enrique,
Partick Kluivert made history and played one of the most memorable matches in history.
Anderson scored less than a minute in, and Barcelona led 1-0. A brilliant start for Barcelona! Fans and players could imagine a great match from the very beginning.
Rivaldo and Anderson could have made it a nightmare for the Red Devils, but Peter Schmeichel did not let it happen. A spectacular goal pass from Blomqvist and an eye-catching goal from Yorke helped them draw the game.
Following unsuccessful shots from Figo, York, and Scholes, Andy Cole scored United's second goal. They led 2-1 in Neu camp. One foul on Figo led to a spectacular free kick from Rivaldo for Barcelona,
bringing the score level for their team. Schmeichel had no choice but Surrender. With Dwight Yorke's second goal, United turned things around. Meanwhile, Rivaldo could not allow their Rivals to win at home.
By scoring with a bicycle kick, Rivaldo made it 3-3. That was one tremendous contest between two great teams! Although one of them did not manage to go to the knockout stage. Manchester United became the champion in that season.
2002/03 season, quarter-final stage
On 23 April 2003, two clubs played in the second leg in the quarter-final stage, where the Galacticos won the first leg 3-1.
Without a doubt, this match was one of the most memorable ones in our list of best matches in champions league history. With a great amount of excitement, nail-biting moments, and ups and downs during 90 minutes,
Red Devils managed to score four goals and win the game but the Madrid giant went to the semi-final with decisive goals from Roberto Carlos, Zidane, Ronaldo, and Luis Figo.
Referee Pierluigi Collina blew the whistle in Old Trafford, and Sir Alex Ferguson was looking for a comeback against Vicente del Bosque but in the 12th minute,
Ronaldo Nazario scored the first goal of the game, and at the end of the first half, Rod van Nistelrooy scored the equalizing goal. The second half was an exciting one.
Ronaldo scored two more goals. Real defender Ivan Helguera scored an own goal, followed by David Beckham's two beautiful goals against Los Blancos.
This spectacular match ended in 4-3 in favor of Manchester United. Real Madrid advanced to the next round, and Ferguson's team was eliminated.
After losing 4-3 to Juventus in the semi-final round, Real Madrid were eliminated, and Juve went to the final and lost against Milan in penalty shootouts.
At the end of this Champions League season, Ruud van Nistelrooy won the title of best goal scorer with 12 goals in Manchester United.
This match is remembered as the best game in the history of the Champions League, the night when the Galacticos did the magic thanks to Ronaldo Nazario's goals.
David Beckham joined Real Madrid at the end of the season.
2013/14 season, Final match
Another memorable match that Real fans remember vividly! Diego Godin made everything hard for Los Blancos with his 36th-minute goal. Every shot, every dribble, and every tackle could change the game for them.
They were about to say goodbye to the champions league title until that magic moment when Real defender Sergio Ramos’s goal led to an equalizer in the 92nd minute!
Excited fans exhaled in relief and waited for extra time. everything changed from that very moment, Gareth Bale, Marcelo, and Ronaldo scored 3 goals in 10 minutes guaranteeing la Decima for the club.
they won the champions league title after 12 years which was precious for everyone associated with Los Blancos.
1997/98 season, group stage
This memorable match reminds football fans of one particular name: Andriy Shevchenko. He had golden days in his home club as well as he had in Rossoneri.
A motivated skillful young player had the opportunity to show his talent to the world against a club with great stars like Rivaldo and Figo. He marked his name with spectacular 3 goals.
Even his close friends could not believe he would manage to score a hat trick in such a great and important match. As he said:
“In Kyiv, we had beaten Barcelona 3-0 and a friend said, ‘Let’s see how you do in the return’,” Andriy later laughed. “He bet me that I wouldn’t score three goals. He ended up buying dinner.”
Dynamo Kyiv as the first team in the group stage went to the knockout stage but failed to beat Juventus in the quarterfinals and was beaten in penalty shootouts.
2009/10 season, semifinal
Thiago Motta’s Dismissal in the early minutes of the match made everything hard for Nerazzurri. Although they beat their opponent in the first leg 3-1, the situation could be very different in Camp Nou for sure.
Every mistake could lead to a disaster and Motta made the first mistake by hitting Busquets on the neck. Many football fans may remember Busquet’s malingering and that funny sneaky peak.
Pique scored Barcelona’s only goal but it was too late! they were only one goal away from the Final match. At the end of the match, one man caught everyone’s eyes with his spectacular way of celebrating:
running across the pitch, Mourinho was the happiest guy in Camp Nou on that night.
When Motta was sent out of the pitch he had never thought they would win the champions league title in his wildest dreams.
That was the last time Nerazzurri touched the championship trophy in UCL.
2008/09 season, quarter-final
In our list of
best matches in champions league history
, this game is pick of the punch. Two English clubs faced each other in one of the greatest and most eye-catching matches in champions league history.
Having been beaten 3-1 in the first leg, Liverpool had to fight for survival. They made the result 3-3 by the end of the first half thanks to Fabio Aurelio and Xabi Alonso's goals.
Two goals in the first half made everything leveled on aggregate. But that was just the beginning of an exciting and unpredictable match. Drogba and Alex crashed the opponent within 6 minutes in the second half.
It seemed two goals were not enough as Lampard scored in 76th and 89th minutes to take precautions.
Liverpool managed to score two goals in the final minutes but they failed to reach the semi-final stage. One of the most beautiful all-English clashes of all time.
1998/99 season, Semi-final
One of the
best matches in champions league history
played by two of the greatest clubs in the world. Both clubs tied up at the first leg, thus no one could easily predict what would happen and who reached the finals at the end.
The Red Devils had beaten the Italian side, Inter Milan in the quarterfinals stage. But Bianconeri was on another level. With great players like Inzaghi, Zidan, Davids, etc.. the Old Lady could be a very different opponent.
Having scored 2 goals, Inzaghi made a rapid change within 11 minutes. the second half was the turning point for Manchester United with Keane’s, Yorke’s, and Cole’s goals in 24th, 34th, and 8th minutes.
Manchester United beat another Italian club to face Bayern Munich in the final match. This memorable match leads us to one of the best matches in the champions league.
1998/99 season, final match,
Not only Manchester United fans, but football fans around the world will also not forget this spectacular match. This match was the pick of the punch among all great matches in this tournament.
United looked for a dreamy treble and they were just one step away from the best result possible.
Both teams came to Camp Nou for the second time that season. In the group stage, Bayern Munich defeated Barcelona 2-1 in the same stadium, and United tied 3-3 against Barcelona.
After the heavy and breathtaking fight with Juventus, which caused captain Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, two influential United players, to be banned from the final,
the Red Devils faced Bayern Munich and eliminated the surprising and phenomenal Dynamo Kyiv. within two group stage games, the two teams had reached a draw.
The game started with the superiority of the Munich team and Mario Basler's 6th-minute goal. Munich’s domination continued until the end of 90 minutes, but united changed the game in 3 minutes;
one of the most beautiful comebacks in champions league history. The Red Devils became the champions of the UCL thanks to Sheringham and Solskjær’s goals in 91th and 93rd minutes.
2004/05 season, final match
This is one of the best matches in champions league history. The Istanbul final is still considered one of the best comebacks in the history of football.
Just one minute after Manuel Mokhuto Gonzalez's whistle, Paolo Maldini scored the first goal of the match to become the oldest goalscorer in Champions League history.
Two more goals from Hernan Crespo in the 39th and 44th minutes made the game 3-0 in favor of Milan at the end of the first half. At the beginning of the second half,
Rafa Benitez decided to change the system and instead of 1-1-4-4, he switched to a 2-5-3 formation. The result was the departure of Steve Finan from the game and the entry of Dietmar Hamann in his place.
Nine minutes after the start of the second half, Steven Gerrard scored the first goal and two minutes later, Vladimir Smicher (the player who replaced the injured Harry Kewell in the first half) reduced the difference to a minimum.
Gennaro Gattuso fouled on Gerrard, and Xabi Alonso got behind the ball and despite his shot being blocked by Dida, the Spaniard converted the rebound to make it 3-3 in the 60th minute.
In the extra time, Jerzy Dudek kept his team in the game by blocking Andriy Shevchenko's shot from 6 yards away, making one of the most beautiful saves in the history of the Champions League,
so that the winner of the Istanbul final will be determined in penalty kicks. Serginho should have taken the first penalty for Milan,
but Dudek distracted Sergio by evoking memories of Bruce Groblar's "spaghetti legs" in the 1984 final against Roma so he missed the first penalty. He also blocked Pirlo's penalty.
It was 3-2 and Andriy Shevchenko was behind in the fifth. 2 years ago, he scored the championship penalty at Old Trafford into Buffon's goal,
but this time he could score a goal so that Liverpool would once again become the champion of Europe after 31 years.
2021/22 season, semifinal match
Citizens scoring in the 2nd minute promised a game full of goals, and that's what happened. Although City, as expected, created more chances with possession, every time they scored, Madrid was ready to respond.
In the meantime, we cannot ignore the loss of very good opportunities by Riyad Mahrez and Phil Foden. In the second half, while Madrid seemed to have a slow start, the game was still full of excitement.
Although Manchester City won the match, they had to play at the home of Leeds United to secure their leadership in the Premier League,
but Real Madrid were almost sure of their championship in La Liga, and could easily focus on the second leg by sending the reserve team to Santiago Bernabeu.
That is our list of best matches in champions league history. Which matches do you think we should add to our list? Tell us in the comments section.
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