The Greatest Games – Milan 2 Benfica 1

Today we take a look back at a game of genuine historical importance in European football history. On today’s episode of Greatest Games, we’re joined by The Independent’s Miguel Delaney to discuss the 1963 European Cup final between Milan and Benfica.

This pivotal moment in the history of the European Cup cannot be understated; it represented two dominant teams at opposite ends of their respective cycles. Milan arrived as purveyors of a free-scoring, but still pragmatic, catenaccio and regarded themselves as significant underdogs.

But, with their manager Nereo Rocco’s pre-match antics on the bus helping to lighten the mood, two goals from José Altafini denied Benfica their third consecutive European Cup. This was an early example of modernity in football tactics; a team winning on the strength of a tactical system with eleven components, rather than relying on eleven individuals beating their opposite man.

Miguel's article for The Blizzard about this match is available here:


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