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1999/2000: Madrid on top of Spain and Europe

Vicente del Bosque's Real Madrid CF outclassed Valencia CF in Paris as an all-Spanish UEFA Champions League final was settled by goals from Fernando Morientes, Steve McManaman and a youthful Raúl González.

Raúl González (left) and Fernando Morientes both scored in the final
Raúl González (left) and Fernando Morientes both scored in the final ©Getty Images

Real Madrid CF 3-0 Valencia CF
(Morientes 39, McManaman 67, Raúl 75)
Stade de France, Paris

They used to say Spain was different. Well, it certainly gave novelty value to the 1999/2000 season with the appearance of two Primera División clubs in the UEFA Champions League final - the first time domestic rivals had contested the top prize. Yet given the inflated nature of the competition (the eight autumn groups of four now fed into a spring group stage involving 16 teams) neither Real Madrid CF nor Valencia CF were Spanish champions.

That honour had gone to FC Barcelona, a third team to carry the Iberian challenge into the quarter-finals. Here the Catalan side won a thrilling tie against Chelsea FC 6-4 on aggregate; Valencia hammered S.S. Lazio 5-2 at Mestalla before a 1-0 Rome reverse; while Madrid defeated holders Manchester United FC 3-2 with all five goals coming at Old Trafford.

Vicente del Bosque's side had hardly impressed when losing Group C matches, 4-2 and 4-1, to FC Bayern München in February and March. Now, though, they were going into a semi-final series against the Bavarians in buoyant mood. Remarkably, Bayern beat them again - 2-1 at the Olympiastadion - but not before a 2-0 success for the Merengues in Madrid.

Meanwhile, Valencia enjoyed a 4-1 drubbing of Barcelona before confirming their place at the Stade de France with a narrow 2-1 loss at Camp Nou. In hindsight, it was the least Héctor Cúper's side deserved. For they were not their usual exuberant selves in the final and Madrid took full advantage with goals from Fernando Morientes, Steve McManaman and Raúl González.