Madrid rocked as Super Mário completes Gala comeback

Ali Sami Yen Stadyumu, Istanbul – 03/04/2001 – Quarter-finals
Galatasaray
Galatasaray
Davala 47 (P) Hasan Şaş 66 Jardel 75
3 - 2
Real Madrid
  • Iván Helguera 33
  • Makelele 43
Real Madrid
Back from the brink

"It was, perhaps, the best half of my entire career." Mircea Lucescu

2000/01

• With seven goals Raúl González became the first player to finish UEFA Champions League top scorer twice having shared the honour with Mário Jardel (FC Porto) and Rivaldo (FC Barcelona) in 1999/2000.

• There were 63 goals in 16 games on Matchday 1 – a record for a single matchday – and by the time FC Bayern München beat Valencia CF in the final there had been 449 goals at an average of 2.86 per game.

• RC Deportivo La Coruña's quarter-final hopes looked over as they trailed Paris Saint-Germain FC 3-0 55 minutes into their second group stage meeting, but Walter Pandiani's hat-trick helped them through.

Galatasaray AŞ completed an extraordinary comeback against Real Madrid CF on a memorable night in Istanbul, recovering from 2-0 down at half-time to bring the holders to heel in a thrilling quarter-final first-leg victory.

Goals by Iván Helguera and Claude Makelele had seemingly taken Vicente del Bosque's side, who had won their eighth European Cup the previous May, out of sight. But roared on by a passionate crowd the hosts stormed back through Ümit Davala, Hasan Şaş and Madrid's nemesis, Mário Jardel.

This was a vintage Galatasaray side. Inspired by Gheorghe Hagi and spearheaded by the prolific Jardel, they had beaten Madrid in the UEFA Super Cup in August, the Brazilian striker scoring twice. The Spanish side's lineup, though, read like a who's who of world football, Raúl González, Luís Figo and Roberto Carlos just three of the glitterati on show for the visitors, who dominated the first half.

They almost took the lead on 28 minutes when Figo dragged a low shot narrowly wide but the first goal was not long in coming. Portugal captain Figo was the architect, curling over a precise free-kick which Helguera headed past Claudio Taffarel. Two minutes before half-time Roberto Carlos set up the second as his long throw to Raúl was touched on to Makelele and the France midfielder fired a rare goal in off the far post.

Unlike the Ali Sami Yen Stadium, the hosts were rocking – the local supporters would not be silenced for long. The second half was just two minutes old when Hasan Şaş was brought down by Makelele, enabling Ümit to send Iker Casillas the wrong way from the penalty spot. Then on 66 minutes it was all-square, Hasan Şaş connecting with a fine cutback from substitute Fatih Akyel following a strong run down the right.

Suddenly Lucescu's side sensed victory. Their third goal duly arrived 15 minutes from time when Fatih capitalised on a defensive slip, powered down the right and crossed for Jardel to head his third goal against Madrid in two matches. He had another effort chalked off late on, which could have left Madrid with too much to do in the return. But for the time being Galatasaray's fervent fans were able to acclaim Super Mário, and a momentous European win.

Star players

  • Jardel

    Twice winner of the ESM Golden Shoe, Jardel was deadly in front of goal. The Fortaleza native scored at better than a goal per game in the league for FC Porto and Sporting Clube de Portugal, 183 in 174 combined, and helped Galatasaray AŞ win the UEFA Cup and UEFA Super Cup in 2000. The Brazilian struggled to reproduce that form with 13 other employers in nine different countries but will always be feted in Turkey and Portugal.

  • Davala

    A tireless midfielder with an eye for goal, Ümit had stints with both Milan clubs but enjoyed his greatest successes with Galatasaray AŞ, winning four league titles and three Turkish Cups. He scored in the victorious 2000 UEFA Cup final penalty shoot-out against Arsenal FC and won the German league and cup double with SV Werder Bremen in 2003/04. Complete with Mohawk hairstyle, Ümit helped Turkey finish third at the 2002 FIFA World Cup.

  • Luís Figo

    The leader of Portugal's golden generation, Figo was a mainstay of the national side for 15 years. A product of the Sporting Clube de Portugal academy, he enjoyed great success at FC Barcelona and it took a world-record transfer to lure him to Real Madrid CF in 2000. More titles followed, including the Ballon d'Or and 2002 UEFA Champions League, before Figo ended his career at FC Internazionale Milano, winning the Scudetto in each of his four seasons in Italy.

What happened next?

• Real Madrid CF performed a recovery of their own in the return, overhauling Galatasaray AŞ with a 3-0 win at the Santiago Bernabéu courtesy of first-half goals from Raúl González (2) and Iván Helguera.

• Madrid bowed out in the semi-finals, however, losing 3-1 on aggregate to eventual winners FC Bayern München, though Vicente del Bosque's side consoled themselves with a 28th Liga title success.

• Galatasaray were pipped to the Turkish Süper Lig title by Fenerbahçe SK but Mircea Lucescu's side would right that wrong in the Romanian's second season in charge before departing for Beşiktaş JK.

• That summer Madrid president Florentino Pérez continued to compile his side of 'Galácticos', prising French international playmaker Zinédine Zidane from Italian side Juventus for a world record €73m.

• The policy achieved its desired result as the following season the Merengues clinched a record ninth European Cup, Zidane scoring a memorable winner in the final against Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

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