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Power Ranking Real Madrid's 9 European Cup Triumphs

Sam PilgerFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2014

Power Ranking Real Madrid's 9 European Cup Triumphs

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    Gary M. Prior/Getty Images

    On Saturday night, Real Madrid will attempt to win their 10th European Cup, the fabled La Decima, when they face city rivals Atletico Madrid in the Champions League final in Lisbon. 

    No other club can compete with Real Madrid’s haul of nine European Cups, and they remain the continent’s most successful side.

    They won their first European Cup in 1956 and their most recent in 2002. Here, I rank their nine European Cup victories based on their quality and importance to the club.

9. 1959: Real Madrid 2, Stade De Reims 0

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    Real Madrid continued to monopolise the European Cup by winning their fourth successive trophy with a comfortable 2-0 victory over Stade de Reims in the Neckarstadion in Stuttgart. 

    The final lacked any of the drama of the first three finals and was effectively over when Enrique Mateos gave Madrid the lead in the first minute of the game.

    Mateos should have doubled Madrid’s lead after 13 minutes, but he missed from the penalty spot.

    Early in the second half, the imperious Alfredo Di Stefano scored in his fourth successive final to finish off the French side and win the final 2-0.

8. 2000: Real Madrid 3, Valencia 0

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    For the first time the European Cup final was contested by two teams from the same country, but once again Madrid had more than enough to get past Valencia to win their eighth trophy. 

    Marshalled by Vicente del Bosque, Madrid boasted an attacking line-up, with Fernando Morientes, Raul and Nicolas Anelka playing up front in a three-man attack, behind Steve McManaman and the peerless Fernando Redondo in midfield.

    The Spanish striker Morientes gave Madrid the lead just before half-time before second-half goals from McManaman and Raul confirmed Madrid’s triumph.

7. 1957: Real Madrid 2, Fiorentina 0

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    Real Madrid successfully defended their European title with a tight and nervous 2-0 victory over Fiorentina in front of 124,000 fans inside their own stadium at the Bernabeu. 

    The score was still goalless with 20 minutes remaining when Real Madrid were awarded a penalty for a foul on Mateos, even though a linesman had raised his flag to suggest offside.

    Alfredo Di Stefano scored from the penalty spot, and then just six minutes later, Raymond Kopa set up Francisco Gento to win the game.

6. 1958: Real Madrid 3, AC Milan 2

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    Real Madrid completed a hat-trick of European Cup wins with a dramatic 3-2 win over AC Milan in Brussels.

    The final was scoreless until the 59th minute before suddenly exploding in goals.

    The Italians took the lead through Juan Alberto Schiaffino, before Di Stefano equalised after 74 minutes, but three minutes later Ernesto Grillo put Milan back in front.

    Hector Rial’s goal for Madrid after 79 minutes made it 2-2 and ensured the game went into extra time, where Madrid’s greater experience showed, and they claimed the winner through Gento at the start of the second period.

5. 1966: Real Madrid 2, Partizan Belgrade 1

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    After a relative drought of six years, Real Madrid became champions of Europe once again with a narrow victory over the Yugoslav champions, Partizan Belgrade, at the Heysel Stadium in Brussels.

    But once again, they made it difficult for themselves and got behind after a goal from Velibor Vasovic in the 55th minute.

    Real Madrid, playing with an all-Spanish 11, rallied and came back with decisive goals from Amancio Amaro and Fernando Serena in the space of six minutes to claim their sixth European Cup.

4. 1998: Real Madrid 1, Juventus 0

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    Real Madrid ended their agonising 32-year wait to win the European Cup by overcoming Juventus 1-0 in Amsterdam.

    Juventus were a fine team, and this was their third consecutive final after winning it in 1996 and losing to Borussia Dortmund in 1997.

    But Madrid had just enough to get past the Italians, with a winner from Predrag Mijatovic in the 66th minute.

3. 2002: Real Madrid 2, Bayer Leverkusen 1

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    At the start of the millennium, Real Madrid launched their famous Galactico era with the purchases of Luis Figo and Zinedine Zidane, and here the pair combined to deliver the club’s ninth European Cup.

    Fuelled by the romance of returning to Hampden Park, Glasgow, Scotland, scene of their famous fifth European Cup victory in 1960, Madrid were in front through Raul after eight minutes, only for Leverkusen’s hulking Brazilian defender Lucio to equalise five minutes later.

    Just before half-time, the final would be settled by one of the European Cup’s greatest goals from Zidane.

    The Frenchman met a high cross from Roberto Carlos with a perfectly timed volley into the top corner to win the game. It was pure genius.

2. 1956: Real Madrid 4, Stade de Reims 3

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    The first season of the European Cup reached a fitting climax when Real Madrid won the first of their record five consecutive European Cups with a dramatic 4-3 victory over Reims in Paris. 

    The French side, orchestrated by the wonderful Raymond Kopa, who was due to join Madrid immediately after the final, would go 2-0 up.

    Madrid recovered from this early shock, and after half an hour, they were level though goals from their Argentinian pair, Alfredo Di Stefano and Hector Rial. Reims reclaimed the lead when Michel Hidalgo turned in Kopa’s free-kick, only for Madrid to claw their way back when the defender Marquitos ran from his own half to score.

    Madrid finally edged in front for the first time when Rial claimed his second goal of the game after 79 minutes, and the Spaniards protected their lead to be crowned Europe’s first champions.

1. 1960: Real Madrid 7, Eintracht Frankfurt 3

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    In front of an awestruck record crowd of nearly 128,000, crammed into Glasgow’s Hampden Park, Real Madrid produced arguably the greatest performance by a club side to win their fifth consecutive European Cup as they swept aside Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3.

    This was, without doubt, Madrid’s greatest performance; their signature moment symbolising their flair and genuis.

    In a repeat of two of their previous four European Cup finals, Madrid actually conceded the first goal when Richard Kress scored from Erwin Stein’s cross after 18 minutes.

    This roused Madrid, and they would score an incredible six unanswered goals in the next 55 minutes with a wonderful display of fluid attacking football.

    Alfredo Di Stefano scored twice to put Madrid in front, before Ferenc Puskas powered in a third to give the Spanish club a 3-1 lead at half-time. Nine minutes after the interval Puskas scored again from the penalty spot, and soon after he completed his hat-trick with a rare header from a cross from Gento.

    Greedy for more, the Hungarian became the first, and so far only, player to score four goals in a European Cup final when he scored once again after 69 minutes. Stein pulled one back for the Germans, before Di Stefano completed his own hat-trick directly from the restart. Stein scored again after 74 minutes to end the game 7-3.

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