It’s fair to say that Manchester City are gearing up for the biggest match in the club’s history.
The prize of a maiden Champions League title will be up for grabs when City take on Chelsea at the end of the month, and Pep Guardiola will be hoping his team can deliver on their status as favourites in the UEFA Champions League winner odds.
A club’s first Champions League triumph is always a seminal moment, and for Manchester City it will represent the culmination of the club’s targets.
It’s taken longer than it should have for a team of such riches to get to Europe’s showpiece match, but now that City are within reach of the European Cup, they will want to grab it with both hands.
It’s quite rare to see a new winner of the Champions League, let’s have a look at the last three clubs to have won their maiden title.
In an interesting quirk of fate, the last team to get their hands on a first Champions League triumph are the very team trying to stop Manchester City achieving the same feat this season.
Chelsea’s run to the final in the 2011-12 season was just about as unlikely as their run to this year’s final, and despite being the second favourites in the odds on the UEFA Champions League winners, Roberto Di Matteo’s side defeated Bayern Munich on penalties to lift the famous trophy.
John Terry’s full-kit antics became the butt of many jokes over the next few years, but it was a monumental achievement for Chelsea.
In many ways, there are parallels between City’s quest to lift the trophy this season and Chelsea’s 9 years ago, but the Blues will be determined to double their Champions League titles and leave City waiting for the honour.
Borussia Dortmund (1997)
You have to go back 19 years from Chelsea’s triumph to find the previous first-time winners of the Champions League.
Borussia Dortmund’s success in 1997 remains the German club’s only European Cup, and it was a moment to savour as they defeated Juventus in the final thanks to goals from Karl-Heinze Riedle and Lars Ricken.
Dortmund have reached one final since, losing out to German rivals Bayern Munich at Wembley in 2013 despite a spirited showing. This season their path to the final was blocked by Manchester City in the quarter-final stage, and so the quest for a second title goes on.
Four years prior, it was Olympique de Marseille’s moment in the sun. At the Olympiastadion in Munich, Marseille upset the odds to beat a talented AC Milan side 1-0 to lift the trophy.
In doing so, they became the first French team to win the Champions League, a status they enjoy to this day, with Paris Saint-Germain’s quest to get their hands on the European Cup still proving fruitless.
The 2020-21 was Marseille’s first back in the Champions League for eight seasons, and although they failed to advance beyond the group stage, their supporters will always have that glorious triumph in 1993 to look back on.