Unforgettable sports history is written when the unexpected happens, when the impossible becomes reality, or when humans show unnatural, athletic results. There have been many of these moments over the decades. We will highlight a few for you, simply because sport has so much to offer. Imagine you were in the stadium at these moments!
On May 25, 2005, two teams full of legendary football players competed against each other in the Champions League final. AC Milan with manager Carlo Ancelotti and captain Paolo Maldini against Rafael Benítez and Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool. It promised to be an exciting battle of titans, but AC Milan completely outclassed Liverpool in the first half. At the break, the Italians were already ahead 3-0 and the final seemed to be over.
But the tables turned in the second half. Within fifteen minutes, Liverpool scored three times and tied the score. After ninety minutes, penalty kicks had to appoint a winner. The English side controlled their nerves best and completed the ‘Miracle of Istanbul’. In 45 minutes Gerrard and his teammates went from a big disappointment to a big party: Liverpool was the best team in Europe after an incredible comeback.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal fought each other 40 times, playing very memorable matches. The Wimbledon final in 2008 is certainly one of the most spectacular encounters between two of the greatest tennis players ever. Both showed their best game, but Nadal won the first two sets. A rain shower then resulted in an eighty-minute delay. Would Nadal humiliate his rival with a big score?
After the break, Federer recovered by winning the next two sets. In the last and all-determining set, the Swiss was two points away from the Wimbledon title, but Nadal held on and won the prize. He won the match after four hours and 48 minutes, while it was already getting dark. It was the longest Wimbledon final ever and reporters immediately labeled it as “the best tennis match ever.”
Also in rugby one match has been repeatedly labelled “the best match ever”. In 2000, 110,000 spectators at the Sydney Olympic Stadium witnessed a legendary opening match of the Tri Nations Series. Australia and New Zealand, two top rugby countries and big rivals, started the tournament spectacularly. New Zealand was on a 24-0 lead after just nine minutes, but Australia came back to 24-24 before the break.
The winner would be determined only at the final stage of the match. It looked like Australia would take the win after The Wallabies took a 35-34 lead. However, New Zealand, the famous All Blacks, got one more chance and took it. Jonah Lomu became the match winner with a winning try in the 83rd minute. One of the most exciting rugby matches ever ended with a victory for New Zealand.
The Formula 1 fans who watched the Canadian Grand Prix in 2011 will never forget that race. The reason for that is the performance of McLaren driver Jenson Button. The Englishman crashed his car twice and was driving completely behind at one point, but eventually crossed the finish line first.
Many accidents happened that day, at the rainy Gilles Villeneuve Circuit in Montreal. Button first hit his McLaren colleague Lewis Hamilton, but was able to continue after a safety car. On lap 26, the race was halted for two hours due to a thunderstorm. After the restart, Button collided with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, but was able to continue driving. After a pit stop, he re-entered at the last position.
Button, an expert on the semi-wet track, then set great lap times, overtaking drivers one by one. His hunt ended right behind the leader Sebastian Vettel, who was comfortably first for a long time. The moment Vettel slipped, Button overtook him and took the win. An absolute Formula 1 classic!
Choosing from countless special moments at the Olympic Games is an impossible task. That’s why we just chose one that we want to remind you of. It happened in Beijing, China, in the year 2008. During these Olympics, the public was introduced to Usain Bolt, a sprinter from Jamaica.
Bolt had set a new world record in the 100 meters (9.72s) just before the Olympics and was the favorite for the same distance in China. The Jamaican exceeded all expectations by beating his own record (9.69s). Bolt ran with the laces of his left shoe untied and he was already celebrating before the finish line.
Four days later, Bolt also set a world record in the 200 meters. In 19.30 seconds he ran to his second gold medal. The two Summer Olympics that followed, London 2012 and Rio de Janeiro 2016, ‘The Lightning Bolt’ would repeat winning gold in the 100 and the 200 meters. He was simply unbeatable.
Every match has the potential of becoming legendary. Do you want to experience big sports moments live? Take a look at our tickets to secure your spot!