This Should Have Been the Final: UEFA Champions League

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This Should Have Been the Final: UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Over the last few years, The UEFA Champions League has grown in stature as a highly competitive and unpredictable tournament. The fact that no team has successfully defended their title after the rebranding speaks to the level of competition, and the present position of Manchester United and Liverpool, after the first round of quarterfinals illustrate its unpredictability.

In its short existence, it has turned out to be a fantastic remedy for mid-week boredom with some volatile matches in which genius players with subliminal skills have portrayed football as a highly refined art form. Very often, they've gone on to become worthy champions and held the coveted "Big Ears" high.

Every now and then, in the knockout stages, there has been a "clash of titans" involving two powerhouses of European football. As soon as you've seen the draws, you get this familiar but funny feeling.

Then there has also been what can be termed as football's equivalent of David vs. Goliath, played over an exhilarating or excruciating 180 minutes, depending on which side you are supporting. Now as you're watching these matches happen before your eyes, you get this feeling once again.

The feeling I am talking about is "This Should Have Been The Final."

Here are a few such fixtures from the last five completed seasons (2003-04 to 2007-08) that have invoked that feeling in me. I have filtered the list to matches that either turned the championship around or made history, or simply brought two giants together in an unpredictable plot.

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