The grandest stage of European club football has been the setting of some spectacular footballing contests. While there has been a raft of drab, desperately dull encounters in what is the biggest and most high-profile face-off in continental football, there are several cases of the exact opposite. Games that reinforce our faith in the romance of the sport and the never-ending capacity of football to excite, entertain and amaze. Here are five of the best Champions League finals since the tournament’s inception.
5. Celtic 2-1 Internazionale, 25 May 1967
It was an encounter memorable not only for its sporting value but also its symbolic and narrative importance to the game. This particular Champions League final was a clash of ideology, of moral position – Celtic’s vibrant, attacking collection of Scots all born within 20 miles of Parkhead against the abrasive, hard-nosed Italians managed by Helenio Herrera.
Inter’s rock solid defence helped protect their 0-1 lead after Sandro Mazzola’s penalty until just after an hour when Tommy Gemmell broke their resistance. Stevie Chalmers then netted an iconic winner six minutes from time, and football’s idealistic side had registered its most famous victory. Britain had its first European Champions.