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1958/59: Di Stéfano keeps Madrid rolling

Just Fontaine was the jewel in the crown of the 1958/59 Stade de Reims Champagne side, but he could not avenge their defeat in the first European Champion Clubs' Cup as Real Madrid CF made it four in a row in Stuttgart.

Madrid celebrate success in the 1958/59 European Cup final
Madrid celebrate success in the 1958/59 European Cup final ©Real Madrid

Real Madrid CF 2-0 Stade de Reims
(Mateos 1, Di Stéfano 47)
Neckarstadion, Stuttgart

The 1958/59 season saw a rerun of the original European Champion Clubs' Cup final between Real Madrid CF and Stade de Reims. Albert Batteux's team included Just Fontaine, the French international striker who had hit 13 goals in the 1958 FIFA World Cup finals. It was Fontaine who scored twice as Reims recovered a 2-0 first-leg deficit to win their quarter-final against R. Standard de Liège 3-2 on aggregate.

Fontaine and Co also had to come from behind in the semi-final with BSC Young Boys - though they were not alone in their struggles. Madrid, boosted by the arrival of the great Hungarian Ferenc Puskás, needed Doña Fortuna on their side in the last-four clash with neighbours Club Atlético de Madrid. Atlético had qualified for the competition as runners-up to Madrid in the Spanish first division, yet here they were anything but second best. After losing 2-1 at Chamartín, the Rojiblancos forced a play-off by winning the second leg through a solitary Enrique Collar strike. But Puskás's class told as the Galloping Major grabbed the third and deciding goal in the replay.

Another great name of the mid-1950s failed to live up to billing elsewhere in the draw, Wolverhampton Wanderers FC falling to FC Schalke 04 in the First Round. Still, Spanish expectations were met in the final as Enrique Mateos and Alfredo di Stéfano gave Madrid - hamstrung by the absence of Puskás and an early injury to Raymond Kopa - a routine 2-0 victory.