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Appreciating the seven players to score a brace in a Champions League final

Robert Lewandowski’s sensational season continued with yet another goal to help fire Bayern Munich to the Champions League final, the forward hitting his 15th goal of the club’s European campaign in their 3-0 semi-final victory over Lyon.

Lewandowski has now scored 55 goals in all competitions this season and is just two short of matching Cristiano Ronaldo’s single season Champions League record, a figure he will level if he hits a brace in Sunday’s showpiece against Paris Saint-Germain.

Seven players have previously scored twice in finals throughout the Champions League era and we’ve decided to profile the list of stars Lewandowski is bidding to match this weekend.

Here are the seven players to score a brace in a Champions League final:

Daniele Massaro – AC Milan 4-0 Barcelona (1994)

The first player to score a brace in a Champions League final was Daniele Massaro, the forward netting twice as AC Milan thrashed Barcelona in one of the most iconic final results of all-time.

Milan headed into the showpiece as underdogs against Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona, but upset the odds in stunning style to seal an emphatic win in Athens and lift the European Cup for a fifth time.

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Fabio Capello’s side – missing the likes of Marco van Basten and Franco Baresi through injury and suspension respectively – raced into a two-goal half-time lead courtesy of Massaro’s brace, the forward tapping home from close range before rifling home a left-footed second before the break.

Dejan Savićević’s sensational lob and a Marcel Desailly goal compounded Barcelona’s misery in the Greek capital, Milan recording the biggest Champions League final winning margin of all-time with Massaro at the centre of it.

See also – Six of Barcelona’s most embarrassing Champions League defeats

Karl-Heinz Riedle – Borussia Dortmund 3-1 Juventus (1997)

Borussia Dortmund were crowned as champions of Europe for the first time following a memorable run to the Champions League final in 1997, the Bundesliga side defeating reigning champions Juventus at the Olympiastadion in Munich.

Dortmund had beaten Manchester United home and away in the last four and arrived in the final in confident mood, taking a two-goal first-half lead following a fine brace from former Germany international Karl-Heinz Riedle.

The forward drilled home a low finish just before the half-hour mark after controlling Paul Lambert’s cross with his chest, before he doubled their lead five minutes later, heading home an inswinging corner to put the Germans firmly in control of the final.

Alessandro del Piero pulled one back for Juventus with a clever flicked finish but it proved little more than a consolation, substitute Lars Ricken – with his very first touch after coming off the bench – scoring a stunning lob from distance to crown Dortmund champions.

Hernan Crespo – AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool (2005)

The only player in this feature to score twice and end up on the losing side, Hernan Crespo must have thought he had one hand on the trophy following his ruthless first-half display in the 2005 Champions League final.

AC Milan ran riot against underdogs Liverpool to take a commanding half-time lead in Istanbul, Crespo’s clinical double adding to Paolo Maldini’s opener after just 50 seconds to give the Rossoneri a seemingly unassailable lead at the break.

Rafael Benitez’s Reds fought back in some style, however, a three-goal burst in the space of just six second-half minutes bringing the sides implausibly level, Xabi Alonso netting a dramatic equaliser after earlier goals from Steven Gerrard and Vladimir Smicer.

Milan missed several good chances to retake the lead as Jerzy Dudek produced heroics in goal, before the Poland international saved from Andrea Pirlo and Andriy Shevchenko in the resulting shoot-out, Liverpool winning a fifth European Cup following an unprecedented and unforgettable comeback.

Filippo Inzaghi – AC Milan 2-1 Liverpool (2007)

Two years later and the same two clubs met once again in a Champions League decider, AC Milan and Liverpool renewing rivalries once more in Athens.

In a clash of vastly different style to their previous thrilling encounter, it was Liverpool who largely had the better of the play, only to be undone by one of Europe’s premier penalty-box poachers.

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Filippo Inzaghi scored twice as Milan exacted revenge on their Merseyside counterparts, first deflecting home Andrea Pirlo’s free-kick to wrong-foot Pepe Reina, before rounding the Spaniard to tap home his second of the evening after Kaka’s incisive pass.

Dirk Kuyt scored a consolation late on for Liverpool, but it was Inzaghi who stole the headlines as Milan exorcised their demons of Istanbul, with yet another Rossonieri star bagging a brace in the final.

Diego Milito – Bayern Munich 0-2 Inter Milan (2010)

Jose Mourinho conquered Europe for a second time 2010, steering Inter Milan to Italian football’s first-ever treble in a record-breaking season for the Nerazzurri.

Mourinho’s treble winners were spearheaded by the prolific Diego Milito, who enjoyed the finest season of his career with 30 goals in all competitions, including a Champions League-winning brace against Bayern Munich.

Milito opened the scoring in the first half after collecting Wesley Sneijder’s pass to finish high into the roof of the net, before sealing victory in fine style with an excellent second.

The Argentina international skipped past a flat-footed Daniel van Buyten before curling the ball beyond Hans-Jörg Butt, his virtuoso display seeing Inter crowned as champions of Europe for the first time in 45 years.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Juventus 1-4 Real Madrid (2017)

Arguably no player has influenced Europe’s biggest stage more than Cristiano Ronaldo in the modern era, the Portuguese superstar having scored more Champions League final goals than any other player.

Ronaldo remains the only player to win the trophy five times in the Champions League era and the first to score in three separate finals, the third of which came after a well-taken brace as Real Madrid thrashed Juventus in 2017.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner opened the scoring after converting Dani Carvajal’s cut-back from just inside the penalty area, before scoring Real’s third of evening after turning home Luka Modric’s cross.

Ronaldo’s two-goal haul saw Real Madrid comfortably defeat the Italian champions to become the first side to defend the trophy in the Champions League era, the Spanish giants going on to win three consecutive titles under the guidance of Zinedine Zidane.

Gareth Bale – Real Madrid 3-1 Liverpool (2018)

The most recent inclusion on this list, Gareth Bale cemented his place in the history of the Champions League courtesy of his match-winning turn against Liverpool in 2018, coming off the bench to win the trophy for Real Madrid in spectacular fashion.

Bale had been on the pitch just a matter of minutes before scoring arguably the greatest final goal of all-time, executing an overhead kick of sensational athleticism and audacity to put the Spanish side 2-1 ahead.

The Welsh international then benefitted from a nightmare evening for Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius to score his second goal of the game, his long-range effort squirming out of the German’s grasp as Real secured a third consecutive Champions League title.

Bale’s double means that only Cristiano Ronaldo can better his tally of three Champions League final goals, the winger having also netted in the Spanish side’s win over city rivals Atletico in 2014.

Read – Ranking the five clubs to appear in the most Champions League finals

See also – Ranking the five players to score in the most consecutive Champions League games

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