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1956/57: Gento doubles up for Madrid

An Alfredo di Stéfano penalty and a goal from Francisco 'Paco' Gento saw Real Madrid CF pick up the European Champion Clubs' Cup for a second time, this time from General Franco at their own Santiago Bernabéu Stadium.

1956/57: Gento doubles up for Madrid
1956/57: Gento doubles up for Madrid ©AFP

Real Madrid CF 2-0 ACF Fiorentina
(Di Stéfano 69p, Gento 75)
Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid

The second edition of the European Champion Clubs' Cup saw a new name in the hat, if not on the trophy. Manchester United FC defied Football League advice to join the starting field of 22 clubs; and Matt Busby's side swept aside any doubts about their commitment to the competition with a 10-0 thrashing of RSC Anderlecht.

Another feature of the preliminary round was BV Borussia Dortmund's tie with CA Spora Luxembourg, which went to a third match after ending 5-5 on aggregate. There was no away-goals' rule and Dortmund prevailed in the play-off only to fall at the second hurdle to United. The latter's reward was a quarter-final against Athletic Club Bilbao, which United won 6-5 over two legs.

The semi-finals would be the extent of the Red Devils' progress, however. The holders, Real Madrid CF, beat them 3-1 at home then drew 2-2 away to reach the final at their Chamartín stadium. UEFA had awarded hosting rights to the Spanish side the previous summer - and only SK Rapid Wien had looked capable of denying them the chance of defending the title in front of their own fans. The Austrian team, along with other top Czechoslovakian, Hungarian and Yugoslavian sides, had pioneered European club competition in the Mitropa Cup in the 1930s. Their pedigree was clear as they overcame a 4-2 reverse in the first round in Madrid to win 3-1 in Vienna; yet even they succumbed 2-0 in a replay.

So to the final, where an AC Fiorentina side including forwards Beppe Virgili, Miguel Montuori and Brazilian winger Julinho Botelho lay in wait. The Viola had seen off Grasshopper-Club and FK Crvena Zvezda, but never recovered from a disputed Alfredo di Stéfano penalty 20 minutes from time. Paco Gento completed the scoring to leave captain Miguel Muñoz to collect the cup from General Franco.