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Copa del Rey Final

R Madrid 3 Valencia 0

Sky Sports continues a review of the best Champions League finals with a look at 1999/00.

Last Updated: 26/08/13 at 16:55

Real Madrid brushed aside Valencia with a 3-0 win at the Stade de France in the 2000 UEFA Champions League final in a game in which former Liverpool midfielder Steve McManaman was the star of the show as caretaker boss Vicente del Bosque claimed his first major title.

This is without a doubt the biggest game I have ever played in and the fact that we have come out winners is fantastic
Steve McManaman

The game marked the first time two clubs from the same nation had gone head-to-head in a European Cup final. But despite failing to beat Valencia in their two league meetings that season, Real asserted their superiority over their La Liga rivals with a commanding performance.

Fernando Morientes nodded Real, who also had Nicolas Anelka in their line-up, into the lead just before the break when Michel Salgado's cross found the striker unmarked at the back post.

Steve McManaman: The former Liverpool star was Real's Man of the Match in France

It would soon be 2-0 as McManaman scored the pick of the goals with a scissor-kick from the edge of the area. Roberto Carlos' long throw fell into his path and the England international made no mistake, firing his acrobatic effort into the bottom corner.

Steve McManaman was not just a great player. He was a leader in his own way
Vicente del Bosque

Valencia had only mustered one shot on target all game but they threw bodies forward as they looked for a way back into the tie. This gave Real the opportunity to counter-attack and when the ball fell to Raul inside his own half, he found himself with just the goalkeeper to beat. The Spaniard strode forward before rounding Canizares and finishing from an acute angle to seal the win.

Man of the Match McManaman earned plaudits for his midfield display and the victory proved to be a landmark. He repeated the feat two years later as a substitute in Real's 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen.

Fernando Morientes & Raul: The Spaniards were both on target against Valencia

Speaking after the win, McManaman said: "This is without a doubt the biggest game I have ever played in and the fact that we have come out winners is fantastic." Despite scoring one of the goals of the tournament, he remained modest about his second-half strike as he said: "I just decided to go in off Roberto's Carlos throw in. The lad has headed it out clear to me and, you know, the eyes were shut and the volley went in!"

The England international's performance was undoubtedly the highlight of his time in Spain as he found first-team football hard to come by towards the end of his spell. But in a recent interview, Del Bosque, who went on to become permanent manager, was full of praise for the midfielder.

"Steve was not just a great player," he explained. "He was a leader in his own way. He was disciplined but full of life and positive and he had the respect of all his team-mates."

It was also a momentous occasion for Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas who, after celebrating his 19th birthday just four days earlier, became the youngest goalkeeper in history to play in a Champions League final.

Martin's Memories

"This was an all-Spanish final, which was unusual at the time. It felt quite unique on the day. From a British perspective, McManaman was involved and it was interesting to see how he would cope on that stage. There was also a narrative around Real's Del Bosque in the build-up, with people asking if he would get the job full-time. You do not see many 3-0 scorelines in big finals and I felt sorry for Valencia who had done really well to get to the final."

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I

may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

Mike_Christie
Please Stop Telling Us What To Think

H

ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

TheWhiz
Wenger hails important win

I

s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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