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Hampden memories for Madrid and Eintracht

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Real Madrid CF's 7-3 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt, a game which continues to be regarded as one of the greatest European finals of all.

Hampden memories for Madrid and Eintracht
Hampden memories for Madrid and Eintracht ©

The 2009/10 UEFA Champions League final follows hot on the heels of the 50th anniversary of perhaps the greatest final ever: Real Madrid CF's 7-3 victory against Eintracht Frankfurt in 1959/60.

Los Merengues' fifth successive European Champion Clubs' Cup success was undoubtedly their most impressive, with Miguel Muñoz's side recovering from conceding an opening goal to Richard Kress to lead 3-1 at the break. It was 7-3 by full time with Alfredo di Stéfano hitting a hat-trick and Ferenc Puskás scoring four.

Di Stéfano told "That was the easiest final; the most difficult one and the easiest. We were losing 1-0. They hit the crossbar as well. When we were 2-1 up we kept attacking because our team was full of good attacking players. By the end it seemed as if we were scoring goals with our hands rather than our feet."

The combination of Puskás and Di Stéfano was a lethal one, although the latter was at pains to underline that the Madrid of 1960 were not a two-man side. "We were fighters, knew each other very well, never gave up, always knew what was needed," he said. "We knew that running would help us win and in our team, everyone ran."

Team-mate Francisco Gento could not fault Di Stéfano's assessment, adding: "It was a football lesson from Real Madrid and it has been acclaimed everywhere in the world. We had to come back on the football pitch because the spectators wanted to applaud us even more and this feeling of elation will remain with me for ever."

It was a lesson that none of the massive crowd at Glasgow's Hampden Park would forget, let alone the Eintracht players. Striker Erwin Stein, who scored twice in the second half, none the less felt for a while that Eintracht – then an amateur side – might be about to pull off an incredible upset.

"We led 1-0, and saw that Real Madrid were totally shocked," he said. "It gave us great hopes of winning. Even after Real made it 1-1, we were still confident. But after Real scored their second, we understood that the Spanish side were too strong. At that time, the difference between Real Madrid and the other clubs was tremendous."

Stein will be among the clutch of surviving members of that Eintracht side who will visit the Spanish capital for this season's UEFA Champions League final, meeting their counterparts from the 1959/60 Madrid side.

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