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Tonight, roughly four billion pounds worth of talent (may be a SLIGHT exaggeration) will take to the field at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium when Juventus and Real Madrid contest the Champions League final. But, despite the abundance of superstars that will be on display, is 2017's final crop as good as the 22 that graced the pitch of the Amsterdam Arena on 20th May, 1998?
Twenty one years ago, much like tonight, the destination of the trophy with the big ears was either going to be Turin or Madrid.
The final in Amsterdam was Los Blancos' first appearance in the showpiece event in the Champions League era, with their last European Cup final showing coming in 1981, where they were defeated 1-0 by Liverpool. Juve, on the other hand, were taking part in their third successive final, having been defeated a year prior by Borussia Dortmund and lifting their second (and last) Champions League in 1996, having beaten Ajax on penalties.
That night, Real would overcome Marcello Lippi's men, with Predrag Mijatović's 66th minute strike settling arrears, crowning Real as the champions of Europe for the first time in 32 years and also handing Jupp Heynckes the first of his two Champions league titles as a manager (his second would come with Bayern Munich, in 2013).
Mijatovic sends the European Cup back to the Bernabeu for the first time in 32 years. Image: PA
However, let's face it, the result was actually secondary to the fact that both starting XI's and the kits they were adorned in, were the hottest of hot fucking fire.
How much fucking talent? Images: PA
Of course, having the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Luka Modric, Paolo Dybala, Miralem Pjanic, Isco, Dani Alves, Sergio Ramos, Giorgio Chiellini and Gianluigi fucking Buffon going at it for 90+ minutes is going to be hard to top, but with all due respect, can they really hold a candle to Roberto Carlos, Raul, Christian Karembeu, Fernando Morientes, Clarence Seedorf and Fernando Hierro fucking shit up in those Kelme kits sponsored by Teka?
That's before you've even got to the Juve team, resplendent in vintage Kappa with Zidane, Deschamps, Davids, Del Piero, Inzaghi, Peruzzi, Di Livio and Montero routinely reaching European teams by beating teams like they owed them money.
Also, for extra style driven nostalgia, have a look at those boot collections on display. Not meaning to come across as full blown yer actual da, but those 22 pairs of boots are better than anything we'll see during tomorrow's final. Unless Giorgio Chiellini scores the winning goal and goes full blown 'Marco Tardelli 1982 World Cup final' to celebrate, subsequently leading to Gigi Buffon finally getting his hands on the Champions League trophy, at 39 years of age.
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