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7 of the most mental moments in European Cup history: dopey Daum, magic Cosmin and more

1. The ultimate selection headache

The Stuttgart gaffer lost concentration and illegally fielded a fourth foreign player in the second leg at Elland Road

Christoph Daum is a colourful character, and he presided over one of the European Cup’s grandest cock-ups. After his Stuttgart side beat Leeds 3-0 at home in the 1992/93 competition, Daum lost concentration and illegally fielded a fourth foreign player in the second leg at Elland Road.

UEFA duly awarded the Yorkshiremen a 3-0 win, meaning Stuttgart’s away goal triumph was overturned and a replay required – at Camp Nou of all places. In front of just 7,400 fans, Leeds prevailed 2-1. Daum was dubbed ‘Christoph Dumb’ by a gloating British press, and sacked soon afterwards.

2. Jimmy earns a day off

Johnstone struck a deal with his boss ahead of their fixture with Red Star Belgrade: if they won by a hatful, Jinky could skip the away trip

“I ain’t getting on no plane, fool!”

Celtic winger Jimmy Johnstone almost certainly didn’t say that to manager Jock Stein in November 1968, but he did have a flying phobia.

Johnstone struck a deal with his boss ahead of their fixture with Red Star Belgrade: if they won by a hatful, Jinky could skip the away trip. Terror proved to be rocket fuel: he scored twice and set up two more, powering the Scots to a 5-1 victory and avoiding a white-knuckle ride to Yugoslavia in the process.

3. Old Lady humiliated by Butt

Everybody loves a goalscoring keeper, and in the Champions League, Hans-Jorg Butt is the daddy

Everybody loves a goalscoring keeper, and in the Champions League, Hans-Jorg Butt is the daddy. The 6ft 3in son of Saxony has bagged a remarkable 32 career strikes, including three in Europe – all of them penalties; all against Juventus.

He outwitted Edwin van der Sar while playing for Hamburg during a crazy 4-4 draw in September 2000, slotted home against the Old Lady again in a 3-1 win with Leverkusen in 2002/03, and converted a crucial spot-kick for Bayern Munich in the final group game in 2009/10. Nice.

4. No medals for meddlers

The English FA appealed to UEFA in 1959 to demand that only British referees should be used from the quarter-finals onward

Back in the early days of the European Cup, the rules were not clearly understood by all. In a blatant show of xenophobia, the English FA appealed to UEFA in 1959 to demand that only British referees should be used from the quarter-finals onwards, while the Dutch – clearly not getting the point – asked if they could enter the Oranje national side.

UEFA slapped them both down and in 1997 had to do the same to Juventus, when they suggested a final round played over a week in one country. Meddlers!

5. Barcelona rule the east and the west

For one season only, Germany were permitted two entrants: one from the Bundesliga, one from the eastern state

German unification was a joyful experience for its citizens after decades of division, but it posed a problem for UEFA rule-makers – who got into the 1991/92 European Cup? For one season only, Germany were permitted two entrants: Kaiserlautern from the Bundesliga, and Hansa Rostock from the eastern state that no longer existed.

Both got bashed by Barcelona. Elsewhere that season, Red Star Belgrade’s chances of retaining the trophy were nobbled by the war in Yugoslavia, which meant they couldn’t play any home games.  

6. Cosmin force

Cosmin Moti – a centre-back – saved two penalties in Ludogorets' 2014 Champions League qualifying round win over Steaua Bucharest to send his Bulgarian side into the group stage for the very first time. Normal goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov had been sent off in the last minute of extra-time, so up stepped Moti to don the gloves in his club's biggest-ever game – and duly delivered.

This was a madcap match in general; having lost the first leg 1-0, Ludogorets only forced extra-time thanks to Wanderson's smashing 90th-minute equaliser, but suffered their own last-gasp aggrievances with Stoyanov's sending-off. Not that it mattered: Moti stepped up to bag the first penalty himself (obviously) and then saved twice to deny Paul Pirvulescu and Cornel Rapa.  

Moti, a Romanian, spent seven years playing for Dinamo Bucharest from 2005-12. How sweet indeed. 

7. Madjer shows he's hungry for goals

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One of the European Cup’s greatest moments almost didn’t happen – because of a sandwich. In 1987 ravenous Porto forward Rabah Madjer, desperate to procure a snack, was caught sneaking out of camp by his assistant coach. 

The club wanted to sack the majestic Algerian schemer, but fans protested. Madjer repaid their faith with an ice-cold finish in the final against Bayern Munich – and he set up the winner. Cheese and pickle all round!

This feature originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe!

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