FC Bayern München won Europe's top club competition for the first time in 25 years, with cool heads in the penalty shootout ensuring that Ottmar Hitzfeld's side got the better of Valencia CF, runners-up for a second season in a row.
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FC Bayern München 1-1 Valencia CF (aet, Bayern win 5-4 on penalties)
(Effenberg 50p; Mendieta 2p)
Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
Twenty-five years on from their last European Champion Clubs' Cup success, FC Bayern München were at it again, lifting the trophy for a fourth time after a penalties win over Valencia CF.
UEFA had billed the Milan final as a 'footballing opera' in the city of La Scala - and paying customers certainly got value for money from a match of Wagnerian length. While captains Gaizka Mendieta and Stefan Effenberg traded spot-kicks in normal time, goalkeeper Oliver Kahn held on to one from Mauricio Pellegrino at the end of extra time to secure victory.
The 1. Bundesliga club had staked a claim to the title by beating their 1999 nemesis, Manchester United FC, home and away in the quarter-finals. Then, in another revenge mission, they heaped double misery on holders Real Madrid CF - winning 1-0 in the Spanish capital then 2-1 in Bavaria - in a repeat of the previous year's semi-final.
However, contrary to German media reports, 'FC Hollywood' were not the sole attraction. There were two Anglo-Spanish skirmishes in the last eight worthy of attention. Leeds United AFC claimed the scalp of Primera División champions RC Deportivo La Coruña in one; Valencia saw off Arsenal FC on away goals in the other. But when the two met in the next round, there was only one winner: Héctor Cúper's team, 3-0 on aggregate. Valencia, though, were destined to fall at last, which considering the quality of the opposition and their coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, was no cause for shame.