sIt may not be the most anticipated finale, however The final match between Inter and Manchester City is, of course, the one that has been waiting the longest in the history of the Champions League. At least, as far as the location is concerned.
It could be called, and no better than to say, “The End of the 1001 Nights.” Everything was ready to host the Ataturk Olympics, at first, UEFA Champions League Final on May 30, 2020
However, the global pandemic by COVID-19 has forced UEFA to change its ‘roadmap’. Istanbul gave up its position as host to Lisbon, where the “last eight” played one match, which ended with Bayern Munich advancing against Paris Saint-Germain (0-1).
History repeated itself in 2021. UEFA decided that Atatürk would host the final – postponing the final in Saint Petersburg for a year – but Just two weeks before the final – It was already known that he would face City and Chelsea – It was decided to change the venue to Porto due to the COVID-19 epidemiological situation in Türkiye.
This time not a year late, but two, and finally, on June 10, 2023, 1056 days later than expected, Manchester City and Inter will return to Turkey for a final that has been twice snatched away by COVID-19.It will also be the latest in time, due to the delay in the World Cup, in recent years.
It will not, however, be the first final built by Atatürk Houses, in support of Turkey’s candidacy for Jojos 2008. It hosted the final match between Liverpool and AC Milan (3-3) in 2005, known as the “Miracle of Istanbul”.
The scenario for one of the craziest finals in history is well known. Milan, led by Carlo Ancelotti, left the victory 3-0 in the first half and Liverpool, led by Rafa Benitez, who managed to force extra time, ended up winning on penalties.
“I was taking notes when the first half was over. He had to deliver the conversation in English and many nuances would be lost. While I was setting it up, they put the third one on, so I had to change everything in a few seconds. I asked them to stand up for the fans, I appealed to their professionalism and made it clear that if we score early we can make it happen. Then I saw in the video how our people sang at halftime and it was something impressive,” recalls Rafa Benitez at MARCA.com.
There has never been a more emotional final and I don’t think there ever will be.
Even today people stop me in the street and tell me they were there. There has never been a more emotional final and I don’t think there ever will be. Hard work pays off, but football is made up of many other factors. In another team, with other fans, that wouldn’t have been possible.” The former Liverpool coach has finished