For the first time in history, 1989/90 saw all three major UEFA trophies were won by Italian clubs, Frank Rijkaard putting the icing on the cake with AC Milan's European Champion Clubs' Cup final winner against SL Benfica.
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AC Milan 1-0 SL Benfica
1990 was Italy's year. Not only did they host the FIFA World Cup finals; they also provided a temporary home for the three European trophies. With the UEFA Cup and UEFA Cup Winners' Cup headed for Juventus FC and Sampdoria UC respectively, AC Milan completed an unprecedented grand slam by retaining the European Champion Clubs' Cup.
Frank Rijkaard's goal against an uninspired SL Benfica made for a comfortable victory in Vienna - yet the Rossoneri's passage to the final was not so predictable. Arrigo Sacchi's men had avoided the fate of neighbours Internazionale FC - knocked out by IFK Malmö FK - by defeating another northern side, HJK Helsinki, in the first round.
They then outclassed Real Madrid CF as they had in the semi-finals 12 months earlier. But tougher examinations came in the form of impressive quarter-finalists KV Mechelen and FC Bayern München - the one beaten 2-0 on aggregate after extra time, the other on away goals after extra time. And had the referee spotted a clear handball in the other semi-final between Benfica and Olympique de Marseille, Milan's success might have been even harder earned.
The Portuguese side had excelled in winning all six ties against Derry City FC, Kispest Honvéd FC and FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. But they were lucky to emerge from Marseille with only a 2-1 loss and then needed a controversial handled effort from striker Vata to go through on away goals. If the French team's day was still to come, Milan were sure to enjoy theirs while it lasted.