Zidane delivers another Hampden collector's item

Hampden Park, Glasgow – 15/05/2002 – Final
Leverkusen
Leverkusen
Lúcio 13
1 - 2
Real Madrid
  • Raúl González 8
  • Zidane 45
Real Madrid
Touch of genius

"We could spend forever planning but some things you can't allow for – like Zidane's goal." Klaus Toppmöller

2001/02

• Real Madrid CF registered 35 goals during the campaign, equalling their own record for the winners set in 1999/2000. The goals were divided between 14 players, with Raúl González contributing six.

• Real Madrid, FC Barcelona and Bayer 04 Leverkusen overturned one-goal first-leg deficits to prevail in the quarter-finals, with Madrid and Leverkusen hitting their winners in the final six minutes.

• FC Bayern München equalled AFC Ajax's record of 19 UEFA Champions League games unbeaten before Real Madrid ended the holders' run – and defence – in the quarter-final second leg at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Real Madrid CF's return to Hampden Park did not disappoint as Zinédine Zidane's memorable volley earned his side a ninth European Champion Clubs' Cup, the cruellest of ends to a campaign that had promised so much for Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano suggested that when the beauty of football reveals itself "admirers are left pitying their unborn grandchildren who will never see them." For four decades Glaswegians, Sir Alex Ferguson among them, had spoken of Madrid's 7-3 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt at Hampden in the 1960 European Cup final in reverential tones. Zidane provided a new generation with their moment.

The showpiece was 1-1 and drifting towards half-time when Roberto Carlos' hopeful cross looped to the edge of the penalty area. Zidane, watching and waiting, adjusted his body and in one, fluid movement, pirouetted and caught it full on the volley with his supposedly weaker left foot. Goalkeeper Jörg Butt never stood a chance.

Only a wonder of resilience could have carried an impressively organised Leverkusen side beyond the impact of that astonishing goal – but Hampden had witnessed its miracle for the night. Klaus Toppmöller's side went down fighting, though. After finishing second in the Bundesliga and losing the German Cup final they were determined to avoid an unwanted hat-trick; to shake off the cruel 'Neverkusen' tag.

They battled right until the seventh minute of injury time when Iker Casillas – on for the injured César – made three spectacular saves to see Madrid home. The German team had already displayed their powers of recovery after a nervy start that culminated in Raúl González's eighth-minute opener, with Lúcio's header swiftly restoring parity. There was no answer to Zidane.

"It's desperately painful to end with nothing," said Toppmöller. "We could spend forever on the training ground planning, but then something special happens that you cannot make allowances for. In this case it was Zidane's goal."

Star players

  • Zidane

    Franz Beckenbauer is not alone in placing Zidane among "the greatest players in football history". He won almost everything there is to win, his list of personal honours and team titles almost endless – it took €75m for Real Madrid CF to prise the playmaker from Juventus in 2001. Zidane's intelligent scheming and incredible technique was perhaps never better showcased than when he inspired France to glory at the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA EURO 2000.

  • Raúl González

    When Club Atlético de Madrid reduced their academy in 1992 to save costs, they could not have guessed how the measure would work against them. Striker Raúl González was welcomed with open arms by Real Madrid CF; when he left 18 years, 740 games and 323 goals later, he had helped Los Merengues to three UEFA Champions League titles and six championships. A classic goalscorer, he also registered 44 in 102 appearances for Spain.

  • Ballack

    Ballack came as close as anyone to living up to the 'new Beckenbauer' moniker applied to him from an early age. The creative midfielder garnered a reputation as a nearly man having twice finished UEFA Champions League runner-up and suffering final defeats with Germany at the 2002 FIFA World Cup – though he was suspended for the showpiece – and UEFA EURO 2008. Five league titles in Germany and England and six domestic cups is not bad going, though.

What happened next?

• Six weeks later Lúcio and Roberto Carlos helped Brazil to FIFA World Cup glory, beating a Germany side featuring Bernd Schneider, Oliver Neuville and Carsten Ramelow. Michael Ballack was suspended.

• Ballack and Zé Roberto joined FC Bayern München that summer and Bayer 04 Leverkusen narrowly avoided relegation in 2002/03. Coach Klaus Toppmöller and replacement Thomas Hörster were both sacked.

• The Merengues's UEFA Champions League defence ended in the semi-finals the following season, losing 4-3 to Juventus. They failed to advance beyond the last 16 for the rest of the decade.

• Real Madrid CF regained the Liga title in 2002/03, dusting themselves off after a 5-1 home defeat by RCD Mallorca to scrape home two points clear of Raynald Denoueix's Real Sociedad de Fútbol side.

• As the Galácticos struggled to live up to their billing Vicente del Bosque left in June 2003. The next seven seasons saw nine coaches come and go, including Fabio Capello, Bernd Schuster and Carlos Queiroz.

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