KARACHI: After the happenings of last night in Barcelona, the Interwebs are bound to be inundated with greatest comebacks listicles.
To make sure that we get our share of the click windfall, listed below is our assortment.
Now, most of our entries may be regurgitated content, but we’ll try and give it a unique spin.
Also, give us points for being honest up front and give a read to an hour of our hard work and Googling.
The reverse countdown begins:
5- Deportivo humiliating Milan in their pomp
Filippo Inzaghi, Alessandro Costacurta, Rui Costa…those are the legends that couldn’t even get into Milan’s line-up when they travelled to Estadio Riazor for their 2002-03 quarter-finals. This was because their starting eleven was so flooded with the Maldinis and Shevchenkos.
But even their collection of iconic footballers faded in comparison to the other edge they enjoyed. The Italians had spanked the Spanish minnows 4-1 in the first leg, meaning they practically only needed to show up in order to progress.
But Super Depor had other ideas. They took the pitch with an ‘anything you can do we can do better’ mind-set, showing no respect to their far more illustrious opponents and sending them back to the Italian Peninsula with their collective tails firmly tucked between their legs. The scoreline was 4-0 in Deportivo’s favour.
4- Madrid’s Real humiliation at Monaco’s hands
The very next year after Deportivo’s herculean comeback, it was Monaco’s turn to do the Lazarus act. Trailing 4-2 from the first leg at the Bernabeu, let’s just say the Principality club needed a bucket load of goals against a side that boasted names such as the original Ronaldo, Zinedine Zidane, Raul, Luis Figo, etc — all not just legends but some of the greatest to ever lace up.
Monaco started strong, but any fightback they had should have been deflated when Raul added another to his team’s aggregate score in the 36th minute. With the two-legged tie approaching the final quarter, the task was simple but extremely difficult to execute; Monaco needed three unanswered goals.
Long story short, Ludovic Giuly scored on either side of on-loan Madrid striker Fernando Morientes’ goal to cap one of the most remarkable turnarounds.
3- Red Devils breaking Bavarians’ hearts
Even the most casual of football fans know this story so we’re not going to describe it to death.
In a nutshell, Bayern had led the 1999 Champions League final since the sixth minute and pretty much controlled the game until all hell broke loose in injury time.
The Bavarians had uncorked the champagne bottles and the engraver had readied his pen when Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer struck in the 91st and 93rd minutes respectively. We don’t know if the bottles and engraver bits happened, but it sounds more dramatic like that.
2- That night in Istanbul
As good as Milan were in their heyday, they did have a habit of blowing up big leads in Europe.
At half-time of the 2005 Champions League final against Liverpool, everything seemed rosy for the Rossoneri. The least of the legends in their starting lineup was a certain Hernan Crespo, who had already scored twice in the first half. His brace after Maldini’s first-minute opener meant the Italians led 3-0 at the break.
In the opposite corner sat Milan Baros, Jerzy Dudek, Harry Kewell and last, and perhaps least, Djimi Traore — hardly awe-inspiring names. But their captain Steven Gerrard somehow willed his team and sparked a six-minute second-half salvo that contained a header from the man himself and further strikes from Xabi Alonso and Vladimer Smicer.
Once Milan had blown up the lead, their spirits were effectively shattered and there was only going to be one winner. In the penalty shootout, Dudek denied Serginho, Andrea Pirlo and Shevchenko to do what we thought will probably never happen again, until last night.
1- THE GREATEST COMEBACK OF ALL-TIME
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the size of the earth, you could not have missed what transpired at Nou Camp on March 8, 2016 between 2100 and 2200 (GMT). Just watch the highlights because it would take a Shakespearian-type effort to put this mother-of-all-comebacks in words.