Gareth Bale’s stunning overhead strike to help Real Madrid to their third straight Champions League title has sparked debate about some of the greatest goals scored in the showpiece event.
Here, we list some of the most memorable goals in Champions League finals past (sorry, Cristiano Ronaldo’s vs. Juventus wasn’t in a final). But which is the best?
Now the Real coach, Zidane, earned his place in Champions League history as a player too, none more so than when he scored for Madrid at Hampden Park. Loitering on the edge of the area, he took a cross from the left straight on to his left foot and, with the ball behind him, swivelled his hips and cracked in a terrific volley.
Like overhead goals in Champions League finals? You only have to go back to last year to see Mandzukic’s brilliant effort kick, which had everyone off their feet. A long ball into the box was turned into a cross beautifully, before landing with Gonzalo Higuain near the penalty spot. You could see the Argentine think about a shot, but instead he cushioned the ball on his chest and lobbed it sideways to Mandzukic. The Croatian had no such qualms about taking on a shot and took it down himself before launching an unstoppable overhead into the net.
Few people can remember what happened in the 2005 Champions League final prior to Liverpool’s amazing comeback, but before it all went wrong for them, Milan were very impressive. They played the ball out from the back, Kaka split their centre-backs, and Crespo raced clear and dinked past Jerzy Dudek. It was as good as it would get for them.
Juventus won this final on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal and extra time. Ravanelli scored their goal, cashing in on a mix-up in the Ajax defence. The remarkable part was that his finish came as he fell, on the outside edge of the box, tight to the byline.
Milito was in red-hot form for Inter under the management of Jose Mourinho, and none more so than when he scored the two goals to beat Bayern in the Champions League final. Collecting the ball on the left, 40 yards from goal, he teased Daniel van Buyten, showed him right, went left, opened his body and scored a brilliant second.
McManaman was blazing a trail for Madrid long before Gareth Bale had been heard of, let alone signed for them. In 2000, the England international scored Real’s second in a 3-0 win over Valencia at the Stade de France, volleying in from the edge of the box after Valencia headed a throw in clear.