Throughout history, the European Cup (now called the Champions League) has seen historic and unrepeatable teams win several titles in just a few years, either in a row or alternately, raising the profile of a whole generation of footballers. Here we review some of the most important sagas.
Di Stefano's Real MadridAlfredo Di Stefano's Real Madrid was the first European Cup winner in 1956.And the second. And the third. And the fourth.
And the fifth. In fact, he has a feat that no one has ever repeated: winning five consecutive titles. The Spanish-Argentinean star was accompanied by other phenomena, mainly Paco Gento and Ferenc Puskas. A unique team that, for many who saw it, is the best in history.
Cruyff's AjaxAjax, led by Johan Cruyff, dominated the championship three times in a row from 71 to 73.But above all, they have the honour of being considered the first modern team, with a 'total football' in which the fast and attacking play of 'Flaco' and other players like Johan Neeskens, under the guidance of coach Rinus Michels, prevailed.
Bayern BeckenbauerThe leadership of Ajax was overtaken by another, Franz Beckenbauer's Bayern Munich.
His team was more pragmatic and rocky, but just as effective. In the 74, 75 and 76 championship-winning saga, other phenomena included striker Torpedo Muller and goalkeeper Sepp Maier.
Arrigo Sacchi's AC MilanOnly' won two European Cups (89 and 90), but Arrigo Sacchi's AC Milan did so with such astonishing superiority that they went on to beat Real Madrid de la Quinta del Buitre 5-0. The Dutch trio (Van Basten, Rijkaard and Gullit) shone in that side, as did their Italian backbone, with Baresi and Ancelotti among them.
Leo Messi's FC BarcelonaLooking at the record, you can't say that Leo Messi's FC Barcelona has dominated the Champions League, as the Flea has won four titles from 2006 to date. However, if we stick to Pep Guardiola's years on the bench, his two titles in three years (2009 and 2011) left a mark of brilliance, something only possible thanks to two other geniuses: Xavi and Iniesta.
With Luis Enrique already in charge, 2021 was a fitting epilogue to this generation, which also included Neymar and Luis Suarez at the time.