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The BBC's Ian Brown
"Pedigree and experience was the telling factor"
 real 28k

The BBC's Alan Green
"Hail Real Madrid"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 24 May, 2000, 21:53 GMT 22:53 UK
Real storm to Cup glory
Steve McManaman
Steve McManaman celebrates his goal
Real Madrid 3-0 Valencia

Real Madrid enhanced their reputation as the most successful team in European Cup history as they claimed a record eighth triumph in Paris.

Goals from Fernando Morientes, Steve McManaman and Raul put Real Madrid back on the European map in a breathless Champions League final in the Stade de France.

McManaman, who tormented Valencia throughout the game, had written himself into Spanish folklore after his stunning second-half volley put Real two goals ahead.

And Spanish striker Raul - already a legend in his homeland - added to Valencia's woes with a breathtaking 75th minute strike to clinch the victory and Real Madrid's eighth European Cup triumph.


Roberto Carlos
Roberto Carlos: Free-kick lead to Real's goal
Fernando Morientes had sent the Madrid supporters into raptures with a well taken first-half header to put the side from the capital in the ascendancy .

It was the first time in 45 years that two sides from the same country had contested the final, although these two old foes were doubtless, all too familiar with one another.

More than 50,000 supporters had travelled from Spain to Paris to witness a final which Real had to win if they were to be in the competition next season.

Both sides had a lot to live up to after Manchester United's wonderful comeback against Bayern Munich in Barcelona 12 months ago and it was a great opening half, played at a ferocious pace.

Corner

Valencia started the game the brighter of the two sides earning an early corner, but the skills of McManaman and Raul gradually brought Real back into the game.

Indeed, the first clear-cut opportunity fell to Anelka after Carlos' centre, but the former Arsenal striker directed his header straight at Valencia keeper Santiago Canizares who tipped the ball spectacularly over the bar.

With 16 minutes played, Claudio Lopez and Gaizka Mendieta combined well but Mendieta's shot was well saved by 19-year-old keeper Iker Casillas.

As Valencia swept forward in quest of a breakthrough, the lively Lopez shot just wide from the edge of the area.

England star McManaman was next to try his luck when he rifled a close range shot goalwards but Canizares made a stunning reflex save to deny him.

Inspiration

Real needed some form of inspiration and it arrived in the shape of their Brazilian full-back.


Steve McManaman
Steve McManaman: Sensational strike
The Madrid side earned a free-kick in the 38th minute which Carlos blasted goalwards with his trusty left boot. However, the ball took a deflection before bobbling towards Anelka.

The Frenchman scampered down the right of the area, slipped the ball into the path of Salgado, who sent over a great cross which Morientes headed past the stranded keeper to put Real one goal in front.

With the second half evenly balanced, McManaman took centre stage when his sensational volley from the edge of the area put Real two goals to the good.

The fading star of Valencia finally disappeared without trace in the 74th minute.

Raul waltzed clear of the Valencian defence, forced the keeper to commit himself before cheekily rolling the ball beneath his feet and slotting it into Canizares' net.

Hector Cuper's side had paid dearly for their cavalier approach but there was little doubt that Real deserved the victory and more importantly, a prestigious place in next season's Champions League.

Valencia: Canizares, Angloma, Pellegrino, Djukic, Angulo, G. Mendieta, Gerard, Gerardo, Kily Gonzalez, Lopez, Farinos. Subs: Bartual Molina, Bjorklund, Oscar, Ilie, Sanchez, Milla, Albelda.

Real Madrid: Casillas, Salgado, Helguera, Karanka, Campo, McManaman, Morientes, Redondo, Carlos, Raul, Anelka. Subs: Illgner, Hierro, Sanchis, Savio, Baljic, Geremi, Karembeu.

Referee: Stefano Braschi (Italy)

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