Facts about the European Cup

Liverpool start their European season tonight versus Total Network Solutions and thus appropriate to look at the history of the European Cup and Liverpool's role in it.


- The European Cup started in the season 1955/56. Real Madrid was the first team to win it. Real beat the French club Stade de Reimes 4:3 in the first final.


- Real won the competition for the first five years.


- In the season 1992/93 the format of the European Cup was changed and since the competiton has been called The Champions League. But the same trophy is still played for.


- This was the 50th final of the European Cup and the first final of a major competition to be held in Turkey.


- The final at the Ataturk stadium started at quarter to ten local time. It didn´t finish until after midnight local time. Therefore it has to be the longest final in history. At least it lasted for two days.


- The official crowd for the final was 65,000. Liverpool were allocated 20,000 tickets for the game. Still it is thought that between thirty and forty thousand Liverpool supporters were in the stands.


- Liverpool played their sixth final in the fifteen seasons they have competed among the best clubs in Europe. Liverpool landed their fifth victory.


- Phil Neal is the most successful Liverpool player in the European Cup. He has won the cup four times, 1977, 1978, 1981 and 1984. He had, before this final, taken part in all the five finals Liverpool had played. He captained the side in the 1985 final.


- Phil scored in two, 1977 and 1984, of the finals he played in. Counting the penalty shoot-out in 1984 he scored three times.


- AC Milan were playing in their 10th final. They had won the European Cup six times.


- Paolo Maldini, who scored the first goal in the final vs. Liverpool, has played in four of the six winning finals for Milan.


- Paolo Maldini made history in more than one way in the final. He was the oldest captain, 36 years old, to captain a side in the final. He scored the quickest goal in a final times at 53 seconds. Scoring his goal he became the oldest scorer in a final.


- The most successful player in the history if the European Cup is Fransisco Gento. He won six titles with Real Madrid from 1955 to 1966.


- Although both sides had played many seasons in European competitions they had never met before in Europe.


- It was said that players from nineteen nations were in the squads of the two teams.


- Only two Englishmen, Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher, were in the Liverpool starting team. Never before have fewer players from the nation of the winning team been in a team. Scott Carson was the third Englishman in the Liverpool squad. The keeper was on the bench and did not take part. The Irishman Steve Finnan was the fourth British player in Liverpool´s squad for the final.


- Liverpool have won the European Cup five times. In all the five times they have won the cup the players have donned the the world famous all red strip! The losing team have on all five occasions played in a all white strip!


- Six goals were scored in the final. More goals have not been scored in a final of the European Cup for 43 years. Only three times before have more goals been scored in a final.


- This is the largest number of goals in a European Cup final since 1962. That year Benfica beat Real Madrid 5:3. Most goals in a final were scored in 1960. That year Real Madrid beat Eintracht Frankfurt 7:3.


- This was the eight time a penalty shoot-out has been needed in a European Cup final. It happened first in 1984. Then like now Liverpool also beat an Italian team team in a penalty shoot-out.


- Liverpool´s comeback in Istanbul is the greatest in a European Cup final. A team has never won a final after being three goals down.


- All of the goals, also the penalties, which were scored at the Ataturk stadium were scored in the same goal. The AC Milan supporters were behind that goal.


- Liverpool´s victory was the 28th European title that an English side has won. England is therefore the most successful nation in European competitions. Teams from Italy and Spain have won 27 titles.


- Liverpool´s victory was England´s tenth European Cup win. Liverpool have won five of the ten titles!


- Steven Gerrard became, 24 years old, the second youngest captain in history to lead a winning team in a final.


- Steven became the forth Liverpool captain to receive the European Cup. The late Emlyn Hughes did it in 1977 and 1978. Phil Thompson hoisted the cup in 1981. Graeme Souness received it in 1984.


- Steven and Phil have that in common to be brought through the ranks at Liverpool and captain their team to the European Cup.


- This was Liverpool´s 60th game of the season. It was the 15th in the European Cup.


- Liverpool were unbeaten in eight of their last European games this season.


- Liverpool used 27 players during their European run.


- Three players, Sami Hyypia, Jamie Carragher and John Arne Riise, played in all 15 European games. Sami was the only one to play every minute of the games.


- Luis Garcia was Liverpool´s top scorer in Europe this season. He scored five goals. He scored them all in the last seven games. Steven Gerrard scored four goals. Milan Baros scored two goals. Djibril Cisse, Florent Sinama Pongolle, Neil Mellor, John Arne Riise, Dietmar Hamann, Sami Hyypia, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso scored one goal each.


- Vladimir Smicer scored his first goal of the season in the final. Xabi Alonso scored his first European goal for Liverpool in Istanbul.


- Vladimir Smicer scored with his last kick in a Liverpool strip in the penalty shoot out!


- Rafael Benítes won an European trophy for the second year in a row. A year ago he led Valencia to victory in the UEFA cup. He became the first manager to win two different European competitions, two years running, with two different clubs.


- Bob Paisley guided Liverpool, 1977, 1978 and 1981, to three European victories. Joe Fagan managed Liverpool in 1984. Rafeal Benitez has now joined Bob and Joe in achieving European Cup success with Liverpool.


- Joe, like Rafael now, won the European Cup in his first season in charge. In both cases Liverpool beat Italian sides in a penalty shoot out.


- This was Liverpool´s third European title this century.


- Liverpool won two European titles in 2001. They won the UEFA cup after beating Alaves 5:4 in an incredible final in Dortmund. Then they beat Bayern Munchen 3:2 to win the European Super Cup in Monaco.


- Six players, Steven Gerrard, Sami Hyypia, Jamie Carragher, Dietmar Hamann, John Arne Riise and Vladimir Smicer took part in all three European finals.


- Liverpool is England´s most successful team in Europe. The club now boasts ten European titles. The European Cup 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984 and 2005. The UEFA Cup 1973, 1976 and 2001. The European Super Cup 1977 and 2001. No English side has won each competition more often that The Mighty Reds!


- Liverpool won the European Cup for the fifth time. By that they won this magnificent trophy for keeps. To win it for keeps a club has to win the European Cup three years running or total five times.


- Liverpool European Champions 2005!!!!!


Copyright - Sigfus Guttormsson

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