( 37 Votes )

1960-scoreboard

Real Madrid dominated European Football by winning the four first European Cups. Eintracht Frankfurt however, found themselves in a European Cup final for the first time but seemed capable of seriously challenging Real's supremacy. Eintracht was an all German Team demonstrating an exciting quick attacking football style. Their key players were Alfred Pfaff, Richard Kress, an exceptional winger while Erwin Stein and Dieter Lindner formed a formidable front line. Real Madrid on the other hand, had players from all over the world.

Both sides had impressive wins in their respective semi-finals. Real Madrid after going past Jeunesse Esch and Nice from France, they achieved two 3-1 wins against their bitter rivals Barcelona, Meanwhile, in the other semi-final, Eintracht demolished Rangers by putting 12 goals past them over both legs, 6-1 in Germany and 3-6 away in Glasgow. Click below to see the Road to the Final for both teams. 

1960-Road-to-the-final

The final between the two teams was one of the best matches in the history of the European Cup. On May 18th 1960, a still holding record crowd of 135,000 spectators packed in Hampden Park in Glasgow to watch the two teams battling for the crown of Europe. BBC was broadcasting live to more than 70,000,000 viewers across Europe. Among the huge crowd was a young Alex Ferguson, whose eyes were opened to the glorious possibilities of expansive football.

When the final kicked off, it looked as if Real players underestimated their opponents. On the other hand, Eintracht players started the match inspired, full of confidence, enthusiasm and energy. Rogelio Dominguez, Real's goalkeeper, had to make several great saves from Eintracht forwards Erwin Stein and Richard Kress before Real got into the game. The Germans finally achieved a well deserved goal on the 18th minute with Richard Kress with a nice volley from the near post after a nice cross from Erwin Stein. Until then, Real's performance was beneath expectations and it seemed that the Germans were capable of winning the European Cup. But that was really just the beginning of the end for Eintracht. Real were insulted that the Germans had the audacity to take the lead. Real players awakened and on the 27th minute Canario passed the ball to Alfredo Di Stefano who leveled the score with a nice shot. Di Stefano scored once again and even today, he holds the amazing record of scoring in five successive European Cup Finals. Two minutes later, Canario shot from away, Di Stefano took the rebound after a weak save by Egon Loy, the German goalkeeper, and scored again thus giving Real Madrid a 2:1 lead. Di Stefano was all over the pitch, Francisco Gento and Canario were giving the pace and Ferenc Puskas was on a scoring spree up front. Real was dominating the match and it was only a matter of time for the Eintracht defence to collapse. Now it was Puskas that took over the role of goal scorer. On the dying moments of first half, Puskas powered his shot into the roof of the net giving Real Madrid a 3-1 lead at half time from a very tight angle.

Dim lights

In the second half, on the 57th minute, Real was awarded a questionable penalty, for a foul by Hans Weilbacher on Francisco Gento and Puskas did not miss and scored his second goal in the match. The Hungarian star scored two more in the next 15 minutes, one with an incredible header on the 60th minute and one with a shot on the 71st minute. The score was now 6:1 twenty minutes before the end of the match! The Germans were completely devastated. They managed to score one back with Stein on the 72nd minute, but Di Stefano responded minutes later completing his hat trick with a shot outside the box giving Real Madrid a 7-2 lead.

Stein scored a third goal for Eintracht, but the Germans had been clearly outclassed by the quality of Real Madrid players. The 1960 European Cup final was a unique football demonstration. Gento, Puskas, Canario and Di Stefano left their mark and their skillfull performance would stay in memory for many years to come. Real players did a lap of honour in front of a pandemonium by the crowd who had witnessed what many have described as the greatest match of all time. Real Madrid's fifth consecutive European Cup final win was the best of the lot, with three goals from Alfredo di Stefano and four from Ferenc Puskas seeing Eintracht Frankfurt blown away at Glasgow's Hampden Park. It was the highest scoring final, which still hasn’t been surpassed more than half a century later.

1960-real-eintracht

One of the most influential coaches of all time, Bill Shankly, said that “Real Madrid are the greatest club side the world has ever seen” and who would argue with him. Real Madrid was the undisputed champions of European Football. No team in Europe could come even close to the skill and might of this team. They had won the first five tournaments and no one could think of a club that could seriously challenge their supremacy.

1960-distefano-5-cups

Jose Emilio Santamaria:
"The stadium was full. There were 130,000 fans. They clapped for a long time after the match had ended, showing us how much they enjoyed it. We were a great team with several players who were over 30 years old, and the opponent was much younger. Many people thought we would lose, but that thought never crossed our mind. They scored first, but all we thought about was winning. Everyone on the team did his fair share and Di Stefano and Puskas opened their own bag of tricks."

Alfredo di Stefano:
"We were Real Madrid and we had never played Eintracht. We hadn't even heard of them because there weren't televisions or videos to see how they played. So what we did against every rival was run and fight for 70 minutes and during the 20 remaining minutes we would put on a show for the fans. After the scored and had another ball hit the post, we got mad and ended up scoring seven. Every team at that time was the champion of their respective league so we couldn't trust anyone. We, however, felt like champions, and always thought about winning because losing would send you home."

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All the finals of the European Cup and the Champions League. Relive the history of the most important football clubs competition in Europe! Photo story Coverage and Highlights of the Finals.