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Top five Champions League final goals since 1992

Ahead of Saturday's Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea, Sports Mole looks at the five greatest goals in the showpiece event since 1992.

A Champions League campaign like none other concludes on Saturday night as Manchester City and Chelsea go head-to-head in Porto to see which English powerhouse will lift the prestigious trophy aloft.

Pep Guardiola's side overcame Borussia Monchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain en route to the final, while Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea sent Atletico Madrid, Porto and Real Madrid packing to book their tickets to the Estadio do Dragao.

It seems alien to imagine a stadium full to the brim with 90,000 fans given the events of the past 18 months, but 16,500 will take their seats on Saturday, and the spectators of Champions League finals gone by have been lucky enough to witness a selection of extraordinary strikes on the biggest stage of them all.

With that in mind, Sports Mole counts down the five greatest goals in the Champions League final since the current format was adopted in the 1992-93 season.


5. Lionel Messi - Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United (2009)

During the earliest days of his prodigious career, Lionel Messi in all of his 5ft 7in glory was not exactly renowned for his aerial prowess, but images of the Argentine's header against Manchester United still represents one of the most iconic shots in football.

After Samuel Eto'o had given Barcelona the lead only 10 minutes into the contest, Messi was allowed to break free at the back post, where he met Xavi's cross and directed a pinpoint header past a hapless Edwin van der Sar.

United simply could not contain the South American's brilliance as La Blaugrana secured a domestic and continental treble with that victory in Rome, and Messi would go on to win the first of six Ballon d'Or's later that year.


4. Steve McManaman - Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia (2000)

The Stade de France played host to the first ever European Cup/Champions League final between two clubs from the same country, as Real Madrid aimed to win the crown for the second time in three years while Valencia made their inaugural appearance in the showpiece event.

With Real Madrid already 1-0 up thanks to Fernando Morientes's header, Steve McManaman channelled his inner Paolo Di Canio to strike a spectacular scissor kick volley past Santiago Canizares, who was left rooted to the spot.

Los Blancos would go on to win the final 3-0 as legendary striker Raul added a third in the 75th minute, but it was McManaman's performance throughout the evening was lauded by legendary figures such as Sir Alex Ferguson, as the former Liverpool man became the first Englishman to win the Champions League with a foreign club.


3. Mario Mandzukic - Juventus 1-4 Real Madrid (2017)

Nineteen years after locking horns in the 1998 showpiece event, Juventus - 2015 runners-up - and Real Madrid - the defending champions from 2016 - renewed hostilities in Cardiff, and the La Liga giants quickly struck first through none other than Cristiano Ronaldo.

However, Los Blancos' lead lasted for all of seven minutes at the Millennium Stadium, as Mario Mandzukic chested a pass down from Gonzalo Higuain before producing a phenomenal overhead kick beyond the reaches of Keylor Navas, and the pressure applied by Casemiro and Dani Carvajal proved futile against the Croatian's excellence.

The joy was short-lived for the Old Lady, though, as Casemiro struck an equally impressive effort from long range before Ronaldo and Marco Asensio wrapped up the win in the second period, leaving Juve to rue what could have been once again.


2. Zinedine Zidane - Real Madrid 2-1 Bayer Leverkusen (2002)

Still one of the most memorable goals in all of continental history, Zinedine Zidane - who has just stepped down from his managerial post at Real Madrid - produced a moment of mastery to propel Los Blancos to victory in the final of the 2002 edition against Bayer Leverkusen.

With the tie delicately poised at 1-1 after Lucio had cancelled out Raul's opener, Zidane readied himself to receive a looping cross from legendary left-back Roberto Carlos, and the Frenchman proceeded to fire a left-footed volley into the top corner.

There were no more goals to be had in the night as Zidane's name would forever be etched into Champions League folklore, and the 48-year-old would go on to mastermind three Champions League successes in the Bernabeu dugout, but his recent resignation leaves a lot of questions to be answered.


1. Gareth Bale - Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool (2018)

Seeking an unprecedented third successive triumph in the Champions League, Real Madrid travelled to Kiev to take on Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool in the 2017-18 campaign, and a literal helping hand from Loris Karius saw Karim Benzema strike the most fortuitous of opening goals in the 51st minute.

It took just four minutes for Sadio Mane to restore parity, but there was absolutely nothing that Karius could do about Los Blancos' second, as Gareth Bale - unmarked in the box - latched on to a cross from Marcelo, and the Welshman hooked a majestic left-footed bicycle kick into the top corner.

Bale would go on to bag a brace as a confidence-depleted Karius allowed his late long-range effort to seep through his hands, and while the 31-year-old's time in the Spanish capital has not been all sunshine and rainbows, such an iconic strike in the Champions League final will not be forgotten in a hurry.


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