1968 European Cup Final

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1968 European Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view).jpg
Event1967–68 European Cup
After extra time
Date29 May 1968
VenueWembley Stadium, London
Man of the MatchJohn Aston
(Manchester United)
RefereeConcetto Lo Bello (Italy)

The 1968 European Cup Final was a football match played at Wembley Stadium on 29 May 1968 to determine the winners of the 1967–68 European Cup, the 13th season of the European Cup, a tournament organised by UEFA for the champions of European leagues. The final was contested by Benfica of Portugal and Manchester United of England, with Manchester United winning 4–1 after extra time.

Route to the final[edit]

Portugal Benfica Round England Manchester United
Opponent Agg. 1st leg 2nd leg Opponent Agg. 1st leg 2nd leg
Northern Ireland Glentoran 1–1 (a) 1–1 (A) 0–0 (H) First round Malta Hibernians 4–0 4–0 (H) 0–0 (A)
France Saint-Étienne 2–1 2–0 (H) 0–1 (A) Second round Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Sarajevo 2–1 0–0 (A) 2–1 (H)
Hungary Vasas 3–0 0–0 (A) 3–0 (H) Quarter-finals Poland Górnik Zabrze 2–1 2–0 (H) 0–1 (A)
Italy Juventus 3–0 2–0 (H) 1–0 (A) Semi-finals Spain Real Madrid 4–3 1–0 (H) 3–3 (A)



The first half passed without incident, but eight minutes into the second half, Bobby Charlton opened the scoring for Manchester United with a rare headed goal. However, the lead only lasted for 22 minutes before Jaime Graça scored for Benfica. Benfica had a chance to win the match near the end of normal time, but goalkeeper Alex Stepney made a crucial save during a one-on-one with Eusébio. Eusébio applauded the save.[1]

The score remained at 1–1 until the end of normal time, forcing the match into extra time. The temperature was clearly playing a part in the players' fitness, and Benfica's players were clearly flagging when George Best put United in the lead again three minutes into extra time. Picking up the ball 25 yards from goal after the Benfica players failed to deal with Stepney's long kick downfield, Best broke into the penalty area and dribbled round the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. Brian Kidd, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, added United's third a minute later, before Charlton rounded off the scoring before 100 minutes had been played.

United were without their high-scoring forward Denis Law, who was sidelined with a knee injury and watched the match on television while in hospital.[2]

United's win meant that they became the first English team to win the European Cup, just a year after Celtic had become the first British team to do so. The win also marked the culmination of Manchester United's 10 years of rebuilding after the 1958 Munich air disaster, in which eight players had been killed and manager Matt Busby had been left fighting for his life. Captain Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes who had both survived the crash played in the game.


Benfica Portugal1–4 (a.e.t.)England Manchester United
Graça Goal 79' Report Charlton Goal 53'99'
Best Goal 92'
Kidd Goal 94'
Attendance: 92,225
Manchester United
GK 1 Portugal José Henrique
RB 2 Portugal Adolfo Calisto
CB 3 Portugal Humberto Fernandes Yellow card 20'
CB 4 Portugal Jacinto Santos
LB 5 Portugal Fernando Cruz
RM 6 Portugal Jaime Graça
CM 7 Portugal Mário Coluna (c)
LM 8 Portugal José Augusto
RF 9 Portugal José Torres
CF 10 Portugal Eusébio
LF 11 Portugal António Simões
GK 12 Portugal Nascimento
Brazil Otto Glória
Benfica vs Man Utd 1968-05-29.svg
GK 1 England Alex Stepney
RB 2 Republic of Ireland Shay Brennan
LB 3 Republic of Ireland Tony Dunne
RM 4 Scotland Pat Crerand
CB 5 England Bill Foulkes
LM 6 England Nobby Stiles
RF 7 Northern Ireland George Best
CF 8 England Brian Kidd
CM 9 England Bobby Charlton (c)
CB 10 England David Sadler
LF 11 England John Aston
GK 12 England Jimmy Rimmer
Scotland Matt Busby

Man of the Match:
England John Aston (Manchester United)[3]

Italy Aurelio Angonese (Italy)
Italy Francesco Francescon (Italy)

See also[edit]


  • Murphy, Alex (2006). The Official Illustrated History of Manchester United. London: Orion Books. pp. 118–121. ISBN 0-7528-7603-1.
  • White, John D. T. (2008). The Official Manchester United Almanac. London: Orion Books. pp. 160–161. ISBN 978-0-7528-9192-7.
  • 1968 European Cup Final - Manchester United 4 Benfica 1 (DVD). Manchester United. 29 May 1968.
  • "1968: Manchester Utd win European Cup". On This Day. BBC. 29 May 1968. Retrieved 19 September 2008.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Denis Law". nationalfootballmuseum.com. Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  3. ^ Morgan, Steve (14 April 2009). "Portuguese links: A-M". ManUtd.com. Manchester United. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009.

External links[edit]