Football has slowly started working its way back to our TV screens, bringing a gradual end to football fans’ weeks of being lost in the sporting wilderness. Finally.
It should be final season right now, with teams gearing up for the culmination of both the FA Cup and Champions League. We’re a long way from that right now, but if you’re itching for some silverware action, you’re in the right place. 18 May has had plenty of that in the past.
Let’s take a look at what this day in history has had to offer us…
1960 – Real Madrid Win ‘Best Game Ever’
Real Madrid picked up a 7-3 win in the 1960 European Cup final against Eintracht Frankfurt, in what was the first European final to be played in Britain.
Broadcast around the world, Alfredo Di Stéfano bagged three and Ferenc Puskás added four of his own, and this match is often credited as the event which saw football explode onto the global scene.
1991 – Spurs Make FA Cup History
Tottenham Hotspur won a then-record eighth FA Cup with a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest, ensuring legendary Forest boss Brian Clough would never manage to win the competition.
The game is most famous for a number of incidents involving Paul Gascoigne. Just a few minutes into the game, the Englishman plunged his boot into the heart of Garry Parker and somehow avoided any punishment, only to tear his cruciate ligament later on as a result of another reckless challenge on Gary Charles.
1994 – AC Milan Thump Barcelona
Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona were humbled by AC Milan in the 1994 Champions League final as Fabio Capello’s side stormed to an emphatic 4-0 victory.
Milan’s performance is often described as the greatest display in the history of European football, as goals from Dejan Savićević, Marcel Desailly and a Daniele Massaro double saw Milan pick up their fifth European Cup.
1994 – Bryan Robson Stars in Most Cursed Photo Ever
Bryan Robson became Middlesbrough’s player-manager on this day in 1994, and the club announced the decision with probably the worst photo shoot of all time.
Just look at that blazer/shorts combo. Look at it. Terrifying.
1997 – Eric Cantona Retires at 30
Sir Alex Ferguson shocked the world when he confirmed the retirement of iconic forward Eric Cantona, who was just 30 years old at the time.
His final competitive appearance came seven days earlier against West Ham United, and fans couldn’t give him the send-off he deserved as nobody knew of his decision.
2009 – Man Utd Equal Liverpool’s 18 Titles
Manchester United lifted their 18th league title (11th in the Premier League era) on this day in 2009 thanks to a 0-0 draw with Arsenal.
Let’s be honest, the game was awful and nobody remembers anything about it (largely because nothing happened), but that’s not the points. 18 times, 18 times, Man Utd,
2011 – Dominant Porto Win Europa League
Porto lifted the Europa League trophy thanks to a 1-0 win over Braga, capping off one of the most special campaigns we have ever seen.
Andre Villas-Boas’ men went unbeaten in the league, winning 27 of their 30 games, and they were led by the dominant duo of Hulk and Radamel Falcao. Hulk racked up 35 goals and 27 assists in all competitions, adding to the 38 and seven from the Colombian.
2012 – Jamie Vardy Joins Leicester
Leicester City paid a non-league record £1m to sign some randomer by the name of Jamie Vardy in 2012, and pretty much nobody cared. Boy, how times change.
Vardy is now a Premier League champion and former England international, and he shattered the record for scoring in the most consecutive games. Not bad for £1m.
2013 – David Beckham Given Hero’s Farewell
? 18th May 2013 – David Beckham played his last professional football match.
717 club appearances
27 trophies won
115 international caps
Even now, one of the most underrated players. ? pic.twitter.com/20RO9zbR1a
— 90min (@90min_Football) May 18, 2020
Paris Saint-Germain gave David Beckham the captain’s armband for his final appearance, and his teammates threw the Englishman up in the air to celebrate what was a magnificent career.
A Manchester United academy graduate, Beckham lifted six Premier League titles with the Red Devils, before winning trophies with both Real Madrid and LA Galaxy before his final stint in France.
2014 – Javier Zanetti Leaves Inter
ON THIS DAY: In 2014, Javier Zanetti played the 1,100th and final game of a glittering career.
? 5 Serie A
? 4 Supercoppa Italiana
? 4 Coppa Italia
? 1 Champions League
? 1 UEFA Cup
? 1 Club World Cup
A true legend of the game. ?⚫️ pic.twitter.com/3JLH2yf5Wb
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) May 18, 2020
Inter legend Javier Zanetti called time on his glittering career in 2014, walking away after playing his 1,100th game on this day in 2014.
The game saw Inter lose 2-1 to Chievo, but the scoreline meant nothing. This was all about celebrating the five-time Serie A champion and his record 858 appearances for the Nerazzurri.
2015 – West Brom 3-0 Chelsea
After being confirmed as Premier League champions, Chelsea obviously took their foot off the gas in the final few games of the season, but that didn’t make their 3-0 defeat to West Bromwich Albion any less surprising.
The match, which also saw Chelsea hand a debut to young Izzy Brown, featured a memorable red card for Cesc Fàbregas, who was given his marching orders for kicking the ball at Chris Brunt’s head from the other side of the pitch.
2016 – Liverpool Collapse in Europa League Final
Daniel Sturridge leaves Liverpool with 6️⃣7️⃣ goals in 160 games, including this very special finish against Sevilla in 2016. pic.twitter.com/wvunO5a3js
— ?? Ja! Watch the Bundesliga live on BT Sport?? (@btsportfootball) June 4, 2019
Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool looked to be on track to win the Europa League and qualify for the Champions League, only to throw away a half-time lead against Sevilla.
Daniel Sturridge’s stunning strike opened the scoring, but three goals after the break ensured Liverpool fell to their second final defeat of the campaign, having missed out on the League Cup at the hands of Manchester City.
2017 – Spurs Thump Champions Leicester
Harry Kane hit four as Spurs soared to a huge 6-1 win over Leicester, who were labouring in mid-table obscurity just one year after winning the title.
Son Heung-min added two spectacular strikes of his own, and the scoreline tied the record for the heaviest defeat by a reigning champion, alongside Manchester United’s 6-1 loss to Manchester City in 2011.
2019 – Manchester City Win the Treble
Manchester City became the first Premier League side to win the treble after they added the FA Cup to their Premier League and League Cup titles.
The match, a 6-0 mauling of Watford, was also Vincent Kompany’s final game for the club before leaving for Anderlecht.
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