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Champions League Final > facts and figures May 22, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Football.

Facts and figures relating to the Champions League final between AC Milan and Liverpool in Athens >

* Athens is staging the final of Europe’s premier club competition for the third time following the finals of 1983 and 1994.

* Both of those finals also featured an Italian club with Hamburg SV defeating Juventus 1-0 in 1983 and Milan beating Barcelona 4-0 13 years ago. Athens’ port district of Pireaus also played host to the Cup Winners’s Cup finals in 1971, 1973, when Milan beat Leeds United 1-0, and 1987.

* Milan have already played a Champions League match in Athens this season, losing a group stage match 1-0 to AEK on November 21 last year.

* This is the 52nd final since the competition began as the European Cup in 1955-56, with AC Milan making their 11th appearance and attempting to win the trophy for the seventh time.

* Their six previous successes were in 1963, 1969, 1989, 1990, 1994 and 2003 and their losing appearances came in 1958, 1993, 1995 and 2005, against Liverpool.

* Liverpool are making their seventh appearance in the final, having won the trophy in 1977, 1978, 1981, 1984 and 2005 against Milan. They lost in 1985.

* It will be Liverpool’s fourth successive European Cup final against Italian opposition after facing AS Roma in 1984, Juventus in 1985 and Milan in 2005. Milan have played two finals against English clubs, against Leeds in the 1973 Cup Winners’ Cup and Liverpool in the Champions League.

* If he overcomes a knee problem and plays Paolo Maldini will appear in his eighth final for Milan, winning in 1989, 1990, 1994 and 2003 and losing in 1993, 1995 and 2005.

* He will also become, at the age of 38 years 331 days, the oldest outfield player to appear in a European Cup/Champions League final. The oldest player to appear was Juventus goalkeeper Dino Zoff, aged 41 years 86 days in 1983.

* His Milan team mate Alessandro Costacurta, 41, could become the oldest outfield player as well, but is unlikely to play. Maldini’s goal in the first minute against Liverpool in 2005 was only the second goal ever scored in the first minute of the final and also made him the oldest goalscorer for his own side. Barcelona goalie Antonio Ramallets was older when he scored an own goal for Benfica in 1961. Maldini will draw level with Real Madrid’s Francisco Gento (eight finals) if he plays. He currently shares seven appearances with Real’s Alfredo di Stefano. His father Cesare captained Milan when they won the European Cup for the first time in 1963. Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti is one of only five men to win the European Cup as both a player and a coach. He was in Milan’s winning sides of 1989 and 1990 and was coach when they beat Juventus on penalties in 2003.

* Ancelotti and his Liverpool counterpart Rafael Benitez are attempting to become the 14th men to win two European Cups as coach. Only Liverpool’s Bob Paisley has won three.

* Although Real Madrid have appeared in 12 European Cup finals and won a record nine times, Milan have reached more finals since the Champions League era began in 1992-93. This is their sixth final since the Champions League was introduced and they are attempting to win it for the third time, the same as Madrid in the same period.

* Milan’s Clarence Seedorf is the only player to win the European Cup with three different clubs: Ajax Amsterdam (1995), Real Madrid in 1998 and Milan in 2003. In 1995 he played against Milan. If Milan win he will become the first player to win the Champions League four times. Kaka of Milan is the highest scorer in the competition this season with 10 goals. He needs another four in the final to equal the record for one season of 14 established by Milan’s Jose Altafini in 1962-63. The only previous European meeting between Liverpool and Milan was the 2005 final.

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