Real Madrid sit on the throne as the kings of European football, with no side having ever been crowned as the continent’s finest on more occasions than the Spanish giants.
Los Blancos earned their record-extending ninth Champions League title two decades ago, emerging victorious in the 2001/02 season to earn a third European coronation in just five seasons.
Vicente del Bosque’s side overcame underdogs Bayer Leverkusen at Glasgow’s Hampden Park, with Zinedine Zidane scoring a stunning winning goal that lives long in the memory.
As football fans flock to leading bookmakers like Betway, ahead of this Saturday’s mouthwatering UCL final clash between Liverpool and Real Madrid we thought it would be the perfect time to look back at Los Blancos iconic vintage of 2002.
Here is the Real Madrid XI from their 2002 Champions League final win.
Goalkeeper: Cesar Sanchez
Cesar spent two decades in La Liga including a five-season spell at Real Madrid, where he was initially signed as experienced cover for Iker Casillas before breaking into the team in 2001/02.
The goalkeeper started five of Real Madrid’s nine Champions League games in their victorious campaign, including the final against Leverkusen, but was substituted in the second half after sustaining an injury.
He later had a short spell at Tottenham under Juande Ramos, but made just one League Cup appearance for the North Londoners.
Right-back: Michel Salgado
Michel Salgado began his career at Celta Vigo before becoming a household name in Madrid, making 343 appearances across a decade with the club and winning four league titles and two Champions League winners’ medals.
The right-back also earned 53 caps for the Spanish national side, before becoming a popular figure during a three season spell in England with Blackburn Rovers towards the end of his career.
Centre-back: Fernando Hierro
An undisputed club great at the Bernabeu, Fernando Hierro captained Real Madrid to three Champions League trophies across the turn of the millennium.
Hierro began his career in midfield before reverting to a centre-back role and became one of the most distinguished players in the storied history of a Spanish super club.
Former teammate, Steve McManaman, revealed the role Hierro had in focusing his side pre-match.
“Before we went out onto the pitch it was the captain who spoke, the manager joined the huddle, but it was the captain who spoke and he was a great leader Fernando Hierro,” he told Betway Insider.
Hierro won 17 honours during a career with Real Madrid that included 610 appearances and 127 goals in all competitions.
Centre-back: Ivan Helguera
Ivan Helguera was an under-rated component of Real Madrid’s successful side after signing from Espanyol, winning the Champions League during his debut campaign in 1999/2000.
He added a second winners’ medal following the win over Bayer Leverkusen two seasons later and spent eight years at the Bernabeu.
The versatile defender made 343 appearances for Real Madrid before retiring after a single season at Valencia, a campaign in which he helped the club to the 2008 Copa del Rey.
Left-back: Roberto Carlos
Roberto Carlos became one of the greatest left-backs of all time during a brilliant career in Spain, spending more than a decade with Real Madrid after a short spell at Inter Milan.
The Brazilian became renown for a thunderous left foot that produced a series of spectacular strikes. He assisted both goals in the 2002 Champions League final, including a hoisted cross that was met by Zidane’s left boot to score the winner.
🎯 Roberto Carlos free-kicks…#UCL | @realmadriden | @Oficial_RC3 pic.twitter.com/xxP3k5E3SW
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 11, 2020
The win was Carlos’ third in the Champions League since arriving in Madrid, a period which saw him become a club icon after 527 appearances. He was named as runner-up for the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1997.
Midfield: Claude Makelele
Described as the ‘engine’ of the Real Madrid side by Zidane following his exit from the club in 2003, Makelele’s specialist performances in defensive midfield saw the position become colloquially know as the ‘Makelele role’.
The Frenchman’s talents were under-appreciated by a Bernabeu board hell-bent on acquiring the world’s most glamorous talents, with the midfielder ushered out the exit door despite winning two league titles and the Champions League in his three seasons at Real Madrid.
He moved to Chelsea and won back-to-back Premier League titles under Jose Mourinho at Stamford Bridge.
Midfield: Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane’s debut season at Real Madrid ended in perfect fashion, with one of the great final goals earning the Spanish side Champions League success in Glasgow.
Zidane had arrived in a world-record deal from Juventus and endured a testing first few months at the Bernabeu, though delivered an iconic moment when it mattered most in club football’s biggest game.
🗣️ Roberto Carlos: "The ball came bouncing and I crossed the ball. I didn't even know Zizou was there."
🔥 Wondrous volley from Zinédine Zidane in 2002!@realmadriden | #UCL https://t.co/y6HnE2JNjS pic.twitter.com/Dd9jKf5aZK
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 9, 2020
“Zizou came in and I think it’s fair to say his first six months were difficult,” former teammate Steven McManaman recalled to Betway Insider.
“We knew he was an incredible football player, because we had seen what he had done previously and he was World Player of the Year.
“Once the Champions League came around, certainly in the knockout stages, he started to find his footing, culminating in that incredible goal he scored in the final against Bayer Leverkusen.
“I think an average player would have controlled it, but he decided to hit it on his weaker foot and caught it really nicely. He was ever so graceful, Zizou, and it was not a surprise when it went flying into the net.”
Zidane’s goal remains one of the most memorable moments in Champions League final history, an exquisite piece of technique from one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Right-midfield: Luis Figo
The signing that ushered in the Galactico era, Real Madrid set a new world record after signing Luis Figo from arch-rivals Barcelona in 2000.
Figo won the Ballon d’Or just months after his arrival in the Spanish capital and embarked on a period of success on the opposite side of the El Clasico divide. He won two league titles, the Champions League and the 2001 FIFA World Player of the Year award.
He made 245 appearances across five seasons with Real Madrid and later won four consecutive league titles at Inter Milan before retirement.
Left-midfield: Santiago Solari
Real Madrid capitalised on the relegation of rivals Atletico Madrid to sign Santiago Solari, who bounced back from a disappointing debut season to earn a more regular role in 2001/02.
The Argentine started the final win over Leverkusen, one of 53 appearances the winger made across all competitions.
Solari’s success saw him join a select group of players to have won both the Copa Libertadores and Champions League, having won the former with River Plate in 1996.
Forward: Fernando Morientes
Fernando Morientes was a central part of Real Madrid’s successes in Europe, winning three Champions League trophies after arriving from Real Zaragoza.
Morientes scored 21 goals in all competitions in 2001/02, including a team-high of 18 goals in La Liga.
Morientes scored a century of goals across eight seasons for Real Madrid but was squeezed out as the club’s Galactico era brought in Ronaldo and Michael Owen.
The Spanish side came to regret allowing the forward to leave on loan for Monaco in 2003/04, as Morientes finished as the Champions League’s leading scorer and scored in both legs to eliminate his parent club in the quarter-finals.
One of the greatest players in Real Madrid’s long history, Raul rose through the ranks to become an iconic figure at the Bernabeu,
After crossing from rivals Atletico Madrid as a teenager, he broke into the Real Madrid side and eclipsed Alfredo Di Stéfano as the club’s all-time record goalscorer in 2009.
⚪️ Raúl González made his Real Madrid debut #OTD in 1994…
2⃣0⃣0⃣2⃣🏆#UCL | @realmadriden | @RaulGonzalez pic.twitter.com/Jj7m14L1Pj
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) October 29, 2019
No player has ever represented Real Madrid on more occasions than Raul (741), who scored the opening goal of the final after latching onto Robert Carlos’ quick throw-in to roll past Hans-Jörg Butt.
Raul had also netted in the 2000 final win over Valencia in Paris.
Substitute: Steve McManaman
Steve McManaman was introduced as a second-half substitute for Luis Figo and helped Real Madrid to a second Champions League win since his free transfer arrival from Liverpool.
McManaman became one of British football’s best exports during a successful spell in Real Madrid, scoring a stunning goal in their 2000 UCL final win.
He also netted a crucial semi-final strike against Barcelona during the club’s passage to the 2001/02 showpiece in Scotland.
Substitute: Iker Casillas
Iker Casillas started the 2000 final just four days after his 19th birthday, but was dropped in favour of the more experienced Cesar at Hampden Park two seasons later.
An injury to Cesar saw Casillas introduced in the second period and made a number of superb saves to frustrate Bayer Leverkusen and crown Real champions of Europe.
Casillas became a legendary figure at Real Madrid with only Raul having made more appearances for the club, winning four league titles and three Champions League trophies, including the fabled La Decima in 2013/14.
THREAD: Classic Iker Casillas saves! 🧤
1⃣ A young Casillas puts in a heroic performance to deny Leverkusen in the 2002 Champions League final 🏆🤩@IkerCasillas | @realmadriden | #UCL pic.twitter.com/tdGIdwFuhe
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) May 20, 2021
Casillas also formed part of the all-conquering Spain side that won three major tournaments between 2008 and 2012, captaining La Roja during their greatest era.
Substitute: Flávio Conceição
Flávio Conceição signed for Real Madrid in a €26m deal from Deportivo La Coruna in 2000, having been an integral figure in the Galacians’ rise and La Liga title success the previous season.
His time with Real Madrid saw the midfielder suffer several setbacks with fitness issues however, before spells with Borussia Dortmund, Galatasaray and Panathinaikos.
He also earned 45 caps for Brazil, twice winning the Copa America.
Read – Iconic Performances: The night Zinedine Zidane dominated Brazil
Read Also – Remembering the Real Madrid XI that won ‘La Decima’ in 2014
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