Whenever someone thinks about the Champion League they almost immediately think about either the 1999 Champions League final between Manchester United and Bayern Munich in Barcelona, or the 2005 final between Liverpool and AC Milan in Istanbul.
They are without doubt two of the most memorable finals in recent years, and often have fans bickering about which final was the best. So here I’ll be discussing it and will being looking at both finals debating which one was truly the best.
Obviously as a Manchester United lover I do have a bias towards Manchester United and the ’99 final, however I was around five when Ole put the ball in the back of the German net, so I have no recollection of the game, only reruns I have seen in the last few years.
However, I do remember watching the ’05 Champions League Final where Liverpool came back from 3-0 down to beat Milan in penalties and win there fifth European crown. But from what I’ve seen in reruns of the two finals here’s my case for the two finals.
In the two games 2005 was the much better final in terms of entertainment. There was six goals, penalties, bad defending and great saves, everything you want from a European Final.
However in the 1999 final, it was a much more tense occasion, Bayern were in control for most of the match after they went ahead and should have gone 2 or 3 nil in front, as they rattled the woodwork twice. Even though it wasn’t a great final for most of the game it really came alive as United scored two goals in the last few minutes to secure a famous win.
For me the 1999 final was more about the season itself and how United never said die. Who can forget the words “Can Manchester United score, they always score” from ITV commentator Clive Tyldesley.
It was more iconic how they kept fighting to secure the treble, while on the other hand Liverpool won the European Cup while finishing fifth in the league, considering Manchester United were also missing there two best midfield generals in Roy Keane and Paul Scholes in the final itself, there Champions League victory was sensational.
In my opinion what makes Liverpool feat incredible is the fact they had a much weaker team then AC Milan, besides Steven Gerrard and possibly Jamier Carragher hardly anyone else from that squad would make it into the Milan team, who had players like Pirlo, Maldini, Crespo, Shevchenko, Staam, Gattuso, Nesta and Kaka.
So, for them to come back from the debts of misery and claw back a three goal lead in the space of 10 minutes and then go on to win in a penalty shootout, well it was quite frankly breathtaking.
As an avid Manchester United supporter I didn’t begrudge Liverpool momentous victory at all, it was simply brilliant what they had achieved.
So I’m going to leave it to you to decide, which was the better final 1999 or 2005? Or is there another final you feel is better than the two?