Greatest CL Finalist Team of all Time

Discussion in 'Soccer' started by lud, Jan 14, 2019.

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Greatest CL Finalist Team of all Time?

  1. 91/92 Sampdoria

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. 92/93 Milan

    4 vote(s)
    12.1%
  3. 93/94 Barcelona

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  4. 94/95 Milan

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  5. 95/96 Ayax

    4 vote(s)
    12.1%
  6. 96/97 Juventus

    3 vote(s)
    9.1%
  7. 97/98 Juventus

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  8. 98/99 Bayern

    2 vote(s)
    6.1%
  9. 99/00 Valencia

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  10. 00/01 Valencia

    2 vote(s)
    6.1%
  11. 01/02 Bayer

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  12. 02/03 Juventus

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  13. 03/04 Monaco

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  14. 04/05 Milan

    8 vote(s)
    24.2%
  15. 05/06 Arsenal

    2 vote(s)
    6.1%
  16. 06/07 Liverpool

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  17. 07/08 Chelsea

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  18. 08/09 Manchester Utd.

    8 vote(s)
    24.2%
  19. 09/10 Bayern

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  20. 10/11 Manchester Utd.

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  21. 11/12 Bayern

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  22. 12/13 Borussia Dortmund

    2 vote(s)
    6.1%
  23. 13/14 Atletico

    2 vote(s)
    6.1%
  24. 14/15 Juventus

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  25. 15/16 Atletico

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
  26. 16/17 Juventus

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  27. 17/18 Liverpool

    1 vote(s)
    3.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Ajacied

    Ajacied Stay strong Appie! ❤

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    Ajax is underrated here. Back to back trips to the finals while their teams consisted mostly out of own, home grown players. They played very attractive football and went undefeated in all competitions in 1995. In 1996 they lost only 3 or 4 times and were the better of Juve in the finals.

    That said, that Milan team was freaking ridiculous as well.
     
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  2. Stray Wasp

    Stray Wasp Registered User

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    I think the 92/93 Milan team was better than the team of the following year. The 93/94 outfit won a mere two out of six in the group stage, despite having average opponents (Anderlecht, Werder Bremen and a Porto that was dissatisfied enough with its coach, Tomislav Ivic, that they allowed him to leave after the group stage ended - replacing him with Bobby Robson).

    That performance against Barca still confounds me. Mind, when I looked at Barca 93/94's record in Europe, they were almost eliminated at the first hurdle by Dynamo Kiev. Their vists to Istanbul and Moscow in the group stage ended in draws. In other words, once they hit the road they weren't as impressive as one would expect a team boasting peak Romario and peak Stoichkov to be.

    I'd agree that Rossi wasn't the most brilliant of keepers, and that there were far better Italian strikers than Massaro doing the rounds back then. Still, the former seemed to suit the system well enough, and if the latter wasn't world class, he was a capable supporting player. What really impresses me, though, is the way 92/93 Milan took a key change in the rules in their stride (the backpass law), scored plenty themselves, conceded few, and thrived on two fronts - despite missing Van Basten for so much of the season. Even allowing for the financial muscle that allowed them to sign Lentini as much to keep him away from other clubs as to benefit themselves, it's some achievement
     
  3. Stray Wasp

    Stray Wasp Registered User

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    They made my shortlist. A superb team.
     
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  4. KoozNetsOff 92

    KoozNetsOff 92 Hala Madrid

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    08/09 utd or 92/93 Milan.
     
  5. Corto

    Corto Faceless Man

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    There was basically a change in the core in Milan in that season 92/93 to 93/94.
    The 3 foreigners were swapped out (Van Basten, Rijkaard, Papin out - Savicevic, Boban, Desailly in).
    They gave up on the great Italian hope in Lentini (who would never fullfill his fantastic potential, not really) and the defense stayed largely the same (Maldini, Baresi, Costacurta and then Tassoti replaced by Panucci).

    They were brilliant, pragmatic and tight defensively... A CL win in 1994 and the final appearance in 1995, but the X factor offensively was always Savicevic.
    Boban, Albertini, Donadoni and Desailly was the go-to midfield that played narrow and they dominated with and without the ball (if that makes sense... they were comfortable without the ball, and then they transitioned brilliantly forward).

    Massaro was up-front and he was always... Adequate. But he was never the player to make the difference on his own.
    And after they brought in Savicevic, it still worked. But with no more MvB, if Savicevic wasn't there, they were offensively somewhat challenged. Simone and Massaro, while servicable, and far from "bad players" were not really the class to make a difference on their own.
    And that's what happened vs Ajax.

    To this day, we don't know if Savicevic was injured or just in a row with Cappello (he said he was fit, Cappello said he was injured).
    Him (Savicevic) and Boban had a wonderful tie vs PSG in the semis, winning it for Milan... And then no Savicevic in the final.
    Without him, Milan put up a decent fight - but you always had a feeling Ajax were going to score first if there was a goal.

    But I do agree that Ajax squad was special, even without Seedorf the following year.

    So, I'd put forth the following three teams (losing finalists 3 years in a row, though 2 of them won in before losing the following year):
    93/94 Barca
    94/95 AC Milan
    95/96 Ajax

    I think 1997 Juve is in with a shout as well... I'd say 8 times out of 10 they beat that BVB team, but it was one of those nights.
    Deschamps, Jugovic, Zidane, Del Piero, Boksic, Vieri.. They were packed. Things just didn't go their way that day.

    I don't know why exactly, I cannot put my finger on it, but that period might be my favorite in CL history for some reason, 93-97.
    Next few years we got Real winning it 3 times, Valencia and Bayern there... I don't know why, it didn't feel as special, it was like the great generations of certain clubs got scattered and outside of the Man Utd / Bayern final I can't say any of them stick out to me.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2019
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  6. Ajacied

    Ajacied Stay strong Appie! ❤

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    Didn't Milan sweep the Ballon d'or voting one of those years? #1 Van Basten, Gullit #2 and #3 Rijkaard?
     
  7. Tylers Dad

    Tylers Dad Registered Dad

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    04/05 Milan were incredible. Impossible to beat Maldini and Nesta together
     
  8. Fighter

    Fighter Achille's injury won't stop me!

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    92/93 Milan. Even as a non-fan, it was like watching a team of Gods.
     
  9. Stray Wasp

    Stray Wasp Registered User

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    A brilliant post. Good on you for giving Savicevic his due - I suspect I'm not the only English fan of that era who tends to lose him a bit among Milan's parade of stars.

    Regarding the bolded part, I rated that Juve team very highly too, but in this poll they lose points from me for managing to concede three to a Dortmund team that, if very good, wasn't great. I think in the final Juve missed Torricelli, who I thought played as well as I ever saw him play against Ajax in 96 and probably would have found German opponents to his taste. A couple of other minor quibbles would be that I like a midfield to have greater flair than theirs did, and Christian Vieri at that stage of his career seemed to me to live up to the cruel nickname 'feet of stone'.

    93-97 was indeed a compelling period. No doubt it helped that only national champions qualified for the tournament at that time. And only one of those seasons is post-Bosman. Clubs who won their league in 95-96 preferred to evolve at a sensible pace rather than flood their squads with foreign players immediately that freedom of contract occurred. In the summer of 96 it was such as Real Madrid, Barca and Inter who signed imports in large numbers, seeking as they were a quick fix for the previous season's disappointments.

    With hindsight, what strikes me is that 1997, with the increased number of clubs flaunting Champions League funds or hoping to buy into that competition with one big splurge of cash (most notably Betis with their signing of Denilson), was when the new money really began to have a dramatic effect on the player market - £10 million transfer fees became commonplace, Ronaldo left Barca for Inter, and the £20 million barrier was broken. Around the same time, Barca, Juve, Milan and Real Madrid all underwent flawed rebuilding jobs. It's interesting to note that three of those clubs only resumed winning at the level to which they were accustomed when they made conservative moves in the dugout - Juve by inviting back a former coach in Lippi; Milan and Real Madrid by appointing men in touch with the club's past (Ancelotti and Del Bosque). Meanwhile, in Catalunya there was the odd drama of Van Gaal winning two league titles but being deeply unpopular nevertheless.

    The underlying theme is perhaps one of clubs struggling with their sense of identity - a stark contrast to Manchester United and Bayern Munich's sides around the same moment, or even Lobanovskyi's Kyiv of 98/99. And then 1999 brought a yet greater expansion of the competition, even greater amounts of money...but no increase in the talent pool to match it. Which upped the hyperinflation ante to new heights. And they all lived expensively ever after.
     
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  10. Corto

    Corto Faceless Man

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    Ohhh, good mention, Dynamo Kyiv of that time was absolutely terrifying.
    They gave Barca a proper hiding the year before (7-0 over two legs, albeit group stages) and then ousted the defending champions Real Madrid the following year.
    Bayern only beat them very narrowly.

    I watched our NT play that qualifying round in a group with a very good Denmark side, and our boys came in 2nd.
    They played Ukraine in the qualies, and won 2-0 at home (Bilic scored one, don't remember the other... I think Vlaovic).
    Anyway, in Kyiv, Ukraine scored early, had a Shevchenko goal canceled for offside that was debatable at best, and then Croatia scored on a deflected Alen Boksic shot.
    Noone outplayed that Croatia team like Ukraine did in those 30 or so minutes, and it was a great pity that the draw brought them together and a very, very good Ukrainian side never got to the WC that year.

    But yeah, definitely agree on Kyiv, great team, loved them.
     
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  11. JeffreyLFC

    JeffreyLFC Registered User

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    edit: oups finalist i thought we were talking about winner.
     
  12. robertmac43

    robertmac43 Forever 43!

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    I went with the Arsenal team for obvious reasons, hurts me when I think of that painful night.

    It was one of the most complete Arsenal squads ever and following that loss the years after were some of the last good ones before the decline started...
     
  13. Cassano

    Cassano nyeah eh

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    Wenger setting clean sheet record with Senderos.
     

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