UEFA Champions League Final Matches

The final of the UEFA Champions League is the most highly anticipated annual event on the European football calendar. After six gruelling months of top class football, the two strongest clubs in European football emerge from the fray to join battle in front of huge crowds.

Since 1956, the UEFA Champions League final matches have provided football fans with some of the greatest cup final football ever seen. Goalless draws in the final are rare, with only four games in Champions League history going to penalties without a goal being scored. UEFA Champions League final matches are often high scoring affairs, with four goals or more scored in 14 of the finals.

Because UEFA Champions League finals tend to pit top clubs against one another, genuine upsets are quite rare. However, UEFA Champions League final matches have featured several remarkable comebacks, such as Manchester United’s comeback in the 1999 final against Bayern Munich when the Red Devils, trailing 1-0, scored twice in injury time to claim an unlikely victory.

Other upsets have come in the form of underdog victories for Eastern European teams. Following the Heysel Stadium disaster English teams were banned from European football for five years. Both Romanian club FC Steaua Bucure?ti, and Serbian champions Red Star Belgrade took advantage of this opportunity to claim Champions League titles against much fancied opponents.

Champions League Final Match Rules

Unlike other European club competitions like the UEFA Cup, the UEFA Champions League final matches have never been played over two legs. Although all other ties in the competition are played over two-legged home and away ties, the final is a single game.

Until the late 1970s drawn finals were subject to a replay, but this occurred only once in 1974 when a 1-1 draw between Atletico Madrid and Bayern Munich forced a playoff which the German side won 4-1.

The current UEFA Champions League final match format sees drawn games going to extra time with 15 minutes played each way. If no team has the advantage following extra time the game goes to a penalty shootout.

Winners of the UEFA Champions League are allowed to retain the trophy for 10 months, and are then presented with a scale replica of the trophy which they are allowed to hold permanently. Teams that win the trophy a total of five times, or three times in succession, are allowed to keep the trophy permanently.