Dortmund 3 Juve 1

Sky Sports continues a review of the best Champions League finals with a look at 1996/97.

Last Updated: 26/08/13 at 16:52

The 1997 Champions League final is perhaps best remembered in Britain for Paul Lambert. The Scot is now known as the manager of Aston Villa but 16 years ago he was delivering a man of the match performance in snuffing out Zinedine Zidane.

I knew that Juventus at that time were very powerful, and I knew the players that they had. But I also had the belief in my ability
Paul Lambert

Borussia Dortmund caused a major upset by winning the game 3-1 against the continental royalty and defending champions of Juventus on German home soil in Munich's Olympic Stadium. Two goals from future Liverpool striker Karl-Heinz Riedle and one from 20-year-old Lars Ricken, just 16 seconds after entering the game as a substitute, either side of Alessandro Del Piero's consolation secured the victory.

However, the success owed much to the tenacious performance of Lambert in the heart of Dortmund's midfield, where he ensured he went down as a one-and-a-bit-season wonder and gained that rare status of becoming a successful Brit abroad.

Karl-Heinz Riedle: The striker scored twice for Dortmund in the opening 34 minutes

Alongside central midfield partner and another future British Football League manager, Paulo Sousa, Lambert came out on top against Zidane and Didier Deschamps to give Ottmar Hitzfeld's Dortmund the platform to win their one and only European Cup to date.

He did not cost a fortune when I bought him, and no-one expected him to become a key player. But he did
Ottmar Hitzfeld

Lambert, though, remains typically conservative and pragmatic about what he achieved, as he later reflected: "To be honest, I was never bothered that they (Zidane and Deschamps) were playing. I knew I had to look after my game, first and foremost... I knew that Juventus at that time were very powerful, and I knew the players that they had. But I also had the belief in my ability that I could handle being in that company."

Riedle had scored twice after just 34 minutes, opening his account from close range after a Lambert assist following Juventus' failure to properly clear a set-piece before adding his second with a header from Andreas Moller's inswinging corner.

Up for the cup: Dortmund celebrate after upsetting defending champions Juventus in Munich

Half-time substitute Del Piero gave Marcello Lippi's Juventus a lifeline in the 64th minute when converting Alen Boksic's low cross with a slick backheel. But Dortmund substitute Ricken ended the game as a contest with his first touch seven minutes later with a clever lobbed finish over Juventus goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi at the end of a counter-attack.

Zidane was allowed to hit a post with a low drive in the first half but the future Ballon D'or and three-time World Footballer of the Year was otherwise unable to influence the game under the close scrutiny of Lambert.

Lambert, who has also managed Norwich City, Colchester United, Wycombe Wanderers and Livingston, became the first British player to win the European Cup with a non-United Kingdom club and was also the first Brit to win the Champions League since its inception.

The reserved now-43-year-old is said to keep his Champions League medal in a drawer at his home, rather than on display. But there is no doubt about what he achieved, with Hitzfeld once saying of Lambert's attributes: "He did not cost a fortune when I bought him, and no-one expected him to become a key player. But he did...What was most critical is that Paul was a very good team player."

Martin's Memories

"I must admit the Olympic Stadium in Munich was my least favourite commentary ground, because of the running track and the distance from the pitch. But thankfully the goals were all very clear-cut and it was a smashing night of cup football. Juventus had won the year before, but continued the cycle of teams failing to retain the trophy. It was a very well merited win for Dortmund, though, and, looking at it from the British attitude to sport, it is always exciting when the underdog does well."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

t's why Mourinho is so successful. He gives players a specific, limited set of functions to perform. They are but a cog in a machine. Do no more, do no less. I assume he learnt it from LvG :)

red_devil83
Fellaini Has Politely Become Undroppable

I

really hope that someone in the mainstream media spots that the Bayern manager played for and managed Barcelona quite well, and thinks to mention it in the build up. That would be really interesting.

megabrow (cufc)
Barcelona to face Bayern

Y

our gob says one thing, Brendan, the results say something else.

balls-to-monty
Rodgers bullish over Anfield future

Footer 365

Marouane Fellaini: I never lost my quality during first Man Utd season

Marouane Fellaini has taken a swipe at his critics, saying his fruitful time at Everton was "quickly forgotten".

Hazard, Costa, Terry among six Chelsea players in PFA's Premier League team of the year

Six Chelsea players have been named in the Professional Footballers' Association's Premier League team of the season.

Tottenham and Everton winger Aaron Lennon investigated by police

Greater Manchester Police are investigating claims that Aaron Lennon assaulted a woman in a Manchester nightclub.

Mail Box

Chelsea Millions Should Buy Better...

For the money they have spent, Chelsea should be playing like the Harlem Globetrotters rather than Atletico. We have mails on Cesc, Brendan Rodgers and...

Brendan Rodgers Is David Cameron...

Rodgers is compared to the Prime Minister, insomuch as he has a right to peddle bulls**t, apparently. Plus why comparing Arsene Wenger to Diego Simeone is a mug's game...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company