1966/67: Celtic adventure reaps reward

Having fielded ten Glasgow-born players in the Lisbon final, Jock Stein was rewarded for his commitment to Scottish talent as Celtic FC took the European Champion Clubs' Cup from FC Internazionale Milano.

1966/67: Celtic adventure reaps reward
1966/67: Celtic adventure reaps reward ©UEFA.com

Celtic FC 2-1 FC Internazionale Milano
(Gemmell 63, Chalmers 84; Mazzola 7p)
Nacional de Jamor, Lisbon

"It was inevitable. Sooner or later the Inter of [Helenio] Herrera, the Inter of catenaccio, of marginal victories, had to pay for their refusal to play entertaining football." Thus argued the Portuguese newspaper Mundo Desportivo after Celtic FC became the first non-Latin winners of the European Champion Clubs' Cup in 1966/67.

The Scottish team's victory – one of open play over the "negative football" of FC Internazionale Milano – was all the more remarkable because manager Jock Stein had fielded ten Glasgow-born players in the final at Lisbon's Estádio Nacional. The local boys made good, though, replying to Sandro Mazzola's early penalty and Inter's spoiling tactics with second-half goals from Tommy Gemmell and Steve Chalmers.

The Italian side had been clear favourites to lift the trophy. Although they needed a play-off to beat FC CSKA Sofia in the semi-finals, the Nerazzurri had knocked out holders Real Madrid CF in the quarter-finals, 3-0 on aggregate. Yet Celtic's quality was also clear as they disposed of FC Zürich, FC Nantes Atlantique, FK Vojvodina and Dukla Prague.

The closest-run thing for them was the last-eight clash with Vojvodina, surprise second-round conquerors of Club Atlético de Madrid. One-nil up at Celtic Park after a 1-0 reverse in Yugoslavia, Stein's men were spared the potential banana skin of a replay by an 89th-minute header from Billy McNeill. That year's other big achievers were Linfield FC: the Northern Irish champions reached the quarter-finals where they were beaten 1-0 by CSKA Sofia after a 2-2 draw in Belfast.