The UEFA Champions League continues to evolve year on year, but has the 2021/22 campaign produced any moments to match the all-time greats?
As we mark 30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling, we ask you which of these six moments has defined the current edition?
Over the course of 2021/22, UEFA is asking fans to vote for the most iconic moments since the rebranding of the European Cup in the early 1990s. Hence, 30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling is giving fans an opportunity to vote on everything from goals to memorable celebrations, unforgettable comebacks, sensational skills and impossible saves.
Sheriff’s shock winner at Real Madrid
Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff
28/11/2021, group stage
Newcomers Sheriff turned heads when they won 2-0 at home against Shakhtar Donetsk on their group stage debut, but the Moldovan champions pulled off something even more special on Matchday 2, Sébastien Thill’s spectacular 90th-minute finish from outside the box at the Santiago Bernabéu completing one of the competition’s most dramatic upsets.
“The side were so brave with how we played and luckily enough I was able to score a bit of a stunner,” the Luxembourg international told UEFA.com.”It’s the best and most important goal of my career, that’s for sure!”
Thiago Alcántara’s Liverpool stunner
Liverpool 2-0 Porto
24/11/2021, group stage
Liverpool scored 17 goals during the group stage, but none quite as glorious as this one, Thiago Alcántara catching the ball perfectly with the top of his boot to bend a low shot inside the post. As Reds boss Jürgen Klopp put it: “Thiago’s goal: wow!”
The former Barcelona and Bayern München midfielder did his best to stay humble as he spoke to UEFA.com at full-time, saying: “It’s always special to score a goal, always special to help the team, and it’s always special to score in this stadium. Really happy for it. The goal was the beauty I like to bring to football.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s 95th-minute decider
Manchester United 2-1 Villarreal
29/09/2021, group stage
“That is what happens at Old Trafford,” said United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjær after Cristiano Ronaldo marked his record-breaking 178th UEFA Champions League appearance with this ‘Fergie time’ finish against Villarreal, the side that had beaten the Red Devils on penalties in the 2020 UEFA Europa League final.
The goalkeeper got a hand to his angled finish deep into added time, but Ronaldo was not to be denied. “Here, in this stadium, with the history that we have, it is possible to do it,” he said of the club’s dramatic win. Team-mate Bruno Fernandes added with a shrug: “Strikers have that feeling to score and Cristiano helps us again.”
Lionel Messi’s first goal for Paris
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Manchester City
28/09/2021, group stage
Lionel Messi’s move from Barcelona to Paris was one of the big stories of the summer of 2021, with the Argentinian faced with a huge task at the age of 34 of acclimatising to a new club and a new league for the first time since he first came to the Camp Nou as a boy in 2001.
There was some trepidation after he failed to score in his first two games for the French side, but his class told in this Matchday 2 meeting with City, the Argentinian trading passes with Kylian Mbappé before hitting an unstoppable shot from the edge of the box. “The goal was fantastic,” said City boss Pep Guardiola.
Robert Lewandowski’s Bayern bicycle-kick
Dynamo Kyiv 1-2 Bayern
23/11/2021, group stage
Robert Lewandowski scored in his ninth successive UEFA Champions League game for a second time as the snow fell in Kyiv, with his 14th-minute strike definitely one for the showreel, the consummate marksman reacting at lightning speed to an unconvincing clearance to flash the ball over his head and into the net.
“I have known him for many years and I know very well how good he is,” Dynamo’s Polish international Tomasz Kędziora said of Lewandowski. “He had a great game tonight, not only because he scored that unbelievable goal but because of his overall performance. He’s a world-class player.”
Young Boys’ late winner against United
Young Boys 2-1 Manchester United
14/09/2021, group stage
Sheriff’s win at Real Madrid was a backs-to-the-wall effort for the most part, but what impressed locals most about Young Boys’ Matchday 1 success against Manchester United was that the Swiss side dominated for much of the game, though it took until deep into added time for Jordan Siebatcheu to pounce on a loose ball to seal a deserved success against United’s ten men.
“I can’t really believe it at the moment,” said YB midfielder Fabian Rieder. “To score the second in the 95th minute is indescribable. The noise when the goal went in was just incredible.”
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