5 Iconic Performances in UCL Finals
We’ve seen some truly awe-inspiring performances in the UEFA Champions League over the years. From Lionel Messi to Cristiano Ronaldo, there have been a lot of great moments in the tournament’s history. But there are some legends that have risen above the rest. Here are five of them that we’ve chosen to highlight in this article.
The UCL final is one of the biggest stages in world football, so it’s no surprise that players are able to produce memorable performances when they have to compete under such pressure. Hernan Crespo’s performance in 2005 against Liverpool is one that stands out.
He scored twice in a game that Milan won 3-1, and that’s no mean feat considering the likes of Kaka, Andriy Shevchenko, and Paolo Maldini were part of a star-studded Italian side that had never lost to Liverpool.
It’s hard to imagine a more mismatched final than this – even in the Champions League era, it was a sight to behold. But Hernan Crespo did something very special in that match, he nailed two goals in the first half to give AC Milan a 3-0 lead and then sealed the victory with an incredible lob which left Jerzy Dudek helpless.
Arjen Robben has had a very impressive career. He started his career at Groningen and played for some of the best clubs in Europe. He had great trophies to his name but it was when he went to Bayern Munich that he really excelled in football.
He has the ability to run at pace, dribble, and have excellent ball control. He also has one of the best left feet in the world of football.
His trademark cut-in goals from the right were something special. He won a lot of trophies and became one of the most popular players in the world.
He had a few bad moments in his career, like the time he had a penalty saved at Borussia Dortmund or the time he missed a spot-kick in the UEFA Champions League final against Chelsea, but after those disappointments, he went on to win a lot of trophies. He is a legend in world football.
Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has been a force to be reckoned with in the UCL. He has scored 35 goals and assisted another 23 in his 58 appearances, and has thrived on the big stage.
PSG had a great run to the final, beating Atalanta and RB Leipzig along the way. But their hopes of glory were dashed when they lost 1-0 to Bayern in the final.
Thankfully, Neymar wasn’t the only one who shined in the final – Marquinhos and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting both scored late goals to overturn Atalanta’s opener.
Neymar’s performance was a joy to watch. He grabbed the game by the scruff of its neck and pretty much dragged PSG to the finish line singlehandedly.
Kylian Mbappe is a 23-year-old French forward who is set to light up the world of football for years to come. He is a world-class striker who has won two Ligue 1 titles and scored over 150 goals for both his club and France.
His game is based on blistering pace and lethal finishing, but it’s his unshakeable belief that he can defy the odds every time, no matter what, that really sets him apart from other footballers.
He is a master of guile, as well, and has become an increasingly important part of PSG’s attack as he continues to develop his understanding with Neymar and Di Maria. Mbappe is not just a great goal scorer; he’s also a brilliant influence on his team, and as such is one of the most valuable players in the game.
One of the most iconic performances in Chelsea’s history came in the 2012 UCL Final against Bayern Munich. Goalkeeper Petr Cech made a vital penalty save from Arjen Robben to take the game into extra time, and then saved all six of Bayern’s penalties in the shootout.
As a result, the Blues beat Bayern on penalties to lift their first Champions League trophy ever and end their long wait for European glory.
During his career, Cech made a total of 494 appearances for the club, winning multiple awards during his time at Stamford Bridge. He won the UEFA Champions League, the Premier League four times, the FA Cup twice, and the Community Shield four times.