Liverpool and Milan meet again
Thursday, 3 May 2007
When Liverpool FC renew ties with AC Milan on 23 May in Athens it will be the fifth time that two clubs have faced each other in more than one European Champion Clubs' Cup final.
Memories of Istanbul
Liverpool, who eliminated Chelsea FC on penalties on Tuesday, 24 hours before Milan brushed aside Manchester United FC in their semi-final, were the winners when the teams met in Istanbul in 2005. On what was an unforgettable night for the Reds, they overturned a 3-0 half-time deficit and eventually triumphed on penalties to lift the European Cup for the fifth time. Should they also prevail at the Olympic Stadium in three weeks' time, the Anfield side would join the Rossoneri on six successes.
Di Stéfano feat
Real Madrid CF stand alone with nine victories, two of them coming against Stade de Reims Champagne - in the inaugural showpiece in Paris in 1956 and in Stuttgart three years later. During the course of those victories, Alfredo Di Stéfano became the only player to score against the same club in two finals – a feat that could be matched by Milan's Paolo Maldini or Liverpool midfielders Steven Gerrard and Xabi Alonso in the Greek capital.
Maldini's father Cesare was part of the Milan team that overcame SL Benfica 2-1 at Wembley in 1963, while Paolo played in the 1-0 defeat of the Lisbon giants in Vienna in 1990. The central defender, now 38, also featured in the 1-0 1995 loss to AFC Ajax, as the Dutch club made amends for their 4-1 final defeat by Milan in Madrid in 1969. The only other sides to square off in more than one final are Ajax and Juventus – the Amsterdam outfit winning the 1973 finale in Belgrade 1-0, before the Bianconeri exacted revenge in Rome in 1996 with a 4-2 success on penalties after a 1-1 draw.
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