Five great European performances
After Lionel Messi's masterclass against Arsenal, we look at five other memorable performances in Europe's top club competition.
GEORGE BEST (Benfica 1 Manchester United 5, March 9, 1966): Teenager George Best was dubbed ‘El Beatle’ and elevated to popstar status after a stunning display which included two goals against Benfica at the Stadium of Light in a European Cup quarter-final second leg.
FERENC PUSKAS (Eintracht Frankfurt 3 Real Madrid 7, May 18, 1960): Ferenc Puskas bagged four goals in what is regarded as one of the greatest ever European Cup finals. Alfredo di Stefano’s hat-trick is almost overshadowed by Puskas’ display as Real Madrid beat Eintracht Frankfurt 7–3 in front of a crowd of 127,621 at Hampden Park, Glasgow.
MARCO VAN BASTEN (AC Milan 4 Steaua Bucuresti 0, May 24, 1989): Dutch superstar Marco van Basten was at the peak of his powers and gave an attacking masterclass capped by two goals in the final at the Nou Camp against a team who had won the European Cup just three years earlier.
STEVEN GERRARD (AC Milan 3 Liverpool 3, May 25, 2005): Steven Gerrard was the inspiration for Liverpool’s amazing comeback from a 3-0 half-time deficit to draw 3-3 with AC Milan before winning in a penalty shoot-out. The Reds looked dead and buried at the interval but the skipper gave them hope with a 54th minute goal before further efforts from Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso.
ROY KEANE (Juventus 2 Manchester United 3, April 21, 1999): Roy Keane produced an outstanding performance to drive Manchester United into the Champions League final — despite picking up a yellow card along the way which ruled him out of the big match. After the first leg finished 1-1, United were 2-0 down when Keane scored with a header to spark the comeback.