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Milan maestros recall Wembley joy in 1963

Published: Friday 29 April 2011, 9.31CET
In the lead up to the 2011 showpiece, UEFA.com will hear from stars of past Wembley finals, with Cesare Maldini and Giovanni Trapattoni recalling AC Milan's triumph in 1963.

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Published: Friday 29 April 2011, 9.31CET

Milan maestros recall Wembley joy in 1963

In the lead up to the 2011 showpiece, UEFA.com will hear from stars of past Wembley finals, with Cesare Maldini and Giovanni Trapattoni recalling AC Milan's triumph in 1963.

The first team to win the European Champion Clubs' Cup at Wembley were Nereo Rocco's AC Milan, who became the first Italian side to win Europe's top club compeitition when two goals from José Altafini in the 1963 decider cancelled out Eusébio's opener for SL Benfica.

All those steps [to climb to get to the trophy] - it felt like I was never going to get up there.
Cesare Maldini

Brazilian striker Altafini inspired the first of Milan's seven European Cup successes and that success went some way to overlaying lingering bad memories of the 1957/58 decider, which Milan lost 3-2 against Real Madrid CF after extra-time. Now Republic of Ireland coach, the 72-year-old Trapattoni would win they trophy two more times as a player and coach, but that first victory remains the special one. Captain Cesare Maldini, 79, won his only European Cup at Wembley, though - as he recalls here - he felt he had climbed a mountain by the time he lifted the trophy.

Giovanni Trapattoni
There are stadiums which, for whoever plays football, were back then called cathedrals, like huge churches - and Wembley is one of those, where English football dominated in Europe. Back then the players said, I am going to play in a cathedral comparable to the Vatican. To play at Wembley meant to play in the best stadium in the world. There was Wembley, and then also the Maracaña.

Cesare Maldini
We got to the final [in 1958], we lost in extra time. Against Real Madrid. I remember it very well - the third goal went through a tangle of a hundred legs. And then we were back in a final with Benfica. At Wembley. We played well - two goals from Altafini. And they had a really strong team - Eusébio, lots of players.

Giovanni Trapattoni
I remember the match against Benfica very clearly, the goal scored by Eusébio, and then the two goals that Milan managed to score. It was a great triumph, as we were the first Italian team to win the European Cup. After us there was also Inter. But it was really a great match against that Benfica team; they were one of the strongest teams in Europe at that point. After being 1-0 behind, to then win 2-1 makes something explode in you, which is something you dream of at night.

Cesare Maldini
All those steps [to climb to get to the trophy] - it felt like I was never going to get up there. It would have been easier to pick up the cup down on the pitch.

Giovanni Trapattoni
When you climb up the steps and then do the lap of honour round the stadium with the trophy, you feel this adrenalin in you, and there is this atmosphere. And I can see it right in front of me, when we did two laps around the stadium with the trophy, with all the fans coming onto the pitch, so the pitch was full of fans.

Last updated: 27/11/12 14.20CET

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