1967 European Cup Final

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1967 European Cup Final
1967 European Cup Final programme.jpeg
Match programme cover
Event 1966–67 European Cup
Date25 May 1967
Venue Estádio Nacional, Lisbon
Referee Kurt Tschenscher (West Germany)

The 1967 European Cup Final was a football match between Italian team Inter Milan and Scottish team Celtic. It took place at the Estádio Nacional in Lisbon, Portugal on 25 May 1967 in front of a crowd of 45,000. It was the final of the 1966–67 European Cup, the premier club competition in Europe. The match was Celtic's first European final and Inter's third; they had won the tournament in two of the previous three years.


Both teams had to go through four rounds of matches to reach the final. Celtic won their first two ties comfortably, with their second two rounds being tighter. Inter's first tie was very close but they won their next two by bigger margins. In the semi-final, Inter needed a replay to win the tie.

Inter scored after seven minutes, when Sandro Mazzola converted a penalty. Celtic equalised through Tommy Gemmell after he scored on 63 minutes. Stevie Chalmers then put Celtic in the lead after 84 minutes. The match finished 2–1 to Celtic. It was said to be a victory for football because Celtic's attacking football overcame Inter's catenaccio defensive style, which was considered to be a less attractive way to play the game. Celtic's manager Jock Stein and the team received acclaim after the match and were given the nickname the Lisbon Lions; considered to be the greatest side in the club's history. The victory allowed Celtic to become the first ever British team, and first team from northern Europe, to win the European Cup.

Route to the final


RoundOpponentsFirst legSecond legAggregate score
First round Flag of Switzerland.svg Zürich 2–0 (h)3–0 (a)5–0
Second round Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg Nantes 3–1 (a)3–1 (h)6–2
Quarter-finals Flag of Yugoslavia (1946-1992).svg Vojvodina 0–1 (a)2–0 (h)2–1
Semi-finals Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Dukla Prague 3–1 (h)0–0 (a)3–1

Celtic qualified for the European Cup after winning the 1965–66 Scottish Division One, their 21st title, by two points over rivals Rangers. [1] Celtic entered at the first round where they faced Swiss side Zürich. Celtic won 2–0 at home, with goals from Tommy Gemmell and Joe McBride. They then won the away leg 3–0 as Stevie Chalmers scored and Gemmell got a brace. Celtic faced French side Nantes in the second round, and won the away leg 3–1. Nantes had taken the lead through Francis Magny, before McBride had equalised to level the match at 1–1. In the second half, Bobby Lennox and Bertie Auld scored to seal a victory. Celtic won the home leg by the same scoreline. Jimmy Johnstone put them in front, before Gérard Georgin equalised. Celtic again scored twice in the second half, as Chalmers and Lennox secured the victory. [2]

Celtic faced Yugoslavia (now Serbian) side Vojvodina Novi Sad in the quarter-finals, and lost the first leg 1–0 after a goal from Milan Stanić; this was Celtic's only defeat of the competition. The tie looked like it was going to end in a draw after Chalmers had given Celtic a 1–0 lead in the second leg. This would have resulted in the teams having to go to Rotterdam for a replay. However, in the 90th minute captain Billy McNeill scored to give Celtic the victory. [3] In the semi-finals, Czechoslovakian side Dukla Prague were beaten 3–1 in Glasgow, Johnstone put the hosts in front, before Stanislav Štrunc equalised. A second half brace from Willie Wallace gave Celtic the victory. The teams then drew 0–0 in Prague, which meant Celtic progressed to the final. [2] [4]

Inter Milan

RoundOpponentsFirst legSecond legAggregate score
First round Flag of the Soviet Union.svg Torpedo Moscow 1–0 (h)0–0 (a)1–0
Second round Flag of Hungary.svg Vasas SC 2–1 (h)2–0 (a)4–1
Quarter-finals Flag of Spain (1945-1977).svg Real Madrid 1–0 (h)2–0 (a)3–0
Semi-finals Flag of Bulgaria (1967-1971).svg CSKA Red Flag 1–1 (a)1–1 (h)2–2
Play-off CSKA Red Flag 1–0 (n)

Inter Milan had won the 1965–66 Serie A, their tenth title, by four points over second placed Bologna. [5] As a result of this, they qualified for the European Cup and their first round opponents were Soviet side Torpedo Moscow. Inter won the first leg 1–0, thanks to an own goal by Valery Voronin before drawing 0–0 in Russia. Their second round opponents were Vasas of Hungary, Inter won 2–1 at home, with goals from Carlo Soldo and Mario Corso, while Lajos Puskás had scored for the visitors. Two goals from Sandro Mazzola gave Inter the victory in the second leg.

Inter beat six-time champions and holders Real Madrid in the quarter-finals. Inter won 1–0 at home, through a Renato Cappellini goal. Before defeating Madrid 2–0 in Spain, thanks to another goal from Cappellini, and an own goal from Ignacio Zoco. In the semi-finals. Inter faced Bulgarian side CSKA Red Flag (now CSKA Sofia). Giacinto Facchetti scored for Inter, as they drew 1–1 at home, with Nikola Tsanev scoring for the visitors. Facchetti scored again in Bulgaria, but his goal was cancelled out by Nikolay Radlev, meaning that a play-off was needed to settle the tie. The play-off was supposed to be held in Graz, Austria, but CSKA were persuaded to let it be moved to Bologna in Italy, after they were offered a larger share of the gate money. [6] The match was won 1–0 by Inter, thanks to a goal from Cappellini, sealing their place in the final. [7]



The final was held in the Estadio Nacional, Lisbon StadionJamor.JPG
The final was held in the Estádio Nacional, Lisbon

Inter had won the European Cup in two of the previous three seasons, 1964 and 1965. Pre-match talk focused on Inter winning a famous tripletta of European Cups and they were considered strong favourites going into the game. [8] [9]

Inter were very well known for using a defensive tactic, the Catenaccio, which meant that they won many matches by slim scorelines and rarely conceded. [10] Their manager, Helenio Herrera, was the highest paid in Europe and was considered to be the catalyst of their success. [11] By contrast Celtic were an attacking team. Before the match their manager Jock Stein said that, "Celtic will be the first team to bring the European Cup back to Britain... we are going to attack as we have never attacked before," [10]

One of Celtic's most important players, striker Joe McBride was to miss the match. He had suffered a long-term knee injury and his last match of the season was on 24 December 1966. McBride would definitely have played had he been fit. He was in such good form for Celtic that, despite missing half the season, McBride finished as the top scorer in Scotland that year with 35 goals in 26 appearances. [12]

Inter's most important player, spanish international and Ballon d'Or winner Luis Suarez, missed the match with an injury. He was replaced by veteran Mauro Bicicli, a player with very few appearances in the season, and the loss of their star in the middle of the field would prove decisive in shaping Inter's destiny in the match. [13] [14]

Both Inter and Celtic had been performing well domestically throughout the season. Only a few days before the final Inter had been on the verge of winning a historic treble but losses in their last two games knocked them out of the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and cost them the Scudetto. The European Cup was the last chance for them to redeem what had initially been such a promising season. Celtic came into the final having already won the Scottish Division One, the Scottish Cup and the Scottish League Cup as well as the Glasgow Cup earlier in the season. [15] [16]


Inter had the first attack of the match, with Renato Cappellini running down the wing and supplying a cross to Sandro Mazzola whose header hit Celtic goalkeeper Ronnie Simpson's knees. Inter won a penalty minutes later when Jim Craig fouled Cappellini in the box, and Mazzola converted to put Inter in front after only six minutes. Once they had taken the lead, Inter retreated back into their defensive style, which allowed Celtic to attack. However, they struggled to get through Inter's defensive wall and were mainly restricted to long shots from outside the box. Bertie Auld hit the crossbar, then a cross from Jimmy Johnstone was gathered up by Giuliano Sarti, who then tipped a header from the same player over the crossbar. Inter pulled nine men back, but Celtic kept attacking them. Tommy Gemmell's dangerous free-kick was saved by Sarti, he then speculatively attempted to lob the Inter 'keeper and hit the bar. Despite Celtic's inability to break through their opponents defence they were in complete control of the match and Inter were not able to attack. Inter had not had another chance since their goal, whilst Celtic found themselves foiled time and again by outstanding goalkeeping from Sarti.

After just over an hour, Gemmell finally managed to equalise for Celtic when Craig passed to him from the right wing and he scored with a powerful 25 yard shot. [17] The balance of play remained the same with Inter defending deeply against sustained Celtic attacking. With about five minutes remaining, a long-range shot from Bobby Murdoch was diverted by Stevie Chalmers past a wrong-footed Sarti – rather than an instinctive intervention, Chalmers and his teammates asserted that they had practiced the same move many times in training. [18] This proved to be the winning goal. [19] [20]


Celtic Flag of Scotland.svg 2–1 Flag of Italy.svg Inter Milan
Gemmell Soccerball shade.svg 63'
Chalmers Soccerball shade.svg 84'
Report Mazzola Soccerball shade.svg 7' (pen.)
Estádio Nacional, Lisbon
Attendance: 45,000
Referee: Kurt Tschenscher (West Germany)
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Inter Milan
GK1 Flag of Scotland.svg Ronnie Simpson
RB2 Flag of Scotland.svg Jim Craig
CB5 Flag of Scotland.svg Billy McNeill (c)
CB6 Flag of Scotland.svg John Clark
LB3 Flag of Scotland.svg Tommy Gemmell
CM4 Flag of Scotland.svg Bobby Murdoch
CM10 Flag of Scotland.svg Bertie Auld
RW7 Flag of Scotland.svg Jimmy Johnstone
CF9 Flag of Scotland.svg Stevie Chalmers
CF8 Flag of Scotland.svg Willie Wallace
LW11 Flag of Scotland.svg Bobby Lennox
GK12 Flag of Scotland.svg John Fallon [21]
Flag of Scotland.svg Jock Stein
Celtic-Internazionale 1967-05-25.svg
GK1 Flag of Italy.svg Giuliano Sarti
SW6 Flag of Italy.svg Armando Picchi (c)
RB2 Flag of Italy.svg Tarcisio Burgnich
CB5 Flag of Italy.svg Aristide Guarneri
LB3 Flag of Italy.svg Giacinto Facchetti
CM4 Flag of Italy.svg Gianfranco Bedin
CM8 Flag of Italy.svg Sandro Mazzola
CM10 Flag of Italy.svg Mauro Bicicli
RW7 Flag of Italy.svg Angelo Domenghini
CF9 Flag of Italy.svg Renato Cappellini
LW11 Flag of Italy.svg Mario Corso
Flag of Argentina.svg Helenio Herrera

Assistant referees:
Rudibert Jacobi (West Germany)
Rudolf Eisemann (West Germany)


After the final whistle, there was a pitch invasion by Celtic fans, which meant that the Celtic team could not be presented the trophy on the pitch. [22] Some of the Celtic players also had their shirts taken by Celtic supporters. [22] Celtic captain Billy McNeill had to be ushered around the outside of the stadium under armed guards to receive the trophy on a podium in the stand. [22]

Inter's loss in the final is considered to be the downfall of "La Grande Inter", the greatest period of success in the club's history. They had been one of the top teams in Europe for the previous three years, however, failed to recover from their bad season in which they lost out to Celtic as well as in their two domestic competitions. [23] They finished the following season trophyless again and Helenio Herrera, the manager who was considered to be the catalyst of their success, then left the club. [15]

Celtic's attacking style play against Inter's catenaccio was heralded as a win for football. Inter manager Helenio Herrera said that "We can have no complaints. Celtic deserved their victory. We were beaten by Celtic's force. Although we lost, the match was a victory for sport." [15] while one Portuguese official said "This attacking play, this is the real meaning of football. This is the true game.". The Portuguese newspaper, Mundo Desportivo, said "It was inevitable. Sooner or later the Inter of Herrera, the Inter of catenaccio, of negative football, of marginal victories, had to pay for their refusal to play entertaining football." [24]

Celtic manager Jock Stein received widespread praise following the final. Liverpool manager Bill Shankly said to him after the match, "John, you're immortal now". Since the match a stand has been named after him at Celtic Park and he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire. [25] Stein is considered by many, including Alex Ferguson, to be the greatest ever Scottish manager, with his victory in the final being one of the main reasons for this. [26] [27]

The Celtic team from that year has also received much recognition. They have become known as the Lisbon Lions and are widely considered the greatest team in Celtic's history. All of Celtic's players were born within a 30-mile radius of Glasgow. [28] In 2000, Celtic named a stand at Celtic Park after the Lisbon Lions. [29] They also won the BBC Sports Personality Team of the Year Award in 1967. [30]

See also

Related Research Articles

<i>Catenaccio</i> Association football formation originating from Italy

Catenaccio or The Chain is a tactical system in football with a strong emphasis on defence. In Italian, catenaccio means "door-bolt", which implies a highly organised and effective backline defence focused on nullifying opponents' attacks and preventing goal-scoring opportunities.

Billy McNeill Scottish footballer and manager

William McNeill was a Scottish football player and manager. He had a long association with Celtic, spanning more than sixty years as a player, manager and club ambassador. McNeill captained Celtic's 'Lisbon Lions' to their European Cup victory in 1967 and later spent two spells as the club's manager. As a player and manager, he won 31 major trophies with Celtic.

Jimmy Johnstone Scottish footballer

James Connolly Johnstone, nicknamed "Jinky", was a Scottish footballer who played as an outside right. Johnstone played for Celtic for 13 years, and was part of the 'Lisbon Lions', the team who won the 1967 European Cup Final, as well as winning 9 consecutive Scottish championships. Johnstone scored 129 goals for Celtic in 515 appearances. He also won 23 caps for Scotland.

Lisbon Lions

The Lisbon Lions is the nickname given to the Celtic team that won the European Cup at the Estádio Nacional near Lisbon, Portugal on 25 May 1967, defeating Inter Milan 2–1. All but two members of the 15 man squad were born within 10 miles of Celtic Park in Glasgow, Scotland. Celtic's style was the antithesis of the cynical, but highly effective, defensive style of Inter. Jimmy Johnstone described the team's style as "like the Dutch speeded-up".

Jock Stein Scottish footballer and manager

John "Jock" Stein was a Scottish football player and manager. He was the first manager of a British side to win the European Cup, with Celtic in 1967. Stein also guided Celtic to nine successive Scottish League championships between 1966 and 1974.

Helenio Herrera

Helenio Herrera Gavilán was an Argentine, naturalized French, football player and manager. He is best remembered for his success with the Inter Milan team known as Grande Inter in the 1960s.

Ronald Campbell Simpson was a Scottish football player and coach. He is mainly remembered for his time with Celtic, where he was the goalkeeper in the Lisbon Lions team that won the European Cup in 1967. Earlier in his career, Simpson had won the FA Cup twice with Newcastle United. He also played for Queen's Park, Third Lanark and Hibernian. Simpson represented Great Britain in the 1948 Olympics, but was not selected for Scotland until 1967. He made his international debut in the famous 3–2 victory against England at Wembley.

Thomas Stephen Chalmers was a Scottish footballer who played as a centre-forward and spent the majority of his career with Celtic. He is the club's fifth-highest goalscorer with 236 goals and is considered one of their greatest players. He is particularly known for scoring the winning goal in the 1967 European Cup Final against Inter Milan. Chalmers later played for Morton and Partick Thistle. He also represented Scotland five times in international matches.

Bobby Lennox Scottish footballer

Robert Lennox, MBE is a Scottish former professional footballer who played for Celtic and was a member of their 1967 European Cup-winning team, known as the Lisbon Lions. He earned ten international caps for Scotland. In 2002, Celtic supporters voted him a member of the club's all-time greatest team.

Robert White Murdoch was a Scottish professional footballer, who played for Celtic, Middlesbrough and Scotland. Murdoch was one of the Lisbon Lions, the Celtic team who won the European Cup in 1967. He later managed Middlesbrough.

History of Celtic F.C. (1887–1994)

Celtic Football Club has always competed in the highest level of football in Scotland, currently the Scottish Premiership. The club was constituted in 1887, and played its first game in 1888. Celtic play home games at Celtic Park, having moved there from their original ground in 1892. The club quickly established itself as a dominant force in Scottish football, winning six successive league titles during the first decade of the 20th century. A fierce rivalry developed with Rangers, and the two clubs became known as the Old Firm.

Tommy Gemmell Scottish footballer and manager

Thomas Gemmell was a Scottish football player and manager. Although right-footed, he excelled as a left-sided fullback and had powerful shooting ability. Gemmell is best known as one of the Celtic side who won the 1966–67 European Cup; he scored the first Celtic goal in the final. Gemmell played 18 times for Scotland, and also played for Nottingham Forest, Miami Toros and Dundee. After retiring as a player in 1977, Gemmell managed Dundee and Albion Rovers.

1966–67 in Scottish football

The 1966–67 season was the 94th season of competitive football in Scotland and the 70th season of Scottish league football.

James Philip Craig is a Scottish former footballer, who played as a right back. Most closely associated with Celtic, he was a member of their Lisbon Lions side which won the 1967 European Cup.

1970 European Cup Final Football match

The 1970 European Cup Final was a football match held at the San Siro, Milan, on 6 May 1970, that saw Feijenoord of the Netherlands defeat Celtic of Scotland 2–1 after extra time. Ove Kindvall's goal in the 117th minute meant the trophy was won by a Dutch club for the first time. It remains Feyenoord's only European Cup triumph.

Charles Gallagher was a footballer who played as an inside forward. At club level he played mainly for Celtic, as well as Dumbarton. Born in Scotland, he represented the Republic of Ireland at international level, making two appearances for the team in 1967. He was a member of the renowned Lisbon Lions team that won the European Cup in May 1967.

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