Earlier this month, Juventus secured their place in the Champions League final with a 3-2 aggregate victory over Real Madrid, but their appearance in Berlin at the start of next month will represent the first time that they have competed in European football's showcase event for over a decade.
The last occasion was on this day 12 years ago when the Bianconeri joined Serie A rivals AC Milan in an all-Italian final at Old Trafford. Juventus had ridden their luck throughout the competition, making the knockout stages with just seven points from six group games before prevailing through closely-fought matches with Barcelona and Real Madrid. As for Milan, they topped both of their groups before coming through ties with Ajax and fierce rivals Inter Milan to book their place in the showpiece in the North-West of England.
Both clubs had selection concerns ahead of the first Champions League final to be contested between two Italian sides. Both goalkeeper Dida and defender Alessandro Costacurta were doubtful for Milan before coming through late fitness tests, while Juventus were without one of their star players Pavel Nedved through suspension, with the Czech maestro being replaced in the starting lineup by Mauro Camoranesi.
After an uneventful start to the final which saw both teams struggle to create any clear-cut openings, Andriy Shevchenko thought that he had given Milan the lead after his deflected effort found its way past Gianluigi Buffon, but the strike was ruled out after Rui Costa was adjudged to have been standing in an offside position.
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Shortly afterwards, David Trezeguet sent a header flashing wide of the post before back up the other end, Buffon had to be at full stretch to keep out a diving header from Filippo Inzaghi. The game had developed into an end-to-end affair but as the clock ticked towards the half-hour mark, only a long-range attempt from Alessandro Del Piero would threaten an opening goal.
Juventus had been fortunate to remain on level terms during the first half and that remained the case towards the end of the first 45 minutes when Rui Costa almost found the corner from 20 yards. However, moments before the break, the two-time winners should have been ahead through Ciro Ferrera, but the defender failed to hit the target from close range after the ball had fallen to him during a goal-mouth scramble.
Marcello Lippi opted to replaced Camoranesi for Antonio Conte for the restart and the alteration almost paid off during the opening two minutes of the second half. The midfielder got on the end of a cross from Trezeguet, but his header could only find the post. Milan responded with a header of their own from Paolo Maldini but the legendary defender somehow failed to hit the target from six yards out.
As the game progressed into its final quarter, chances were becoming few and far between with only Conte and Inzaghi having opportunities for their respective sides. Clarence Seedorf, who was attempting to win the trophy with a third different club, also had a chance to earn glory for his team in the final seconds but his free kick was poor and only found the stand behind the goal.
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The match would enter extra time, with the silver-goal rule meaning that if either side were ahead at the break, they would win the final. That scenario only resulted in both sides retreating into their shell though, and the 30-minute period was played at a pedestrian pace which inevitably led to the Champions League final being decided on penalties for the second time in three years after the showdown between Bayern Munich and Valencia had ended up as a stalemate in 2001.
The opening spot kick of the shootout from Trezeguet was poor, with Dida making a comfortable save down to his left. Serginho and Birindelli found the back of the net, before Buffon's save from Seedorf sparked four missed penalties in a row, meaning that five of the first seven efforts had been saved by either goalkeeper.
Nesta broke the sequence to give Milan a 2-1 advantage after four penalties apiece, leaving Del Piero needing to score to keep Juventus alive in the shootout. The forward kept his composure to send Dida the wrong way, but Shevchenko stepped up to place the ball into the same corner to give AC Milan their first Champions League trophy in almost a decade.
AC Milan: Dida, Costacurta, Nesta, Maldini, Kaladze, Gattuso, Rui Costa, Seedorf, Pirlo, Shevchenko, Inzagh
Subs: Abbiati, Rivaldo, Ambrosini, Laursen, Roque Junior, Serginho, Brocchi
Juventus: Buffon, Ferrara, Montero, Tudor, Zambrotta, Thuram, Tacchinardi, Davids, Camoranesi, Del Piero, Trezeguet.
Subs: Chimenti, Pessotto, Conte, Iuliano, Birindelli, Di Vaio, Zalayeta