Football is the most played sport in the world, with millions of fans. Something about it makes its fans have so much love and loyalty to it, particularly the clubs. Apart from its convenience, one does not need much gear to play football. A few friends and a ball are all you need.
It is true that not every league attracts as much attention and views as some of its counterparts. Spanish league (LaLiga), English league (Premier League), Italian league (Serie A), French league (Ligue 1), and German league (Bundesliga) are some of the most famous of all.
The most prestigious of all is the UEFA Champions League, which combines all the best European clubs under one umbrella to contest for the best club in Europe.
Each club has its fan following and great comeback stories. Some are worth mentioning because when a team defies all odds and makes a comeback, it does not get any better than this.
Liverpool vs. Milan
The Champions League final is the biggest stage in football. Competing and winning this tournament is the ultimate goal for any club in Europe. In 2005, Milan and Liverpool were competing in the finals in Istanbul. Milan got the dream start and scored three goals before halftime, courtesy of Paolo Maldini and Hernan Crespo.
Liverpool fans and players had their dream shattered before the break. But, in what looked like a walkover for Milan, Liverpool came back strong after halftime. Steven Gerrard’s men scored three goals in six minutes, squaring the score 3-3 and pushing the game into extra time.
The match was down to the wire, and Liverpool won on penalties. The famous saying ‘Miracle of Istanbul’ commemorates this match.
Tottenham vs. Ajax
Another Champions League match from the 2018-2019 season. This time it was the semifinal between two unexpected teams. They were the dark horses coming into the Champions League and had the least odds in online betting.
However, Tottenham, after beating their counterpart Manchester City in the quarter-finals and Ajax eliminating Real Madrid and Juventus, both booked spots in the semis.
In the first leg, Ajax beat Tottenham 1-0 in London. They were favorites and had the advantage of winning the second leg. Ajax scored the first goal in the fifth minute as the match started and doubled their lead thirty minutes later. For the next good part of the game, the score line was 2-0, and it seemed like Ajax was going through to the finals for the first time in 24 years.
Lucas Moura of Tottenham scored two goals and leveled the points. After that, the match went into extra time, and no team was willing to leak a goal. Finally, Lucas scored the decider and took his team to the finals.
Barcelona vs. PSG
Two titans clashed for a spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League 2016-2017. PSG had a phenomenal first leg at home and thrashed Barcelona 4-0. However, Barca knew they had to pull off something remarkable to proceed into the quarter-finals.
Luis Suarez scored the first goal and reduced the deficit. Later, an own goal from Kurzawa and one from Messi gave hope to the fans and team. But their hopes diminished when Cavani struck the ball at the back of the net, extending PSG’s lead and giving them the advantage of an away goal.
It looked like a guaranteed win for PSG. Right at the end of the closing moments, Barca scored two goals and leveled the aggregate scores, but PSG was still ahead with the away goal. However, Barcelona was not having it. Sergi Roberto managed to pull off a clincher just before the seconds of extra time that took Barcelona ahead in the top 8.
Arsenal vs. Newcastle
This game is from the vault of the Premier League 2011-12 season between the Gunners and Magpies. In the first half of the match, Arsenal was dominant and belittled Newcastle by taking a 4-0 lead. However, Newcastle did not give up. A red card for Arsenal, caused by Abou Diaby, ignited the hope among the Newcastle camp.
With only 22 minutes remaining in the game, Joey Barton scored the first goal, and a few minutes later, Leon Best put one in the net. Even luck favoured Newcastle as they got a penalty, which Barton converted. Cheick Tiote scored the final goal from 30 yards, giving Newcastle a point and humiliating Arsenal.
In football, it is not over until it is over. There have been countless events where teams have made a comeback from unexpected points. It proves that, as a fan, you have to believe in your team and never give up on them, as you never know when the tables could turn.