It’s that time of the year again, the single biggest game in club football is upon us as Real Madrid and Liverpool will lock horns in the 2022 instalment of the UEFA Champions League final.
5 worst UEFA Champions League finals in history
UEFA Champions League finals are notoriously tight affairs which often result in dull football matches, here are the five worst since 1992.
The much-anticipated clash at the Stade de France will be the 30th of its kind since the competition rebranded into the UEFA Champions League in 1992.
Despite the final almost always meaning the two best teams in the competition getting to play one another, it doesn’t always make for the best game of football.
The magnitude of the occasion and what is at stake tend to make both teams overtly cautious and as such produce a boring game; here are five of the worst of the last 29 UCL finals.
5. Bayern Munich 1-0 Paris Saint Germain (2020)
In what will always be remembered as the ‘Covid final’, Bayern Munich and PSG went head to head at the Estadio Da Luz in Lisbon, Portugal.
The world was just grateful to have football back after months of lockdown and inactivity across the globe. The game lacked atmosphere in the stands and on the pitch and was a vivid representation of what pandemic football looked like.
Kingsley Coman would score the only goal after 59 minutes with what was probably the only moment of excitement in the whole game to crown Bayern Munich champions.
4. Real Madrid 1-0 Juventus (1998)
At least Bayern and PSG had the excuse of an empty stadium, Real Madrid and Juventus played out an arguably worse game of football in front 0f 48,500 expectant fans at the Amsterdam Arena in the Netherlands.
Despite both teams fielding star-studded lineups with some of the best players in the history of the game, the final never quite took off and was characterised by wasteful long-range shot attempts and some incredibly hard tackles.
Surprisingly there were no sending offs but six yellow cards and the game was settled by a fortuitous goal by Predrag Mijatovic after 66 minutes.
3. Inter Milan 2-0 Bayern Munich (2010)
A final with two goals is not expected to have been boring but when a master of the dark arts like Jose Mourinho is involved, there is no way else it could have gone.
The final at the Santiago Bernabeu in Spain lacked the usual flair of Spanish football but had its moments en route to a 2-0 win for Inter Milan.
Diego Milito twice took advantage of Daniel Van Buyten’s defensive frailties to score in each half but there wasn’t much else to cheer for non-Inter fans.
2. Bayern Munich 1-1 Chelsea (2012)
Bayern Munich had the rare privilege of playing a Champions League final in their home stadium against Chelsea in 2012.
The Bavarians were expected to roll over Chelsea in a high-scoring fashion but the Blues defended resolutely to frustrate Bayern and the viewing public.
Thomas Muller and Didier Drogba’s respective late goals for each team were the only real moments of excitement in regulation time.
The game went to extra-time and got slightly better but was ultimately settled on penalty shootouts which Chelsea won.
1. Liverpool 2-0 Tottenham (2019)
Over 63,000 fans in the Wanda Metropolitano stadium in Spain and millions more around the world battled with sleep while Liverpool beat Tottenham in the 2019 UCL final.
The all-English final between two attack-minded teams failed to live up to any pregame expectations other than the result.
Mohamed Salah’s first-half penalty and a close-range finish by Divock Origi were all that happened in the whole 90 minutes.