Having won the UEFA Cup in the previous season, the brilliance of Deco helped spearhead José Mourinho's FC Porto towards a 3-0 success against AS Monaco FC in the UEFA Champions League final in Gelsenkirchen.
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AS Monaco FC 0-3 FC Porto
(Carlos Alberto 39, Deco 71, Alenichev 75)
Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen
FC Porto followed up their 2003 UEFA Cup success by winning the UEFA Champions League in 2004 with a 3-0 victory against AS Monaco FC in Gelsenkirchen. Playmaker Deco provided the creative spark for José Mourinho's disciplined side as the Portuguese champions surprised Europe by reclaiming the trophy for the first time since 1987.
Despite a comfortable passage through the group stage, Porto started as underdogs when drawn against Manchester United FC in the Round of 16. United duly took the lead in the first leg at the Estádio do Dragão, but two goals from Benni McCarthy turned the tie on its head. Even then United looked likely to advance after leading for much of the second leg at Old Trafford. Costinha's last minute-strike, however, earned Porto a 1-1 draw and sent them through 3-2 on aggregate. A defiant Mourinho strode from the pitch with arms raised in celebration: Europe had been warned of the depth of his side's resolve.
Olympique Lyonnais were Porto's next victims before RC Deportivo La Coruña fell to a solitary Derlei penalty over two legs in the semi-finals. Porto's resiliant back line, led by the masterful Ricardo Carvalho, had proved too strong for Depor, who had earlier provided one of the shocks of the season by battling back to knockout AC Milan in the quarter-finals after losing the first leg 4-1.
Even so, free-scoring Monaco were expected to provide Porto with a sterner test in the final. Didier Deschamps' side had produced the performance of the group stage on their way to finishing top of Group C, Dado Pršo scoring four as Monaco thrashed Depor 8-3 at the Stade Louis II, and the goals kept flowing in the knockout rounds.
Fernando Morientes scored twice against Real Madrid CF, who had loaned him to Monaco, as the French side recovered from a 4-2 first-leg deficit to advance on the away-goals rule. Monaco hit five more over two legs against Chelsea FC to reach the final 5-3 on aggregate, but in Gelsenkirchen the goals ran dry. Instead it was Porto who played with freedom at the Arena AufSchalke, and goals from Carlos Alberto, Deco and Dmitri Alenichev sealed a convincing victory.