Culture

That was the season

Time for a flashback to 2002/03 and our highlights from a season in which AC Milan were crowned champions for a sixth time, Cristiano Ronaldo made his Champions League debut and his namesake stole the show at Old Trafford – a performance every bit as devastating as Uma Thurman’s in Kill Bill

WORDS Dan Poole


Forza Milano

AC Milan v Juventus – never before (nor since) had the Champions League final been an all-Italian affair. And while it finished 0-0 after extra time at Old Trafford, don’t dismiss this game as boring – rather, it was tense and absorbing. Both goalkeepers had standout moments: Gianluigi Buffon made an incredible save from a Filippo Inzaghi header; Dida stopped three penalties in the shoot-out. The Brazilian’s heroics allowed Shevchenko to fire in the winner and Maldini to lift the trophy 40 years after his dad, Cesare, had done the same thing for the same team.

Did you know?
Milan’s triumph meant Clarence Seedorf became the first – and still the only – player to win the Champions League with three different clubs (Ajax and Real Madrid being the other two).


Ronaldo Show

This was the season Cristiano Ronaldo made his Champions League debut as a sub in a losing cause for Sporting Lisbon in qualifying against Inter. His namesake was still centre stage though, notably with a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford to send Real Madrid through to the last four. It was a performance so devastating that he was applauded off by all sides of the ground.


Best Boots

The adidas Predator Mania, worn by David Beckham and made so famous the season prior by that Zinédine Zidane goal in the final.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.


Forza Milano

AC Milan v Juventus – never before (nor since) had the Champions League final been an all-Italian affair. And while it finished 0-0 after extra time at Old Trafford, don’t dismiss this game as boring – rather, it was tense and absorbing. Both goalkeepers had standout moments: Gianluigi Buffon made an incredible save from a Filippo Inzaghi header; Dida stopped three penalties in the shoot-out. The Brazilian’s heroics allowed Shevchenko to fire in the winner and Maldini to lift the trophy 40 years after his dad, Cesare, had done the same thing for the same team.

Did you know?
Milan’s triumph meant Clarence Seedorf became the first – and still the only – player to win the Champions League with three different clubs (Ajax and Real Madrid being the other two).


Ronaldo Show

This was the season Cristiano Ronaldo made his Champions League debut as a sub in a losing cause for Sporting Lisbon in qualifying against Inter. His namesake was still centre stage though, notably with a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford to send Real Madrid through to the last four. It was a performance so devastating that he was applauded off by all sides of the ground.


Best Boots

The adidas Predator Mania, worn by David Beckham and made so famous the season prior by that Zinédine Zidane goal in the final.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!


Best Kit

This light-blue Kappa classic was Auxerre’s Champions League-specific away shirt and it’s a minimalist marvel. Old-timer Guy Roux was in charge of these snappy dressers – a world away from what Auxerre were wearing when he first took charge in 1961.

 


‘A wild mix of stress and emotion’

A Milanese match-up in the semi-finals ended with the Rossoneri progressing on ‘away’ goals at their home ground thanks to an Andriy Shevchenko strike shortly before half-time. The two ties were played within a week of each other and Paolo Maldini recalls “a wild mix of stress and emotions in town. I don’t remember another tour de force like it emotionally. At the final whistle we were obviously happy, but also empty after so many days of high tension.”

 


12 Sharp shooter

Ruud van Nistelrooy, Manchester United’s flying Dutchman, came out on top with 12 goals in nine games, the most since José Altafini scored 14 for AC Milan when they won in 1962/63.  

 

Pick of the year in…

Sport
Roger Federer won his first ever grand slam – at Wimbledon, of course. And, like Buffon, he’s still going 17 years later. Talking of longevity, 2003 was also the year that Michael Jordan retired at the age of 40 (for the third and final time).


Film

It’s hard to look beyond a sword-wielding Uma Thurman in her Bruce Lee-inspired yellow jumpsuit in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 1. But a special mention also for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won a record-equalling 11 Oscars.

Music
Our nod goes to Ms Dynamite’s infectious Dy-Na-Mi-Tee which is still “blowin’ up the stereo” all these years on. Great vid too, and the top tune on the FIFA 2003 soundtrack.

Books
Michael Lewis’s Moneyball hit shelves, with its story of Billy Beane and his overachieving Oakland A’s changing perceptions of how to build a winning team. Liverpool, among others, took note.


Forza Milano

AC Milan v Juventus – never before (nor since) had the Champions League final been an all-Italian affair. And while it finished 0-0 after extra time at Old Trafford, don’t dismiss this game as boring – rather, it was tense and absorbing. Both goalkeepers had standout moments: Gianluigi Buffon made an incredible save from a Filippo Inzaghi header; Dida stopped three penalties in the shoot-out. The Brazilian’s heroics allowed Shevchenko to fire in the winner and Maldini to lift the trophy 40 years after his dad, Cesare, had done the same thing for the same team.

Did you know?
Milan’s triumph meant Clarence Seedorf became the first – and still the only – player to win the Champions League with three different clubs (Ajax and Real Madrid being the other two).


Ronaldo Show

This was the season Cristiano Ronaldo made his Champions League debut as a sub in a losing cause for Sporting Lisbon in qualifying against Inter. His namesake was still centre stage though, notably with a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford to send Real Madrid through to the last four. It was a performance so devastating that he was applauded off by all sides of the ground.


Best Boots

The adidas Predator Mania, worn by David Beckham and made so famous the season prior by that Zinédine Zidane goal in the final.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

Culture

That was the season

Time for a flashback to 2002/03 and our highlights from a season in which AC Milan were crowned champions for a sixth time, Cristiano Ronaldo made his Champions League debut and his namesake stole the show at Old Trafford – a performance every bit as devastating as Uma Thurman’s in Kill Bill

WORDS Dan Poole


Forza Milano

AC Milan v Juventus – never before (nor since) had the Champions League final been an all-Italian affair. And while it finished 0-0 after extra time at Old Trafford, don’t dismiss this game as boring – rather, it was tense and absorbing. Both goalkeepers had standout moments: Gianluigi Buffon made an incredible save from a Filippo Inzaghi header; Dida stopped three penalties in the shoot-out. The Brazilian’s heroics allowed Shevchenko to fire in the winner and Maldini to lift the trophy 40 years after his dad, Cesare, had done the same thing for the same team.

Did you know?
Milan’s triumph meant Clarence Seedorf became the first – and still the only – player to win the Champions League with three different clubs (Ajax and Real Madrid being the other two).


Ronaldo Show

This was the season Cristiano Ronaldo made his Champions League debut as a sub in a losing cause for Sporting Lisbon in qualifying against Inter. His namesake was still centre stage though, notably with a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford to send Real Madrid through to the last four. It was a performance so devastating that he was applauded off by all sides of the ground.


Best Boots

The adidas Predator Mania, worn by David Beckham and made so famous the season prior by that Zinédine Zidane goal in the final.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.


Forza Milano

AC Milan v Juventus – never before (nor since) had the Champions League final been an all-Italian affair. And while it finished 0-0 after extra time at Old Trafford, don’t dismiss this game as boring – rather, it was tense and absorbing. Both goalkeepers had standout moments: Gianluigi Buffon made an incredible save from a Filippo Inzaghi header; Dida stopped three penalties in the shoot-out. The Brazilian’s heroics allowed Shevchenko to fire in the winner and Maldini to lift the trophy 40 years after his dad, Cesare, had done the same thing for the same team.

Did you know?
Milan’s triumph meant Clarence Seedorf became the first – and still the only – player to win the Champions League with three different clubs (Ajax and Real Madrid being the other two).


Ronaldo Show

This was the season Cristiano Ronaldo made his Champions League debut as a sub in a losing cause for Sporting Lisbon in qualifying against Inter. His namesake was still centre stage though, notably with a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford to send Real Madrid through to the last four. It was a performance so devastating that he was applauded off by all sides of the ground.


Best Boots

The adidas Predator Mania, worn by David Beckham and made so famous the season prior by that Zinédine Zidane goal in the final.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!


Best Kit

This light-blue Kappa classic was Auxerre’s Champions League-specific away shirt and it’s a minimalist marvel. Old-timer Guy Roux was in charge of these snappy dressers – a world away from what Auxerre were wearing when he first took charge in 1961.

 


‘A wild mix of stress and emotion’

A Milanese match-up in the semi-finals ended with the Rossoneri progressing on ‘away’ goals at their home ground thanks to an Andriy Shevchenko strike shortly before half-time. The two ties were played within a week of each other and Paolo Maldini recalls “a wild mix of stress and emotions in town. I don’t remember another tour de force like it emotionally. At the final whistle we were obviously happy, but also empty after so many days of high tension.”

 


12 Sharp shooter

Ruud van Nistelrooy, Manchester United’s flying Dutchman, came out on top with 12 goals in nine games, the most since José Altafini scored 14 for AC Milan when they won in 1962/63.  

 

Pick of the year in…

Sport
Roger Federer won his first ever grand slam – at Wimbledon, of course. And, like Buffon, he’s still going 17 years later. Talking of longevity, 2003 was also the year that Michael Jordan retired at the age of 40 (for the third and final time).


Film

It’s hard to look beyond a sword-wielding Uma Thurman in her Bruce Lee-inspired yellow jumpsuit in Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill: Volume 1. But a special mention also for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which won a record-equalling 11 Oscars.

Music
Our nod goes to Ms Dynamite’s infectious Dy-Na-Mi-Tee which is still “blowin’ up the stereo” all these years on. Great vid too, and the top tune on the FIFA 2003 soundtrack.

Books
Michael Lewis’s Moneyball hit shelves, with its story of Billy Beane and his overachieving Oakland A’s changing perceptions of how to build a winning team. Liverpool, among others, took note.


Forza Milano

AC Milan v Juventus – never before (nor since) had the Champions League final been an all-Italian affair. And while it finished 0-0 after extra time at Old Trafford, don’t dismiss this game as boring – rather, it was tense and absorbing. Both goalkeepers had standout moments: Gianluigi Buffon made an incredible save from a Filippo Inzaghi header; Dida stopped three penalties in the shoot-out. The Brazilian’s heroics allowed Shevchenko to fire in the winner and Maldini to lift the trophy 40 years after his dad, Cesare, had done the same thing for the same team.

Did you know?
Milan’s triumph meant Clarence Seedorf became the first – and still the only – player to win the Champions League with three different clubs (Ajax and Real Madrid being the other two).


Ronaldo Show

This was the season Cristiano Ronaldo made his Champions League debut as a sub in a losing cause for Sporting Lisbon in qualifying against Inter. His namesake was still centre stage though, notably with a hat-trick against Manchester United at Old Trafford to send Real Madrid through to the last four. It was a performance so devastating that he was applauded off by all sides of the ground.


Best Boots

The adidas Predator Mania, worn by David Beckham and made so famous the season prior by that Zinédine Zidane goal in the final.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

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