When Vincenzo Montella takes charge of his first UEFA Champions League fixture as AS Roma coach on Tuesday, his team must do something that no other has achieved since October 2008 – condemn FC Shakhtar Donetsk to a home defeat.
The Giallorossi's need to win follows a 3-2 first-leg loss in their round of 16 tie last month, a match for which Montella was an interested onlooker and Claudio Ranieri still in the dugout. Five days later, however, Ranieri resigned following a fourth successive reverse and the 'Little Aeroplane' was ushered in from his role leading the club's Under-15 team.
To mark Montella's first continental assignment, UEFA.com recalls how the five men still standing in the competition who have won the trophy as coach fared on their European Champion Clubs' Cup debuts.
Sir Alex Ferguson:
Aberdeen FC 2-1 Berliner FC Dynamo
European Champion Clubs' Cup first round first leg, 19 September 1984
Two goals from Eric Black – a scorer when Sir Alex's Aberdeen overcame Real Madrid CF in the 1983 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup final – gave the now Manchester United FC manager a winning start in Europe's premier club competition. It would be his only success that campaign, however, for the German side prevailed on penalties in the return. For the record, Roy Keane (2) and Eric Cantona registered when United won 3-2 at Budapest Honvéd FC in Sir Alex's first UEFA Champions League game at the United helm.
Louis van Gaal:
AFC Ajax 2-0 AC Milan
UEFA Champions League group stage, 14 September 1994
Van Gaal arguably enjoyed the best debut of the lot as his talented young Ajax ensemble – featuring Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert and the De Boer twins to name but a few – defeated the holders. Milan, who a few months before had put four past FC Barcelona in the Athens final, had no answer to second-half strikes from Ronald de Boer and Jari Litmanen. Even better was to come against the Rossoneri, though, as the 18-year-old Kluivert got the only goal of the season's deciding match in Vienna.
AC Sparta Praha 0-0 Parma FC
UEFA Champions League group stage, 17 September 1997
After eliminating RTS Widzew Łódź in qualifying, Ancelotti steered the Gialloblu to a creditable point on Matchday 1. Boasting the likes of Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram, Fabio Cannavaro and Hernán Crespo in his squad, Ancelotti would not taste defeat, or concede a goal even, until Matchday 4 when Parma lost 2-0 to eventual group winners and reigning champions Borussia Dortmund.
Real Madrid CF 1-0 FC Porto
UEFA Champions League second group stage, 19 February 2002
Having taken the Porto reins a month earlier, after the departure of Octávio Machado, Mourinho's new charges succumbed to Santiago Solari's late strike in the stadium he now calls home as Madrid boss. While Porto finished bottom of the group, the Merengues went on to become European champions for the ninth, and most recent, time. The self-proclaimed 'Special One' will hope to make it ten at Wembley in May.
FC Barcelona 3-1 Sporting Clube de Portugal
UEFA Champions League group stage, 16 September 2008
A convincing winner in his first game as Blaugrana boss – a 4-0 third qualifying round triumph over Wisła Kraków – Guardiola was nonetheless in need of victory when Sporting visited the Camp Nou, having overseen a one-point haul from the season's opening two Liga matches. Victory was what he got on Matchday 1 courtesy of efforts from Rafael Márquez (21), Samuel Eto'o (60pen) and Xavi Hernández (87). Like Van Gaal, coach Guardiola would win the competition at the first attempt, as United found to their cost in Rome.
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