Real Madrid plays its seventeenth final in the Champions League and its guardian, the European Cup 1. The first one was in 1962 in Amsterdam.
Photo Joop van Bilsen through the National Archives
On May 2, 1962, Real Madrid played the final for the European Cup 1 in Amsterdam. In the Olympic Stadium, Benfica was the outermost, Eusebio’s team. about a hundred million people watched this match The lead was in the hands of the legendary Dutch referee Worldwide Leo Horn†
The football shown was of quality, according to those present. the Leeuwarder Courant wrote on May 3, 1962: ‘The goals in this fierce, yet not particularly unsportsmanlike duel were all of very good quality and the spectators saw steel technique and shots, of which most footballers in the Netherlands only dream. The huge shots from the Portuguese Eusebio and Coluna and from the Hungarian Spaniard Puskas were worth a trip to the stadium alone.’
Despite Real Madrid’s rapid progress, Benf won 5-3, with the last two goals being scored by Eusebio.
The first goal of the game immediately entranced the spectators and it would continue for ninety minutes. “The match will be remembered for a long time,” said the Leeuwarder Courant† ‘It was especially the playing of Puskas, Eusebio, Coluna and Gento that was impressed, but each and every one of them were grandmasters. We will have to wait a long time before we will be able to see a match of some sort in the Netherlands again.’
That could have happened as early as May 5, 1962 if Eusebio hadn’t scored the last two goals. In that case, it would have remained 3-3 and a replay would have also been played between the two finalists – at the Olympic Stadium. A decision was therefore not forced by penalty kicks after extra time. If it had still been equal after 120 minutes, Amsterdam could have looked twice at Real Madrid – Benfica.
But the Portuguese didn’t feel like that. The scenes of joy in the dressing room afterwards, which just about everyone could join, were immense. Eusebio staggered through the halls, sobbing, through the tumult of the supporters. Without opening it, Eusebio was pushed into the where trainer Bela Guttmann caught him.
Not back on Earth yet. According to an existing journalist, he was therefore put on the table, where he came to a violent, shocking slow natural state. In a short time the career of these achievements had reached, want to a year earlier – so called the Leeuwarder Courant – Eusebio still fished shells along the beaches of Mozambique.
The other Benfica players also struggled with what had happened in the past few hours. Augusto, for example, stood with his head bowed against the wall, sobbing because the tension was too great.
Referee Leo Horn looked back with satisfaction. He was positive about the Portuguese’s play and felt that it had not been a competition to lead.