In European football’s Champions League era that began in the 1992/93 season, no team had been able to successfully defend the title for 24 years. However, in the 2016/17 campaign, Real Madrid became the first team to win back-to-back European Cups when they defeated Juventus 4-1 in the 2017 Champions League final in Cardiff, Wales. Take a look at some of the records established over the years in the most important game of the European season.
European royalty Real Madrid have now won an unprecedented 12 European Cups following their 4-1 demolition of the Old Lady in Cardiff. They have now increased their lead over second-placed AC Milan — who have won seven — to five titles.
Most final losses
Juventus hold the unwanted record of most losses in the final having lost seven of the nine they have contested so far. Cardiff was their ninth final and they couldn’t increase their European Cup tally to three, instead they succumbed to a second Champions League final loss in three seasons, having lost to Barcelona in 2015.
Biggest winning margin
The biggest winning margin in the Champions League final is of four goals which has been achieved on four occasions. In the 1959/60 final of the European Cup Real Madrid defeated German outfit Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 at Hampden Park in Glasgow. Los Blancos’ tally of seven goals is also the most scored by one team in a final. Bayern Munich defeated Atletico Madrid 4-0 in a replay of the 1973/74 final. The same feat has been achieved by two AC Milan sides: the Rossoneri defeated Steaua Bucharest 4-0 in the 1988/89 final under Arrigo Sacchi before Fabio Capello’s side defeated Barcelona by the same margin in the 1993/94 final.
Hat-tricks in the final
One of the greatest players of all-time, Ferenc Puskas is the only player to have scored hat-tricks in two separate European Cup finals. The Hungarian first achieved the feat in the 1960 final against Eintracht Frankfurt when he smashed four goals in a 7-3 win for his side. Puskas’ four goals also make it the most goals scored by one player in a European Cup final.
The other three goals in that final came from Alfredo Di Stefano. Puskas’ second hat-trick came in the 1962 final against Benfica. It was the first European Cup final for a young Eusebio and he was on the scoresheet twice to help his side to a 5-3 win. Puskas’ hat-trick, as a result, remains the only one scored in a losing cause in a final.
In the 1969 final, AC Milan ran 4-1 winners over Ajax Amsterdam and three of their goals came from Pierino Prati, making him only the third player to have a hat-trick to his name in a Champions League final.
Most final wins for a manager
With Real Madrid’s win in the 2016/17 final, Zinedine Zidane grabbed his second winner’s medal as a manager. However, he is still one short of Bob Paisley and Carlo Ancelotti. While Paisley won his all three with Liverpool, Ancelotti’s first two wins came with AC Milan and the third with Real Madrid in 2014.
Wasi is a keen fan with loads of knowledge about the game. He has written for some of the world’s leading soccer websites and is a major Barcelona and Pune City FC fan. He loves the Champions League and watches 200+ EPL games & La Liga games per season.