Great sagas in the history of the European Cup

Throughout history, the European Cup (today called the Champions League) has seen how historic and unrepeatable teams won several titles in a few years, in a row or alternate, raising a whole generation of footballers to the top. Here we review some of the most important sagas.

Di Stéfano’s Real Madrid

Alfredo Di Stéfano’s Real Madrid was the first European Cup champion in 1956. And the second. And the third. And the fourth. And the fifth. In fact, he has a feat that no one has repeated so far: winning five consecutive titles. The Spanish-Argentine star was accompanied by other phenomena, mainly Paco Gento and Ferenc Puskas. A unique team that, for many who saw it, is the best in history.

Cruyff’s Ajax

Ajax Amsterdam, led by Johan Cruyff, dominated the championship three consecutive editions, from 71 to 73. But, above all, it has the honor of being considered the first modern team, with a ‘total football’ in which the fast and offensive game of the ‘Flaco’ and other players like Johan Neeskens, under the baton of the coach Rinus Michels.

Bayern Beckenbauer

Ajax’s leadership was ousted by another: Franz Beckenbauer’s Bayern Munich. His equipment was more pragmatic and rocky, but just as effective. In that saga that won the 74, 75 and 76 championships, other phenomena such as forward Torpedo Müller and goalkeeper Sepp Maier stood out.

Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan

“Only” they won two European Cups (89 and 90), but Arrigo Sacchi’s AC Milan did so with such an astonishing superiority that they beat Real Madrid of La Quinta del Buitre 5-0. In that group the Dutch trio (Van Basten, Rijkaard and Gullit) shone, as well as their Italian backbone, with Baresi and Ancelotti among others.

Leo Messi’s FC Barcelona

Observing the record, it cannot be said that Leo Messi’s FC Barcelona has been absolute dominator in the Champions League, as La Pulga has won 4 titles from 2006 to today. However, if we stick to the years of Pep Guardiola on the bench, his 2 titles in 3 years (2009 and 2011) left their mark on their brilliance, something only possible thanks to two other geniuses: Xavi and Iniesta. 2015, with Luis Enrique at the helm, was a worthy epilogue for this generation, which also had Neymar and Luis Suárez at the time.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid

4 championships in 5 years are numbers of absolute dominance. And that’s what Cristiano Ronaldo’s Real Madrid achieved from 2014 to 2018, three of which were consecutively with Zinedine Zidane as coach. A feat that no one had achieved since the Champions League format was adopted, in which figures such as Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric or Karim Benzema were also at fault.

Fight without advantages

Conversing with Martin and Lucas from Pasión Fortinera, a media supporter of Vélez, in the previous duel for the South American team they asked me if Deportivo Cali would have an advantage when playing with VAR since Vélez had not played games yet with that surveillance tool and to dispense justice. Advantage? No, I replied, with VAR nobody has an advantage because it depends a lot on who is sitting behind the screen and how they use it.

On Tuesday night its use was, to say the least, improper, indeed, Juan Pablo Varsky (commentator with an affinity with Vélez) in the broadcast said this at the end of the first half: “The non-intervention or the bad intervention of the VAR and the referee hurt Cali. A penalty, not being sent off and a goal not validated affected him ”.

After the meeting, the same teacher Arias, our coach, referred to it like this: “The truth is today I have one of the biggest sadnesses I have ever had, but not for losing a game. Because today it was a shame what happened in the first half ”.

And he continued saying: “This is unheard of, sad, I congratulate Vélez, his players, they have nothing to do with this, it is a competition, but today is to distort the competition, punish a team that always comes to play football “and stressed:” There were three failures that changed the game in the first half. There is no worse blind than the one who does not want to see. We have to rebuild, calm down myself, the team, we have another final in three days, but hopefully someone will take action, otherwise this game will be distorted ”.

Alfredo Arias focused and to the point, of course, he is, but in the end we lost, Deportivo Cali brought a defeat by two goals to zero after squandering more than 15 shots on goal, including a penalty charge.

We did not lose because of the VAR, no, but it could have been a different story if the performance of the match judge had not conditioned us in that way. To highlight and recognize the way the team, despite receiving one blow of the whistle after another, maintained the conviction and the objective without losing his temper, remarkable.

We lost, in addition to not putting it in, because the team was staying in the second half, Angulo’s back again played against us and the spaces that we did not give, appeared.

We lost, yes, because Vélez of the five he had got two and with that he finished us. A shame, because a long time ago I did not see Deportivo Cali play the way it did in Argentina: head-on, facing, daring, cheerful, colorful and from you to you, without complexes. A pity, I insist, because the boys deserved more than what happened, they deserved more than the result obtained.

But Cali played well and hearing it from my dad, a team fan since 1950 (or before) after only listening to him for three years lamentations helps me understand that what I saw is not just a mirage, but a reality: we have football, we It is missing and the important task is to turn it into a result, into titles that, for many, are the only thing that counts.

For the South American, the second leg is missing, of course, and despite the difference of two goals (and who knows what other one out there in an office) I do not see it as difficult to turn, yes, you have to put it as many times as It fits, nothing to do and you have to do it quickly. I will miss not being in the Stadium to look for that with my breath.

But, yes, before seeing Vélez and his surroundings we must overcome what in my opinion is the game, so far, of the year: La Equidad on Saturday for the Betplay League.

In the first leg we opened the scoring quickly, we tried to score a couple more, the stick or poor aim said “no” and in the end they tied us. One by one who leaves the key open and with everything served to close it in favor at home. I hope, from the heart and with the faith intact, that the boys will come out focused on surpassing Equidad without extenuating circumstances, concentrating on not giving spaces, on not allowing anything different than winning and giving the fans and associates one more reason to feed the illusion. There is what, there is football, we hope there is justice, testosterone and legs.

Equity is coming, Velez is coming and Patas himself can come. As long as we are together in faith, in strength, in conviction, being one voice, one unit, we will overcome it.

You have to believe, you have to fight and you have to win. We are Deportivo Cali, neither more nor less, and ours is and has always been Glory.

Come on Cali damn, let’s go with everything, for everything and against everyone and everything.

I repeated with me: “Cali, Cali, Cali” and let’s go out to win, there is no other way to make history.

See you soon at the stadium, while we read over here.

To the ladies and gentlemen of Deportivo Cali, congratulations on your 2-1 victory over Millonarios in the Women’s League, your football and the growth it has had, I like it, we can think big and do it big, keep it up. (I am in arrears to write about you, but I will try to find an expert voice close to your environment), for now I share the chronicle of the meeting that the club’s communications department prepared and that you can read here.