"It was one of those days when you go out and play, and everything just seems to click." Steve McManaman
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The 1999/2000 UEFA Champions League season broke new ground, with its biggest field yet whittled down to, for the first time, to a final featuring two teams from the same country. However, Real Madrid CF's eighth final success ensured that proceedings ended on a familiar note.
They won it in some style, too, against an exuberant Valencia CF side that had thrilled en route to Paris, not least with a 4-1 drubbing of Spanish champions FC Barcelona in the last four. National order was restored at the Stade de France, with Héctor Cúper's side's stylish attack pushed back throughout, their supply lines cut by a Madrid team committed to fighting fire with fire.
Their opening goal six minutes before half-time was a case in point, involving both full-backs as Roberto Carlos's free-kick eventually found its way to Míchel Salgado on the right. He scooped a cross towards the far post where Fernando Morientes was on hand to head down past Santiago Cañizares. How long ago the Merengues' heavy second group stage defeats against FC Bayern München three months earlier now felt.
Valencia pushed for an equaliser, with Gaizka Mendieta always a threat, but Madrid held firm and always looked the more likely scorers. Cañizares did well to deny Raúl González after the hour but it brought only a brief reprieve – four minutes later Steve McManaman made it 2-0. The Englishman, outstanding as the midfield foil to the flighty Fernando Redondo, collected a clearance on the edge of the box and drove a shot inside the post.
Seven minutes later the contest was put beyond Valencia's reach by Raúl, who gathered a pass from substitute Sávio and dashed 60 metres before rounding off the move and the win.