Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week. When Bosingwa won his first Champions League title with Porto in 2004, he was still a young prospect with plenty of time to see if he’d justify his potential. The Portugal international only started the game due to a number of Blues players missing out through injury and suspension, and his performances the following year at QPR gave a fairer representation of his defensive level. This was something of a risky choice by Sir Alex Ferguson, given that Cantona couldn’t always be relied upon to lead by example, but he was an inspiring figure and he ensured his final season at the club was a memorable one. Bosingwa had at least tasted more action than Bertrand that season, but the academy product was thrown in as a gamble by Chelsea boss Roberto di Matteo. Ronaldinho scored seven goals in the Champions League that term, while Lionel Messi made his debut in the competition and was infamously fouled by Chelsea's Asier Del Horno in the second round. Don't wait 30 years - sign up for our daily football email newsletter today! Steven Gerrard – Liverpool (2005) The Liverpool captain led his side to one of the most incredible … Steve McManaman scored and had a great game that night, and that was the Englishman's best season in Spain. Rooney was made skipper by Louis van Gaal and he went on to win the FA Cup, the League Cup and the Europa League with the armband. The infamous Valenciennes affair eventually stripped Marseille of their French league title of 1992/93, as owner Bernard Tapie had gone to great lengths to try to fix a match so his side could wrap up the league early, avoid injury and have plenty of rest before the Champions League final. explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. Before that, the other 2013 finalists – Borussia Dortmund – were demolished 3-0 at Santiago Bernabeu in the quarter-finals. Petr Cech deserves a statue for his heroics, but the irony is that Chelsea had far stronger teams which narrowly failed to win this trophy - only to win it at last in one of their weakest seasons. He has made several high-profile mistakes during his time in the Championship and was also found guilty of racially abusing Jonathan Leko during a match against Charlton Athletic, resulting in an eight-game ban and a £60,000 fine. He was replaced by Florent Malouda deep into the second half, with the game still goalless. Michael Yokhin, Ah Djimi. There could only be one name fit to round off this list and it had to be to hapless Malian defender who regularly shredded Liverpudlian nerves between 1999 and 2006. No, we don’t know where they are either. Fiora is just a bad champ. There’s a case for calling the Croatia international the worst player to be involved in a Champions League final and a World Cup final, though he stayed on the sidelines for the Reds’ victory after playing 90 minutes for his country against France the previous summer. The Champions League is widely viewed as the pinnacle of European football. His arrest was an embarrassment for himself and the club, and he’s failed to deliver like fans would expect a player valued at £80m to. His display in the 1999 Champions League semi-final against Juventus was iconic. See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, When Manchester United won the treble in 1999, their Champions League triumph over Bayern Munich was infamous for the impact of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from the bench, goals from each of whom won the match in injury time. It still didn't make the process much easier. This was the season when the world witnessed the MSN trio for the first time, and it was quite a show. Our. His erratic performances stood in stark contrast to the incredible consistency of Robertson, who soon displaced him. This team was born in sin. Eventually, Mourinho’s side faced equally inexperienced Monaco in the final, and won 3-0 thanks to a brilliant exhibition of counter-attacking football. However, the real miracle was that things weren’t worse when you consider that Liverpool’s full backs were Djimi Traoré and Steve Finnan whereas AC Milan’s were Paolo Maldini and Cafu. Even Arjen Robben broke his habit of wasting chances when it mattered most to score a dramatic winner two minutes from full-time in the final against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley. However, not all winners are made equal; that's why we've set out to rate and rank the cream of European club football since 1992. Bruce had the unenviable task of filling Bryan Robson’s shows following the midfielder’s departure in 1994, but he did a fine job. Giovane Elber scored three crucial goals in those matches for a team that also starred Oliver Kahn in goal and was captained by Stefan Effenberg. One of the best teams in history, Barcelona easily knocked out the champions of England (Manchester City), the champions of France (PSG) and the champions of Germany (Bayern Munich) before beating the champions of Italy (Juventus) in the final. The Champions League final takes place on Saturday evening, as Liverpool take on Tottenham. Everyone remembers the wild scenes at Camp Nou, but even to reach the big stage United had to overcome a strong Juventus from a terrible position: having drawn 1-1 at Old Trafford they trailed 2-0 in the second leg in Turin. In his eight years as captain, Keane won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League. Frank Rijkaard built his side around the Brazilian's genius, and the Ballon d'Or winner led Barcelona to their first European success since 1992. Liverpool were far from invincible in Europe this season, but their spirit and character was second to none. Alex Ferguson enjoyed the journey to his second Champions League win, but the Red Devils were less exciting in 2008 than their 1999 vintage. Every player dreams about lifting the historic trophy, but few get the chance to do so. Man United news: Barcelona and Real Madrid ready to battle for Bruno Fernandes transfer, Rio Ferdinand exclusive: His dream 5-a-side team featuring former Manchester United teammates, Man United: The streets won't forget Nani's collection of Premier League wonder goals, Man United 'make contact with ex-PL manager', 9 times Maguire has gone viral after costly mistakes, See all Manchester United Results & Fixtures, 10 outstanding Premier League goals that nobody seems to remember. It was a sight the Spaniard would get used to, fulfilling the same role for two more finals, with Real victorious in both of them. Can you name the clubs with the 30 most expensive squads in the world? Vidic was a fine captain but he upset some supporters when he signed a pre-contract agreement with Inter Milan midway through the 2013/14 season. All of these unlikely players have more Champions League medals than Gianluigi Buffon, Juventus’ 4-1 loss to Real Madrid in Cardiff consigned the Italian giants to their seventh. He was a liability defensively, extremely suspect in possession and not dynamic enough to support the attack. Many great players have never managed to win the Champions League, with legends such as Gianluigi Buffon, Roberto Baggio and Ruud van Nistelrooy going their whole careers without picking up the prestigious trophy. Yeah, that’s right. In his eight years as captain, Keane won four Premier League titles, two FA Cups and the Champions League. This was a typically well-oiled Serie A machine with Didier Deschamps ably helped in midfield by Paulo Sousa and Antonio Conte – all of whom would later become top coaches. newspaper archive. Both clubs have extremely strong first teams and, barring injuries, you will struggle to find a weak link in either side. Many looked down their nose at this star-studded Real Madrid side for not having a defined style of play or reinventing the game à la Guardiola's Barcelona or Sacchi's Milan, but it was impossible to deny their quality after a third consecutive Champions League triumph. However, amazingly those 38 appearances were enough for to win a Premier League, an FA Cup and a Champions League. We decided to take a look at five of the worst players to win the Champions League. Champions League winners: How many of these teams do you remember? Jese subsequently left to join Paris Saint-Germain for €25million but has featured just 10 times for the French club over the last four years. 27) 2003 – Juventus 0-0 Milan (2-3 on penalties) It might seem reductive to consider the only goalless Champions League final as the worst, but the 2003 edition truly was a slog. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. Marseille should have been stripped of this title too, and they don't really belong on this list at all. The MSN trio scored 27 goals between them but the pick of them belonged to Messi, who had fun with Bayern's Jerome Boateng in the 3-0 win at the Camp Nou. Cristiano Ronaldo was sensational throughout the tournament with 16 goals, but even that tally was inferior to his record two years previously when the Portuguese superstar netted 17. It’s not that the likes of Oier, Ross Turnbull and Tom Starke aren’t underwhelming names, but we just didn’t want the list to be goalkeeper-heavy. Barcelona (2009) To put it simply, the first season of Pep Guardiola at Barcelona was his best. They scored two of the best goals in the competition history with a pair of obscene overhead kicks. Can you name every nation to have played England more than once in a friendly? explains more about how we use your data, and your rights. The Scottish left-back has become one of the world’s best in his position since moving to Anfield, brutally exposing Alberto Moreno’s shortcomings in the process. That was the season when the Galacticos dream of Real Madrid president Florentino Perez was supposed to become reality. One moment that has drawn the ire of the club’s fans came when the 27-year-old failed to stick up for Marcus Rashford after the United attacker protested Anthony Martial’s early sending off. Bertrand might protest his inclusion on this list, particularly as one of his teammates that day, José Bosingwa, was also under serious consideration for inclusion. Ottmar Hitzfeld, who aspired to lead two German clubs to the Champions League triumph, made his team even stronger, and they prevailed in 2001 with some remarkable achievements in the knockout stages. A few months after that, he had taken a comically bad West Ham stint as his cue to retire from football altogether, which says it all. On the other hand, some much less illustrious players were fortunate enough to find themselves in the right place at the right time, and will always have an impressive story to tell their grandchildren when looking back on their careers. The Golden Boy of Italian football flourished that season, and he was very influential in the final against Ajax at Stadio Olimpico, even though it was decided on penalties.
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