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Vote now: The best moments in UEFA Champions League history

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To celebrate 30 seasons of That #UCLFeeling we’re asking fans to decide the greatest moment in UEFA Champions League history.

Vote and win here!

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. We began by giving fans an opportunity to vote on everything from unforgettable goals and comebacks to sensational skills and impossible saves.

Starting this week, the top two moments from each of the eight categories are now going head-to-head in the knockout stages for the overall title.

Current polls

Ronaldo bicycle kick vs La Remontada
Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking vs Sheriff shock
Messi’s free-kick vs Özil’s scoop
Messi’s first for Paris vs Coupet’s header and recovery

The first knockout stage poll runs until Wednesday 2 March

Ronaldo bicycle kick vs La Remontada

Cristiano Ronaldo’s bicycle kick
Juventus 0-3 Real Madrid, 03/04/2018 – quarter-final first leg






30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Great goals – Ronaldo

“Seen a lot of goals in my time but that is absolutely breathtaking from Ronaldo,” tweeted broadcaster and former England striker Gary Lineker after watching ‘CR7’ stick a stunning overhead kick past his future employers in the course of a devastating first-leg performance from the soon-to-be European champions.

Ronaldo has scored a fair few stunners in his time, but was quietly proud of the way he hung in the air to smack Dani Carvajal’s floated pass into the net when he spoke to UEFA.com after the match: “Great goal. What can I say? Fantastic. I didn’t expect to score that goal.”

Barcelona stun Paris
Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain, 08/03/2017 – round of 16 second leg




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Great comebacks - Barcelona vs Paris


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Great comebacks – Barcelona vs Paris

In 2016/17, Barcelona became the first team to fight back from four goals down to win a UEFA Champions League tie; this was only the fourth time it had been done in any UEFA club competition tie, a feat so special the match was given a name: La Remontada (The Comeback).

If Paris’s demolition of Luis Enrique’s men in France had been a shock, the Barça recovery was simply astonishing, Sergi Roberto striking deep in added time to decide the contest. “I told him: ‘Get into the box! You’re going to score!'” Neymar, who subsequently joined Paris, recalled. Sergi Roberto added: “I didn’t know if I was dreaming. I have never known a noise like that.”

Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking vs Sheriff shock

Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona, 07/05/2019 – semi-final second leg




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Assists – Alexander-Arnold


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Assists – Alexander-Arnold

If the mark of a player is his ability to influence the biggest of matches under the greatest of pressures, then the Liverpool full-back more than passed the test on an unforgettable European night at Anfield. Trailing 3-0 from the first leg, the Reds had somehow levelled the aggregate score inside 56 minutes but the tie now seemed destined for extra time.

Everyone was catching their breath as Alexander-Arnold walked away from a 79th-minute corner but the 20-year-old then doubled back and whipped in a perfect near-post cross for Divock Origi to turn in and complete the turnaround. “It was just instinct; you see the opportunity,” said the Liverpool-born defender. “Everyone will remember this moment.”

Sheriff’s shock winner at Real Madrid
Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff
, 28/11/2021 – group stage




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: 30th Season Moments – Thill


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: 30th Season Moments – Thill

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!”

Messi’s free-kick vs Özil’s scoop

Lionel Messi’s dead-ball masterclass, 2018/19
Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool (agg: 3-4),
01/05/2019 – semi-final second leg




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Free-kicks - Messi


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Free-kicks – Messi

Lionel Messi’s 600th goal for Barcelona was one deserving of a major milestone, his hit from a central position bending round the Liverpool wall and into the top corner of Alisson Becker’s net. It was not enough to earn Barcelona a final place, but was voted Goal of the Season for the 2019/20 campaign.

“I tried to strike it like I try to strike every free-kick,” the Argentinian told UEFA.com at the start of the following season. “It was a bit further out than usual, I hit it with a lot of power; sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I had luck on my side that time and it went in.”

Mesut Özil’s scoop
Ludogorets 2-3 Arsenal, 01/11/2016 – group stage




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Skills - Özil


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Skills – Özil

“Mesut, I mean, we know you are good bro, but WOW!,” tweeted Hector Bellerín after his Arsenal team-mate completed a turnaround in Bulgaria, Özil nonchalantly flicking the ball over the goalkeeper and then wrong-footing two defenders before finishing.

As an art lover, Gunners boss Wenger must have been impressed, though he said he would rather his No10 had played it a little simpler, harrumphing: “To me it didn’t look for a while like the optimal solution, but when the ball was in the net I thought it was.”

Messi’s first for Paris vs Coupet’s save

Lionel Messi’s first goal for Paris
Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Manchester City
, 28/09/2021 – group stage




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: 30th Season Moments – Messi


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: 30th Season Moments – Messi

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.

Coupet’s header and recovery
Barcelona 2-0 Lyon
, 10/10/2001 – group stage




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Classic Saves - Coupet vs Barcelona


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Classic Saves – Coupet vs Barcelona

Facing Barcelona’s attacking riches at the Camp Nou is a stern enough challenge without having to worry about threats to your goal from your own players. Grégory Coupet encountered precisely that unexpected situation when Cláudio Caçapa’s lobbed back pass left the Lyon No1 scampering back towards his own goal with Rivaldo in hot pursuit.

Quickly realising he could not use his hands, Coupet flew through the air to make a diving header only to see his unorthodox solution send the ball crashing against the bar. The 28-year-old then turned to see Rivaldo leaping to head in the rebound yet somehow flung himself low to his right to paw away the Brazilian’s follow-up. Invention and brilliance rolled into one.

This round’s other contenders

Lionel Messi’s solo run
Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona
, 27/04/2011 – semi-final




UCL Feeling Goals - Messi solo run v Real Madrid


UCL Feeling Goals – Messi solo run v Real Madrid

The occasion was massive, and Lionel Messi rose to it with a solo goal for the ages. Pressing home Barcelona’s advantage against ten-man Real Madrid in the final minutes at the Santiago Bernabéu, Messi shook off Sergio Ramos, Raúl Albiol and Marcelo before nonchalantly beating Iker Casillas.

Back in 2019, Messi confirmed in a radio interview that this 2-0 win in Madrid was the match he remembers most fondly from his career. His coach Pep Guardiola also managed to maintain his composure on the night of the strike, saying merely: “We are lucky to have Messi; at the age of 23, he’s the third top scorer in our club’s history and that’s impressive.” Understatement of the century.

Didier Drogba’s trophy dash
Bayern 1-1 Chelsea (aet, Chelsea win 4-3 on pens), 19/05/2012 – final




Is Drogba's trophy dash your favourite celebration?


Is Drogba’s trophy dash your favourite celebration?

After eight years chasing the UEFA Champions League dream at Chelsea, including a red card in their 2008 final defeat, Didier Drogba had every right to be overwhelmed by the occasion as he followed up scoring the equalising header in the 2012 decider against Bayern by coolly converting the winning penalty in the shoot-out.

“I’m really happy and I don’t know if there are enough words to describe how I feel now,” the Ivorian said after the final whistle, his celebration with the trophy saying more than words ever could. “We gave everything. I don’t know if we have enough energy to party tonight but we’re going to find it.”

The Miracle of Istanbul
AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (aet, Liverpool win 3-2 on pens) – 25/05/2005, final




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Great comebacks - Liverpool vs Milan


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Great comebacks – Liverpool vs Milan

Paolo Maldini’s first-minute volley was the earliest goal in a European Cup final, and Milan appeared to have secured their seventh European Cup by half-time, Andriy Shevchenko and Kaká both laying on goals for Hernán Crespo. However, Liverpool rallied in an astonishing seven-minute spell between 54 and 60 minutes, Steven Gerrard and midfield partner Xabi Alonso striking either side of Vladimír Šmicer’s finish, and Jerzy Dudek made two saves as they ultimately won the final on penalties.

“Three-nil down at half-time and I thought I was going to be in tears at the final whistle but every one of us deserved this,” said captain Gerrard. “This is the best feeling of my life.” Team-mate Jamie Carragher added: “That must be one of the greatest cup finals.” Hard to disagree.

Oblak’s three-pronged resistance
Atlético 0-0 Leverkusen
, 15/03/2017 – round of 16 second leg




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Classic Saves - Oblak vs Leverkusen


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Classic Saves – Oblak vs Leverkusen

Diego Simeone’s men have always had a reputation for defensive stability but Jan Oblak’s trio of saves against Leverkusen were a cut above even their usual high standards. Having stood tall to block Julian Brant’s strike, the Slovenian then thrust himself first left then right to twice deny Kevin Volland in quick succession and maintain his clean sheet.

“These are things that happen – sometimes you save three efforts and other times they score all three,” he told UEFA.com. “It’s something that’s hard to explain. I just saw the ball and went to make the saves with everything I had. Today everything went right for me and hopefully it continues to.” It has – Oblak is still Atlético’s No1 and remains one of the world’s elite keepers nearly five later.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s piledriver, 2008/09
Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United (agg: 1-4), 05/05/2009 – semi-final second leg




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Free-kicks – Cristiano Ronaldo


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Free-kicks – Cristiano Ronaldo

“He scored the free-kick from somewhere near my hometown,” said Cesc Fàbregas ruefully as he looked back to Arsenal’s ill-fated semi-final decider against Manchester United. Cristiano Ronaldo’s hit from out on the right somehow beat Manuel Almunia at his near post to make it 2-0 on the night despite being struck from the best part of 40 metres out.

Ronaldo had scored from a similarly ludicrous range against Porto in the previous round, but no amount of forewarning could deny him in his final season at Old Trafford. As Fàbregas put it: “You could feel he was special, unstoppable.”

Lionel Messi’s flick
Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (agg: 4-3), 08/03/2011 – round of 16 second leg




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Skills - Messi


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Skills – Messi

Andrés Iniesta’s ball to send Messi through on goal for Arsenal’s opener was a thing of beauty, but the touch with which the Argentinian clipped the ball past Manuel Almunia belonged in a gallery.

AC Milan great Paolo Maldini summed up Messi’s mercurial touch when he said: “He does incredible things, at a speed that is insane.” Real Madrid’s Raúl González agreed, saying: “The other day I saw one of his games. He was running with the ball at full speed, I don’t know how many touches he took, maybe five or six, but the ball was glued to his foot. It’s practically impossible.”

José Mourinho’s touchline sprint
Manchester United 1-1 Porto, 09/03/2004 – round of 16 second leg




Is Mourinho's touchline sprint your favourite celebration?


Is Mourinho’s touchline sprint your favourite celebration?

Sir Alex Ferguson’s United trailed 2-1 from the first leg, but looked set to progress on away goals as they held on to a 1-0 lead at Old Trafford, Paul Scholes having found the target on 31 minutes. However, the 2002/03 UEFA Cup winners turned the tables at the death, Costinha finishing after Tim Howard failed to hold a Benni McCarthy free-kick.

Elated coach José Mourinho pelted up the touchline to celebrate, and had sympathy for his opposite number afterwards. “I understand why Ferguson is a bit emotional,” he said. “You would be really sad if your team got as clearly dominated as that by an opponent built on maybe 10% of the budget.”

Kaká’s ultimate through ball
AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (aet, Liverpool win 3-2 on pens) – 25/05/2005, final




30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Assists - Kaká


30 Seasons of That #UCLFeeling: Assists – Kaká

The Italian side, and their brilliant Brazilian, were at the height of their powers just before half-time in the Istanbul showpiece. Kaká had already flicked a pass through to release Andriy Shevchenko in the build-up to Hernán Crespo’s 39th-minute goal but that was merely an appetiser for what was to follow.

Five minutes later it was 3-0 as Kaká’s effortless turn left Steven Gerrard heading in the opposite direction before his low swept pass curled around the Liverpool defence to release Crespo, who dinked the cutest of finishes past Jerzy Dudek. On any other occasion it would have been the icing on the cake but the Reds, famously, had other ideas.

Category winners

Best moments of 30th season so far
Lionel Messi’s first goal for Paris

Paris Saint-Germain 2-0 Manchester City
, 28/09/2021 – group stage
Sheriff’s shock winner at Real Madrid

Real Madrid 1-2 Sheriff
, 28/11/2021 – group stage

Best free-kicks
Lionel Messi’s dead-ball masterclass, 2018/19

Barcelona 3-0 Liverpool (agg: 3-4),
01/05/2019 – semi-final second leg
Cristiano Ronaldo’s piledriver, 2008/09
Arsenal 1-3 Manchester United (agg: 1-4), 05/05/2009 – semi-final second leg

Best saves
Oblak’s three-pronged resistance

Atlético 0-0 Leverkusen
, 15/03/2017 – round of 16 second leg
Coupet’s header and recovery

Barcelona 2-0 Lyon
, 10/10/2001 – group stage

Best comebacks
The Miracle of Istanbul
AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (aet, Liverpool win 3-2 on pens) – 25/05/2005, final
Barcelona stun Paris
Barcelona 6-1 Paris Saint-Germain, 08/03/2017 – round of 16 second leg

Best goals
Cristiano Ronaldo’s bicycle kick
Juventus 0-3 Real Madrid, 03/04/2018 – quarter-final first leg
Lionel Messi’s solo run

Real Madrid 0-2 Barcelona
, 27/04/2011 – semi-final

Best assists
Trent Alexander-Arnold’s quick thinking
Liverpool 4-0 Barcelona, 07/05/2019 – semi-final second leg
Kaká’s ultimate through ball

AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (aet, Liverpool win 3-2 on pens) – 25/05/2005, final

Most memorable celebrations
José Mourinho’s touchline sprint
Manchester United 1-1 Porto, 09/03/2004 – round of 16 second leg
Didier Drogba’s trophy dash

Bayern 1-1 Chelsea (aet, Chelsea win 4-3 on pens), 19/05/2012 – final

Best skills
Lionel Messi’s flick

Barcelona 3-1 Arsenal (agg: 4-3), 08/03/2011 – round of 16 second leg
Mesut Özil’s scoop

Ludogorets 2-3 Arsenal, 01/11/2016 – group stage

Vote and win here!



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