Records tumble after Madrid's Champions League win
It’s been little over two weeks since Mohamed Salah’s season came crashing down in the Champions League final in Kiev. As the rest of the footballing world is fully focused on the World Cup, the Egyptian King admitted last week he’s yet to forgive Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos for nearly ending his dream of playing at the tournament in Russia. Ramos seemingly knew what he was doing as he dragged Salah down to the ground, injuring his shoulder and forcing Liverpool to substitute the PFA Player of the Year.
The 2018 Champions League final was unique in that not only did fans witness arguably the best goal ever scored in the competition thanks to Gareth Bale’s outrageous overhead kick, but also a number of records fell by the wayside as Zinedine Zidane’s men rewrote the history books.
Along with this year’s final, we’ve taken a look back at other Champions League records, which will take some serious beating.
Most consecutive UCL wins
Spanish giants Real became the first side to win the Champions League three times in-a-row with victory over Liverpool in last month’s final. The win saw Madrid claim their record-breaking Champions League title and in doing so, Zinedine Zidane also became the first manager to win the trophy three times on the bounce. Cristiano Ronaldo also became the first player to win the competition five times, in what was a relatively quiet game for the Portugal captain. No team apart from Los Blancos have even defended the Champions League trophy, while they also won the European Cup five times in a row in the 1950s. As Madrid marched on to their 13th European title, the match will be remembered for Loris Karius’ disastrous goalkeeping display, as he gifted the Spanish giants two goals en route to their 3-1 win.
Going into their 2007 Round of 16, second leg against Fabio Capello’s Real Madrid, Bayern Munich couldn’t afford to lose, having been defeated 3-2 by the Spanards in an electrifying first leg at the Bernabeu. Interestingly, Munich had yet to score inside the first quarterhour of any of their 2006/07 Champions League games. That soon changed as striker Roy Makaay etched his name into the competition’s history books with the quickest goal the tournament has ever seen.
Madrid kicked off and almost immediately left-back Roberto Carlos miscontrolled a pass, allowing Hasan Salihamidzic to pounce, and square the ball to Makaay who slotted past keeper Iker Casillas after just 10.12 seconds. Bayern went on to win the game 2-1, which saw them advance to the quarterfinals on away goals, with the tie level 4-4 on aggregate.
You might be surprised to hear an ex-Swansea striker is the man with this incredible record. Bafetimbi Gomis netted the quickest Champions League hat-trick in 2011, scoring three times for French side Lyon against Dinamo Zagreb in just seven minutes. The Frenchman, who has been capped 12 times by his country, began his career with St. Etienne bagging 40 goals in 142 appearances, earning him a move across the country to Lyon – it was here he etched his name into history with his quick-fire treble. Lyon triumphed emphatically over Dinamo Zagreb 7-1 to progress into the Round of 16. Gomis, who actually scored four goals in the win, beat Mike Newell’s previous record of three goals in nine minutes back in Blackburn’s 1995-96 European campaign. The Premier League soon came calling for Gomis, with Swansea signing the striker in 2014.
Longest time without conceding a goal
Arsenal failed to lift the Champions League trophy during Arsene Wenger’s 22-year reign at the club but he left the club with one impressive European record. Wenger’s men went a staggering 995 minutes (10 clean sheets) without letting in a goal between September 27, 2005 and May 17, 2006. The Londoners reached the final of the competition in 2006 where they finally conceded to Barcelona, as striker Samuel Eto’o struck in the 76th minute. Agonisingly for Wenger, whose side had taken the lead in the game through Sol Campbell, Barcelona added a second just four minutes later and went on to win the game 2-1. The Gunners only conceded four goals the entire tournament that year and still failed to lift the trophy. In the 2006 final itself, goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was sent off in the first half and Arsenal played the remainder of the game with 10 men.
Longest wait between trophies
Italian giants Inter Milan hold this unwanted record. They had won back-to-back titles in 1964 and 1965, and again reached the final in 1972 – however another win in the competition eluded them until 2010 – an incredible 45 years after the last triumph. Jose Mourinho led the side to a 2-0 win over Bayern Munich, with both goals scored by Diego Milito. This was part of a famous treble for Inter – the first Italian side to complete the feat. Real Madrid won the first five European Cups, from 1956 to 1960, but from 1966 to 1998 waited 32 years between victories. A single goal from Pedrag Mijatovic was enough for a 1-0 over Juventus, and their seventh crown. Manchester United fans had to wait 31 years to see their team lift the Champions League trophy, in 1999, having been crowned European champions for the first time in 1968.
Youngest and oldest goal scorer
In 2014, at the grand age of 38 years and 59 days, Roma’s Francesco Totti bagged from 25 yards out against CSKA Moscow to extend his record as the oldest scorer in the history of the competition. Totti actually broke Ryan Giggs’ record by scoring against Manchester City in a 1-1 draw earlier in the campaign. A Champions League veteran, Totti played in numerous seasons at the top level of European football but failed to lift the European trophy. Peter Ofori-Quaye holds the record for the youngest-ever scorer, a feat set back in 1997 when he was 17 years and 195 days old. It took just nine minutes for Ofori-Quaye to score for Olympiacos after coming on as a substitute in a 5-1 loss to Rosenborg. Despite his early heroics, Ofori- Quaye never lived up to his promise and, at just 23, he was released by the Greek side in 2003.
Fastest to 100 goals
The ‘who’s better’ debate will rumble on well after Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have hung up their boots, and their record-breaking goal scoring in the Champions League has added further fuel to the fire. Let’s start with Messi – he began his Champions League goal scoring back in 2005 and years of consistent goals have followed including a superb header against Manchester United in the 2009 final. He notched his first Champions League hat-trick against Arsenal at the Nou Camp in 2010, where he scored four in a 4-1 win. The forward returned to haunt Manchester United again in the 2011 final at Wembley in a 3-1 win. He finally reached the 100-goal landmark in March 2018 with a brace against Chelsea. In total, it took the Barcelona talisman just 123 games to reach the feat. How does that compare to Cristiano Ronaldo? Ronaldo’s first European goal came for Manchester United against Debreceni in 2005. He scored 10 more goals in the competition before planting a header against Chelsea in the 2008 Champions League final, which saw Manchester United win the competition on penalties. The Portugal captain finally netted himself a Champions League hat trick in 2012 as his Real Madrid side saw of Ajax 4-1 in 2012. He joined the 100 Club in 2017 against Bayern Munich after a total of 144 UCL games. So Ronaldo was first, but Messi was quicker.
Fastest red card
Another season over means another year Olexandr Kucher hangs on to his undesirable record. It was back in March 2015 when Shakhtar Donetsk faced the daunting task of defeating Bayern Munich in their Round of 16 second leg tie. The Ukrainian side were still well in the tie going into the game having held the German giants to a 0-0 draw in the first leg. However, Donetsk’s hopes of advancing to the quarterfinals were dealt a huge blow just three minutes into the match. When Mario Gotze burst into the penalty box, Kucher slid in and upended the German, leaving the referee little choice but to point to the spot and produce the red card.