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Amsterdam's historic finals

Published: Thursday 2 May 2013, 23.00CET
The Amsterdam ArenA is staging its second major European final but the city has been the centre of the club football world many times – and not just during AFC Ajax games.

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Published: Thursday 2 May 2013, 23.00CET

Amsterdam's historic finals

The Amsterdam ArenA is staging its second major European final but the city has been the centre of the club football world many times – and not just during AFC Ajax games.

The 2013 UEFA Europa League final between SL Benfica and Chelsea FC will be the second continental showpiece at the Amsterdam ArenA since it opened in August 1996.

The city's Olympisch Stadion has also hosted two stand-alone finals along with the home ties of several other AFC Ajax deciders – for the 1972 European/South American Cup, the 1973, 1987 and 1995 UEFA Super Cups and the 1991/92 UEFA Cup.

In addition, AZ Alkmaar played the home leg of their 1981 UEFA Cup final loss to Ipswich Town FC at the Olympisch, and it also staged England's 4-0 defeat of Spain in the 1964 UEFA International Youth Tournament decider, Under-18 precursor to the UEFA European U19 Championship. looks back at the one-legged wonders.

Mijatović on the 1998 final

20 May 1998
Juventus 0-1 Real Madrid CF
UEFA Champions League final
(Mijatović 66)
Madrid's status as the most successful side in Europe's top club tournament was something of a burden by 1998 – after all, they had won the most recent of their six European Champion Clubs' Cups in 1966. Up against a Juventus team that had reached the previous two finals, Jupp Heynckes' men had reason to feel nervous at the Amsterdam ArenA, yet, as it was, Predrag Mijatović scored the only goal of the game after 66 minutes.

"For the first three or four hours it wasn't really believable," Mijatović told recently. "Then you realise and see that it is true and that we'd become European champions – and that I'd scored a very important goal, not only for me but for the history of Real Madrid." It would be the start of a golden spell for the Merengues, who won the UEFA Champions League on two further occasions in the next four seasons.

11 May 1977
Hamburger SV 2-0 RSC Anderlecht
European Cup Winners' Cup final

(Volkert 80, Magath 90)
Germanic resilience and no small amount of skill proved the keys for Hamburg in Amsterdam as they denied Anderlecht a second successive European Cup Winners' Cup triumph. A crowd of 58,000 – including around 25,000 fans from each club – ensured a powerful atmosphere at the Olympisch Stadion.

Yet a Hamburg outfit featuring Manfred Kaltz in defence, Felix Magath and Caspar Memering in midfield and veteran Georg 'Scorsch' Volkert on the wing, managed to repel a Belgian onslaught, even if Anderlecht coach Raymond Goethals fielded Arie Haan in an unusual attacking role. The breakthrough came when Kuno Klötzer's team were awarded a penalty and Volkert drove the spot kick coolly past Jan Ruiter. Anderlecht tried to move up a gear, yet it was not to be their night. Magath found a hole in the defence to seal the victory at the death.

©Getty Images

Ferenc Puskás scores against Benfica

2 May 1962
SL Benfica 5-3 Real Madrid CF
European Champion Clubs' Cup final
(José Águas 25, Cavém 33, Mário Coluna 50, Eusébio 64 69; Puskás 18 23 39)
Amsterdam's first European final was one of the undisputed classics: a meeting of Béla Guttmann's reigning champions and Miguel Muñoz's star-spangled Madrid. Alfredo Di Stéfano and Luis Del Sol were at their peak, although Ferenc Puskás looked like stealing the show after scoring a first-half hat-trick.

Goals from Benfica's José Águas and Cavém kept Madrid within sight in the first half at the Olympisch, however, and – with Güttmann having detailed Cavém to mark Di Stéfano out of the game – it was all-square once Mário Coluna found the target from distance. Thus the stage was set for Eusébio to deliver the coup de grace. He first converted a 64th-minute penalty, then crashed home a second on 69 minutes, though he later recalled that "it was soaking wet and the ball ended up weighing a kilo". As the 20-year-old swapped shirts with Di Stéfano at the final whistle, it seemed a baton had been passed on.

Last updated: 04/12/13 7.15CET