The Best and Worst Champions League Finals at Wembley

UEFA Champions League finals at Wembley have staged both the best and also the worst one throughout the history.

The Champions League 2023/24 has found its finalists, with Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid squaring off on June 2 at Wembley. The stadium, which has been the home base of the England national team, is set to host its eighth Champions League final. No other stadium has been selected to host the UCL final as frequently as Wembley.

Among those previous seven finals, there were certainly great moments as well as the best and worst ones. Wembley has been tipped as the venue that is more in favour of the favourites. All teams that came out as winners in the previous finals were the favourites.

It would not be surprising if Real Madrid won the trophy again later. They have a better mentality, squad depth, a more experienced manager, and Jude Bellingham. The 20-year-old England international was Dortmund’s key figure from 2020 to 2023. So it’s safe to say that he knows Die Borussen‘s strengths and weaknesses inside out.

It will be interesting to see if the match will be a tight or one-sided affair. Edin Terzić’s men have had a slightly less convincing road to the final compared to Los Blancos.

In the meantime, let us look back at the best and worst encounters in the Wembley finals.

The Worst One

The 1971 European Cup final was arguably one of the least interesting. It was a clash between the high-profile Ajax Amsterdam, which represented the beginning of the Netherlands’ golden generation in the 1970s. Led by Rinus Michels, Der Amsterdammers’ squad was one of the best in that era, with Johan Cryuff, Johan Neeskens, Wim Suurbier, and Arie Haan at his disposal.

Panathinaikos, on the other hand, was an unexpected finalist. The only star of the team was the head coach, Ferenc Puskás. He guided the Greek side to the summit after eliminating the English champions, Everton, in the quarterfinals by relying on away goals. They only mustered a goalless draw at home and held Howard Kendall and co in a 1-1 draw on the road. Panathinaikos also made a stunning comeback versus Red Star Belgrade in the semifinal in the second leg, progressing on away goals.

The match, however, was more one-sided. Ajax was dominant throughout the game and forced Anthimos Kapsis and co to play mostly without the ball. The Dutch champions already opened the scoring through Dick van Dijk’s header, taking advantage of Piet Kaizer’s cross from the left in the fifth minute.

They eventually doubled their lead in the 87th minute from Arie Haan’s strike, which deflected one of the opposition’s defenders before heading to the empty net. It was a clear 2-0 win for Ajax, which was the first of their three consecutive victories.

The Best One

Meanwhile, it is rather tricky to determine the best Champions League finals in Wembley, as most clashes between the top teams in the summit tend to be intense. The 1992 and 2013 finals appear to be the best candidates. Nonetheless, the latter fits better as the game ended in normal time and had more goals.

Bayern Munich and Dortmund faced off in the 2013 Champions League, the most recent edition of the Wembley final. The German sides surprisingly managed to eliminate Barcelona and Real Madrid in the semifinal, respectively. to deny an El Clásico. Instead, we had Der Klassiker in the biggest game of both clubs’ season. Yet, it did not reduce the game intensity at all. Both teams happened to be involved in a title race after three seasons of running.

The match itself was entertaining. Both sides traded attempts and clinical saves in the six-yard box in the first half, but none led to a goal. The second half, however, was different.

Jupp Heynckes’s men took the lead from Mario Mandžukić in the 60th minute. The Croatian forward was left unmarked in front of the goal and tapped the ball at his mercy. Yet, eight minutes later, Die Borussen found their equaliser through İlkay Gündoğan’s penalty.

Die Roten then ran rampant more in the final third. They had been knocking on the door, forcing Dortmund goalie Roman Weidenfeller and defender Neven Subotić to make crucial saves while Robert Lewandowski and co began to feel frustrated, especially after the Poland forward’s goal was disallowed.

Finally, the long-awaited goal came in the 89th minute from Arjen Robben. The former Chelsea winger penetrated the opposition’s backline and made a swift run to ease past Dortmund’s defenders before tucking it away. The final score was 2-1 for Bayern. The Champions League trophy completed their treble win for that season.

Related articles



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Share article

Latest articles