Top 3 individual performances in the history of UEFA Champions League

Every year, the world’s finest players compete against one another, resulting in a great deal of excitement and drama.

The Champions League has produced some of the greatest individual performances in football history as a result of multiple quality players facing off during a season.

It’s been a rollercoaster journey down the years, from match-winning performances in major knockout games to setting absurd records.

Here are the top 3 individual performances in the Champions League history.

●   Roy Keane v Juventus, 1999

Keane’s legend at Old Trafford would be eternally connected to an all-action evening in Turin as the inspirational figurehead behind English football’s most dominant squad.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s team, chasing an unprecedented treble, were two goals down in just 11 minutes at Juventus in the semi-final second leg, their chances of advancing to the final all but gone with the score 3-1 on aggregate.

Prior to their encounter with United, the tough Italian side had reached the final in each of the previous three seasons. Still, the combative Irish central midfielder’s sheer willpower would pull United back from the edge.

Keane was undeterred and dragged United through, with goals from Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole eventually securing their position in the final, which they would win, immortalising themselves as treble winners. 

●   Robert Lewandowski v Real Madrid, 2013

The 2013 Borussia Dortmund team is one of the great “cult hero” football teams. With a lineup that would go on to dominate European football for years and a manager in Jurgen Klopp (we wonder what happened to him? ), the German team advanced to the Champions League semi-finals before meeting 9-time champions Real Madrid.

In the first leg of the semi-final, Dortmund’s biggest talent, Polish striker Robert Lewandowski, demonstrated why he was so highly regarded. The Pole ripped apart Real’s defence, scoring four goals to put Dortmund out of contention in the Spanish capital — the best of which was the fourth goal.

On the grandest stage, Lewandowski embarrassed a Madrid club that had just won La Liga and would go on to win four of the following five Champions Leagues. Most importantly, he added a fifth goal in the second leg. Dortmund lost the final to German rivals Bayern Munich, but the semi-final victory (mainly due to Lewandowski’s performance) is one of the best Champions League moments in recent years. 

●   Ronaldo v Manchester United, 2003

When Real Madrid knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League semi-finals, Ronaldo deservedly received a standing ovation at Old Trafford for a truly brilliant performance.

Sir Alex Ferguson’s team needed to score early after losing 3-1 in the first leg at the Bernabeu, but Ronaldo delivered, turning away from Rio Ferdinand and smashing a wobbling ball first-time past Fabian Barthez at the near post.

He didn’t press from the front or track back, instead loitering in hazardous positions, conserving energy – vital for a player who missed two years of football due to knee issues – before exploding with a dash in behind at the right time.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: