1967 UEFA Champions League Final
Celtic (Scotland) vs. Inter Milan (Italy)
Venue: Estadio Nacional, Lisbon
Road to the Final
For the first 12 years of competition the UEFA Champion’s League title was held exclusively by clubs from Italy, Spain and Portugal. This was largely the result of exposure to top level European club competition that these clubs had enjoyed in the Latin Cup.
When Inter Milan entered the 1966/1967 Champions League, they did so looking to pick up their third UEFA Champions League title in four years. The team entered the competition under a cloud of controversy that saw them heavily criticised for putting winning at all costs, ahead of creative football.
Inter Milan’s lack of attacking flair translated into a string of close, hard-fought ties as they battled their way to the 1967 UEFA Champions League final. Dour wins over Torpedo Moscow, and Hungarian side Vasas SC seemed to confirm the predictions of Inter’s critics, and their progress to the final was only lit up by a 3-0 win over Real Madrid in the quarterfinals.
By contrast, Celtic entered the competition with guns blazing, blowing away FC Zurich 5-0 in their first tie before romping to convincing wins over French Champions FC Nantes and Czech side Dukla Prague. The only team to run the Scots close on their way to the final was Serbian side FK Vodjvodina who won the first leg of their quarterfinal tie 1-0 before going down to Celtic 2-1 on aggregate.
The 1976 UEFA Champions League final is memorable not only for ending the Latin stranglehold on the competition, but also for proving that creative attacking football was the key to winning at the highest level.
Inter Milan scored first, confirming their status as favourites with a goal in the sixth minute. With a goal to their name, the Italians turned the defensive screws on the Scots who were unable to find the back of the net in the first half.
The Italian defence was finally breached by Celtic in the second half, when defender Tommy Gemmell put away Celtic’s first goal, a powerful 25 yard strike, in the 63rd minute. With the 15,000 Scottish supporters in the Estadio Nacional cheering their side one, the Scottish attack threw themselves against the Italian defence.
The winning goal came six minutes before time when Steve Chalmers deflected a Bobby Murdoch strike to make Celtic the first British team to triumph in the UEFA Champions League.