The death of Ayrton Senna on this day 26 years ago was a chilling moment in sporting history.

Already a motorsport great by the time of the crash that ended his life, Senna is remembered as one of the most accomplished and toughest drivers to have ever got behind the wheel.

Boxing legend Sugar Ray Leonard landed a punch for the ages to become middleweight world champion on May 1, way back in 1957.

And only last year, Lionel Messi struck a wonder-goal against Liverpool that at the time looked to have sunk Jurgen Klopp's side's hopes of reaching the Champions League final.

It was his 600th goal for Barcelona, but there was a twist left in the tie.

1994 - Ayrton Senna dies after Imola crash

The weekend of the San Marino Grand Prix had already been one of the most devastating in Formula One history, with Austrian driver Roland Ratzenberger dying after crashing into a wall during Saturday's qualifying session.

Tragically, there was another death to come, and the world was stunned when three-time world champion Senna lost his life in Sunday's race.

Senna was just 34 years old. His Williams car was travelling at 192mph when it ran off course on the seventh lap and collided with a concrete barrier.

The Brazilian was airlifted to hospital but could not be saved and his death was announced that evening.

His funeral took place four days later in Sao Paulo, Senna's home city, with a reported three million people taking to the streets to mourn.

1957 - Sugar Ray Robinson throws the perfect punch

Many rate Robinson as the greatest fighter there has ever been, and aside from a 1943 defeat to Jake LaMotta, he lost to nobody in his first 131 completed professional bouts.

After losing two of his next five fights, Robinson retired in 1952 and pursued a show business career, but he was drawn back to boxing and became a middleweight world champion for the third time in December 1955.

Robinson was increasingly vulnerable later in his career, but he landed a fourth middleweight crown in Chicago on May 1, 1957, avenging a defeat to Gene Fullmer four months earlier.

Fullmer only lost one fight by knockout through his own storied career, and it was this one, Robinson landing a stunning left hook to the jaw in the fifth round that sent his opponent sprawling.

It has been widely described since as a 'perfect punch', and Fullmer had no comeback.

Robinson lost and later regained the middleweight title, retiring at the age of 44 in November 1965.

2019 - Messi puts Barca on the brink with 600th goal

Messi's 600th goal for Barcelona should have left no doubt about the Blaugrana's place in last year's Champions League final; after all, it put them 3-0 up against Liverpool in the first leg.

His raking free-kick flew into the top-left corner, with a small deflection on the way, to bring up another century of goals from Messi for the Camp Nou giants.

It was Messi's second goal of the game, as Barcelona left Liverpool, who played well but went unrewarded, with a mountain to climb at Anfield in the second leg.

Famously, of course, Liverpool turned the tie around with a 4-0 home triumph, leaving Barcelona, and the mercurial Messi, to wonder how they managed to squander such a position.

Barcelona head coach Quique Setien talked up Inter forward Lautaro Martinez and said lining up alongside Lionel Messi was a "huge incentive" for players.

Martinez has been heavily linked with a move to the LaLiga giants, who are also reportedly interested in Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.

The 22-year-old already plays alongside Messi with Argentina, having scored nine international goals in just 17 appearances.

Asked regularly about Martinez, Setien praised the forward's talent – and said playing alongside Messi could attract transfer targets to Barcelona.

"Lautaro Martinez is a great footballer," Setien told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Messi likes him? We will have to ask him. All good players can attract Barcelona's interest.

"As well as the fact that for many the fact of being able to play with Leo represents a huge incentive."

Martinez had scored 16 goals in 31 games for Inter before this season was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (Ronaldinho Gaúcho) became only the second Barcelona player after Diego Maradona to receive a standing ovation from Real Madrid fans at the Santiago Bernabéu. In that season he was to win his second FIFA World Player of the Year award as well as the Ballon d’Or. Ronaldinho had scored two spectacular goals in the game between Barcelona and Real, a derby known for pitting two of the world’s greatest footballing rivals against each other. His heroics in the El Clásico would come a year after Ronaldinho had won the World Cup with Brazil. He was at the top of his game and that put him on top of the world.

There are many, whom, having seen Ronaldinho, declare him the most skillful player to ever play the game, but the midfielder was also effective. That skill, the ability to dribble past players, score goals almost at will, and produce trickery that would make the world sit up and watch, brought with it trophies. Ronaldinho would become versed at taking free kicks and was always dangerous because of his ability to play anywhere in the attacking third of the football field. Ronaldinho was sometimes deployed as a winger, on either side of the midfield, as well as in the more central number-10 role. On occasion, he would also become the striker, which made him fearsome to defend. What was most scary about playing against Ronaldinho was the almost natural way he had of creating danger for opposition defenders. According Netherlands midfield general, Edgar Davids, who played with him at Milan, "For the skills and tricks, Ronaldinho was the best player that I ever played with."

Playing Career

Full name: Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (Ronaldinho Gaúcho)

Date of birth: 21 March 1980 (age 40)

Place of birth: Porto Alegre, Brazil

Height: 1.81m (5ft 11 in)

Playing positions: Attacking midfielder, forward

Club Career

        Years                    Team                             Apps   (Gls)

  • 1998–2001          Grêmio                              52      (21)
  • 2001–2003          Paris Saint-Germain            55     (17)
  • 2003–2008          Barcelona                         145      (70)
  • 2008–2011          Milan                                 76      (20)
  • 2011–2012          Flamengo                          33       (15)
  • 2012–2014          Atlético Mineiro                  48       (16)
  • 2014–2015          Querétaro                          25         (8)
  • 2015                   Fluminense                         7         (0)
  • Total                                                        441    (167)

Club Honours

  • Paris Saint-Germain - UEFA Intertoto Cup: 2001
  • Barcelona - La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06; Supercopa de España: 2005, 2006; UEFA Champions League: 2005–06
  • Milan - Serie A: 2010–11
  • Flamengo - Campeonato Carioca: 2011; Taça Guanabara: 2011; Taça Rio: 2011
  • Atlético Mineiro - Campeonato Mineiro: 2013; Copa Libertadores: 2013; Recopa Sudamericana: 2014

International Career

  • 1999-2013 Brazil 97 (33)

International Honours

  • FIFA U-17 World Championship: 1997
  • Copa América: 1999
  • CONMEBOL Pre-Olympic Tournament: 2000
  • FIFA World Cup: 2002
  • FIFA Confederations Cup: 2005
  • Olympic Bronze Medal: 2008

Individual Honours

  • FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball: 1999
  • FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Shoe: 1999
  • South American Team of the Year: 1999
  • Bola de Prata: 2000, 2011, 2012
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 2002
  • Ligue 1 Goal of The Year: 2003
  • La Liga Best Foreign Player: 2003–04, 2005–06
  • Trofeo EFE: 2003–04
  • FIFA World Player of the Year: 2004, 2005
  • UEFA Team of the Year: 2004, 2005, 2006
  • World Soccer Magazine World Player of The Year: 2004, 2005
  • UEFA Club Forward of the Year: 2004–05
  • FIFA Confederations Cup Bronze Ball: 2005
  • Ballon d'Or: 2005
  • Onze d'Or: 2005
  • FIFPro World Player of the Year: 2005, 2006
  • FIFPro World XI: 2005, 2006, 2007
  • UEFA Club Footballer of the Year: 2005–06
  • La Liga top assist provider: 2005–06
  • UEFA Champions League top assist provider: 2005–06
  • FIFA Club World Cup Bronze Ball: 2006
  • FIFA World Player of the Year Bronze award: 2006
  • Golden Foot: 2009
  • Sports Illustrated Team of the Decade: 2009
  • Serie A top assist provider: 2009–10
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Team of the Year: 2011, 2012
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A Best Fan's Player: 2012
  • Campeonato Brasileiro Série A top assist provider: 2012
  • Bola de Ouro: 2012
  • Copa Libertadores top assist provider: 2012, 2013
  • South American Footballer of the Year: 2013
  • UEFA Ultimate Team of the Year (substitute; published in 2015)
  • FIFA 100
  • Brazilian Football Museum Hall of Fame
  • C. Milan Hall of Fame

Marc-Andre ter Stegen is the world's "most complete" goalkeeper, according to his former Barcelona understudy.

With Camp Nou opportunities at a premium, Jordi Masip left Barcelona in 2017 to find first-team football at Real Valladolid.

Masip has gone on to be a fixture in the Valladolid side while keeping tabs on Ter Stegen's continuing development at Barcelona, with the German firmly established as number one.

This week, Masip reflected on whom he considers the world's best glovesmen, and the first to spring to mind was the man who kept him sidelined at Barcelona.

Masip told Stats Perform: "Well, I'm clearly leaning towards Ter Stegen. For me he is clearly the best because he encompasses all facets of the game.

"He's the most complete for my taste. He's the most complete with the feet and with his game in all areas.

"His performance has been reflected in Barca. He was very young when he arrived and has been progressing. For me he's the best right now."

Ter Stegen celebrated his 28th birthday on Thursday, and has emerged as a credible rival to Manuel Neuer with the Germany national team.

He has lifted a remarkable 14 trophies for club and country - 13 for Barca and the Confederations Cup for Germany - since leaving Borussia Monchengladbach in 2014. 

Yet Masip is aware there is another strong contender in Spain to be considered the world's premier shot-stopper: Atletico Madrid's Slovenia international Jan Oblak.

"Oblak is also in great shape, he is another great goalkeeper," Masip said.

"They are two goalkeepers who are in the teams they have to be, they fit perfectly with their respective teams. They're two great ones. They help all the other goalkeepers to look and improve."

A pair of Brazilians, Liverpool's Alisson and Manchester City's Ederson, have also persuaded 31-year-old Masip of their top-level qualities.

The pair have impressed in the Premier League and Champions League alike.

"I also like Alisson and Ederson, the Liverpool and City guys," Masip said. "They came in young, with a lot of desire, they are good and their performances have been reflected in the results of their teams."

Ivan Rakitic has declared he would willingly take the risk of catching coronavirus if it ensured Spanish football could resume.

The Barcelona midfielder said it is football's duty to society to "give a feeling of unity that we need so much", with LaLiga having been on hold since mid March.

Barcelona top the table, two points clear of Real Madrid, with 11 rounds of games to be played. It remains unclear whether the 2019-20 competition will resume although there are hopes of a June return to action.

Leagues in France and Holland have been abandoned and Spain's health minister Salvador Illa has cast doubt on whether football in the country can be played in the near future.

Rakitic told Marca that talk around the incentive for returning has centred around economic factors when the focus should be on how football can improve public morale.

He said in the newspaper: "I want to play. It is evident that we must try to return with the best sanitary guarantees but we must also know that they will never be 100 per cent.

"But that same risk will be borne by all workers on their return to work. Supermarket employees also change in dressing rooms and have the same or more possibility of getting it as we do.

"They take that risk and I want to take it too. I think we have that debt and I'm sure if we asked the fans they would love for there to be football."

The Croatian was asked to confirm the assertion that he would risk his own health.

He added: "Without a doubt and I say this from the awareness that the risk will be very small, but also because of the solidarity with those who have been playing for us from the first minute and that they will continue like this for many days."

Rakitic said he hoped football people, like everyone, would be "a little bit more human" after experiencing the coronavirus pandemic.

And he vowed players would be "more plugged in than ever" when games return, stressing they would give everything even if matches must proceed behind closed doors.

Rakitic said: "Lately I have heard many people talk about the problems there would be if we do not play, economic problems, European competitions, calendar, promotions, relegations, but I have not heard anyone talk about people, those people for whom their team is part of their life and they have suddenly had it taken away.

"Socially we must take a step, to be able to entertain people with what they like, so that we all stop thinking about viruses and disease, so that we can return to joking around with our neighbour from the opposite team."

Happy birthday, Marc-Andre ter Stegen – the most decorated goalkeeper in Europe's top-five leagues in recent years.

Barcelona's number one has lifted 14 trophies for club and country (13 for Barca and the Confederations Cup for Germany) since leaving Borussia Monchengladbach for the Blaugrana in 2014. Nobody else can match that.

And yet, Ter Stegen's future is uncertain. His contract expires in 2022 and, with the Catalan giants already in something of an economic uncertainty before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, it is unclear whether they will be able to agree fresh terms with the player.

Ter Stegen has always appeared happy to stay at Camp Nou, though, and when you look at the numbers, it certainly makes sense for Barca to do their utmost to tie him down.

We've gone through the Opta archives and picked out five key stats relating to his performances in LaLiga and the Champions League, compared to the rest of Spain and Europe. These facts and figures stretch back to May 22, 2014 - the day Ter Stegen signed his first Barca contract to become their player - and only include those keepers to make at least 20 appearances in each competition.

Given he was not the undisputed first choice for the first two years and did not even play a LaLiga match until September 2015, the numbers are firmly on his side...

IN 141 APPEARANCES IN LALIGA:

- Only Jan Oblak (99) has kept more clean sheets than Ter Stegen (58).

- No keeper has made more successful passes (3,453), and only former team-mate Claudio Bravo (82.4 per cent) can beat Ter Stegen for passing accuracy (82.2 per cent)

- No keeper has more assists (two, the same as Ivan Cuellar and Antonio Adan). Indeed, Ter Stegen was the first Barca keeper this century to assist a league goal.

- Only three keepers (Oblak, Cuellar and Sergio Asenjo) have made more saves from shots outside the box than Ter Stegen (156).

- Only three keepers (Alphonse Areola, Oblak and Bravo) have a better goals-conceded-per-game rate than Ter Stegen (0.92).

IN 58 APPEARANCES IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE:

- No keeper has kept more clean sheets (26) than Ter Stegen or played more matches.

- No keeper has made more saves than Ter Stegen (156). Four of those were from penalties – only Andriy Pyatov can match that tally.

- Only Oblak (66) has saved more from shots from outside the box than Ter Stegen (60).

- No keeper has made more successful passes (1,292) than Ter Stegen. Only Germany rival Manuel Neuer (81.1) has a better passing accuracy (80.9).

- Only Neuer (38) and Ederson (33) have made more accurate keeper sweepings than Ter Stegen (32).

Timo Werner does not have a shortage of suitors.

The RB Leipzig forward and Germany international is reportedly wanted in his homeland, England, Spain and Italy.

However, Werner reportedly only has his eyes on one team in the Premier League.

 

TOP STORY – WERNER WANTS TO JOIN LIVERPOOL

Timo Werner is not interested in joining Bayern Munich as the RB Leipzig star wants to team up with Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, according to BILD.

Werner is wanted by Bundesliga champions Bayern, who have targeted the Germany international previously.

But Werner – also linked to Barcelona, Manchester United and Inter – is prioritising a Liverpool transfer.

ROUND-UP

United have offered Jadon Sancho the famous number seven jersey as they try to prise the Borussia Dortmund sensation to Old Trafford, reports The Mirror. Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid have also been linked to the England international.

- Calciomercato says Juventus and Barca are continuing to negotiate a deal that would see Miralem Pjanic and Arthur swap clubs.

Barca and Manchester City are in advanced talks over a swap deal. SPORT says the two clubs are close to reaching an agreement that would see Nelson Semedo join City, with Joao Cancelo moving in the opposite direction.

Milan are dreaming of signing Brescia star Sandro Tonali, according to Calciomercato. With Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura set to leave, the Rossoneri are eyeing Tonali – who has been linked to the likes of Barca, United, City, Juve and Inter. Rennes midfielder and Madrid target Eduardo Camavinga and Arsenal's Lucas Torreira are also on the list.

- Will Lautaro Martinez make the move to Barca? SportMediaset claims Inter want €90million plus two players – Arturo Vidal permanently and Antoine Griezmann on loan.

Sergio Aguero believes Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will retire at Camp Nou as he "loves" the LaLiga champions.

Messi's future has dominated headlines following a public row with sporting director Eric Abidal prior to the 2019-20 season being suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner – contracted until 2021 – has cut a frustrated figure at times this term after on- and off-field issues at the club.

But Manchester City forward and Argentina team-mate Aguero feels the 32-year-old will see out his career with Barca.

"Leo is a player who is already a symbol and legend of Barcelona, but things happen in football," Aguero told El Chiringuito TV.

"Many players have changed for Leo and he stayed at Barcelona. He loves the club, he identifies with Barcelona, he is comfortable and happy.

"No matter how many things happen, he will continue. Unless something catastrophic happens."

Messi had scored 19 LaLiga goals and 24 across all competitions for LaLiga leaders Barca prior to the campaign coming to a halt.

Barca were two points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid through 27 matches at the time of postponement last month.

Lionel Messi will "have no trouble" signing a contract extension at Barcelona, according to the club's former president Joan Laporta.

Messi's future at Camp Nou has been a talking point amid turmoil at Barcelona, where the star is contracted until 2021.

The Argentina international can leave the LaLiga giants for free at the end of any season, sparking even further speculation over his future.

But former Barca president Laporta, who is expected to run again next year, said it would be easy for Messi to re-sign.

"[Messi] will have no trouble renewing his contract," he told Deportes Cuatro on Wednesday.

A player linked with a reunion with Messi at Barcelona is Neymar, who left the club for Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.

Laporta said he would bring the Brazil international back to Camp Nou, where he starred for four seasons before his departure.

"They were not clear with him," he said.

"I would bring him back for sure."

Barcelona midfielder Arthur has no interest in a move to Juventus and is desperate to stay at Camp Nou "for many years".

Reports in Spain have suggested Juve are ready to try to bring the Brazil international to Turin, possibly as a replacement for Miralem Pjanic, whose future appears unclear.

Mundo Deportivo claimed on Monday that Barca have given permission for Juve to speak to Arthur as the Serie A leaders can offer contract terms well beyond the means of the Blaugrana, whose players have already agreed to a 70 per cent pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, Arthur, who joined the LaLiga champions from Gremio in 2018 in a deal potentially worth €39million, sees his future in Catalonia.

In a statement sent to Mundo Deportivo, he said: "There will always be speculation but, sincerely, my idea is very clear. The only option that interests me is to continue at Barcelona.

"I'm very secure and relaxed. I feel really well here and, plus, I'm grateful to the club and technical staff for their confidence. This is yet another reason to be totally clear that my only desire is to continue.

"The supposed interest of great clubs is always a compliment for anyone and a positive sign, but my mind is only on playing here for many years.

"Barca is where I have always wanted to be and I want to be Blaugrana for a long time, beyond any other question. Every day, I feel more comfortable and well here, in the team, at the club and in the city. Also, I love both the people and the culture here [and] I feel a lot of support from the fans.

"I'm concentrating 100 per cent on working and coming back to play when possible because I'm really eager to keep improving here and to fight for more trophies."

Arthur, 23, has made 23 appearances in all competitions for Barca this season despite problems with injuries.

Barcelona's Arthur is reportedly heading to Juventus, while Liverpool are targeting a forward.

Arthur has been linked with a move away from the LaLiga giants, and it seems that could be getting closer.

Enter the Serie A champions.

 

TOP STORY – BARCELONA, JUVENTUS IN TALKS OVER ARTHUR

Barcelona and Juventus are in advanced negotiations for Arthur, according to Mundo Deportivo.

The report says Juve coach Maurizio Sarri wants Arthur, while Miralem Pjanic, Rodrigo Bentancur and Federico Bernardeschi are linked with moves in the opposite direction.

Arthur, 23, joined Barcelona from Gremio in 2018.

ROUND-UP

- Liverpool are reportedly eyeing a forward. Le 10 Sport reports the Premier League leaders are interested in Lille's Victor Osimhen and talks have already begun between the parties.

- Philippe Coutinho's future remains uncertain. Sport reports Barcelona are considering keeping the playmaker, who is on loan at Bayern Munich, beyond this season.

- Could James Rodriguez and Carlo Ancelotti be reunited? Sport says the Everton manager has asked the Premier League club to sign the attacker, with the duo having worked together at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.

- Out of contract next year, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is linked with a move away from Arsenal. The Sun reports the Premier League club are looking to sell the forward for just £30million.

- Edinson Cavani is set to leave Paris Saint-Germain when his deal expires at the end of the season. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the striker has offered himself to Inter, who have been linked with moves for a forward amid speculation over Lautaro Martinez's future.

Andre Onana confirmed he wanted to leave Ajax, saying he was ready "to take a step" amid links with a move to Barcelona.

Onana, 24, has starred during the past four seasons with the Eredivisie giants, where he arrived from Barca in 2015.

The Cameroon goalkeeper has attracted interest from across Europe, with Barcelona, Chelsea and Tottenham among the clubs linked with a move for the shot-stopper.

Onana, who is contracted at Ajax until 2022, said he was ready to make a move.

"Don't get me wrong, I am very happy with Ajax and I am very grateful to the club," he told AD on Tuesday.

"It was five great years here, but now my time has come to take a step. We made that appointment last year.

"I don't yet know what will happen, but my ambitions and agreements are clear."

Andrés Iniesta came through La Masia, the Barcelona youth academy, after an early emigration from his birthplace, and impressed from an early age. He made his first-team debut aged 18 in 2002. He began playing regularly during the 2004–05 season and has remained in the team ever since. Iniesta was an integral part of the Barcelona sides that won two historic trebles in 2009 and 2015, and his 33 trophies make him the most decorated Spanish footballer of all time.

 

Playing Career

Full name: Andrés Iniesta Luján

Date of birth: 11 May 1984 (age 35)

Place of birth: Fuentealbilla, Spain

Height: 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)

National Team:

  • 2006–2018 Spain  131 (13)

Honours

  • FIFA World Cup: 2010
  • UEFA European Championship: 2008, 2012
  • UEFA European Under-19 Championship: 2002
  • UEFA European Under-16 Championship: 2001
  • FIFA World Cup Dream Team: 2010

 

FIFA World Cup appearances: 4

  • Round of 16 - 2006 Germany
  • Winner - 2010 South Africa
  • First Round 2014 - Brazil
  • Round of 16 - 2018 Russia

 

Club Career

  • 2001–2003 Barcelona B 54   (5)
  • 2002–2018 Barcelona    442 (35)
  • 2018–   Vissel Kobe  38   (9)

 

Honours

  • Barcelona - La Liga: 2004–05, 2005–06, 2008–09, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2017–18; Copa del Rey: 2008–09, 2011–12, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2017–18; Supercopa de España: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2016; UEFA Champions League: 2005–06, 2008–09, 2010–11, 2014–15; UEFA Super Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015; FIFA Club World Cup: 2009, 2011, 2015

Ten years ago today, Jose Mourinho was luxuriating in "the most beautiful defeat of my life" after Inter's rearguard frustrated Barcelona in the Champions League semi-finals.

A 1-0 loss on the night meant a 3-2 aggregate triumph that famously persuaded Mourinho to cavort boisterously across the Camp Nou turf.

Inter would go on to complete a stunning treble in 2009-10, sweeping all before them in Italy and beating Bayern Munich in that season's European final.

It was Mourinho's second title in Europe's top competition after he masterminded Porto's unlikely march to glory in 2003-04 – a success that set up one of the most celebrated coaching careers of the 21st century.

Here, we look at some of the inimitable Portuguese's greatest games in the competition that launched him to prominence.

MANCHESTER UNITED 1-1 PORTO (2004)

Mourinho probably doesn't often ponder the importance of Tim Howard when assessing his decorated career. But, if the USA international had gathered Benny McCarthy's free-kick during injury time at Old Trafford, a defining chain of events in early 20th century football would not have unfolded as it did.

Trailing 2-1 due to a McCarthy brace in the first leg, United edged ahead of the UEFA Cup holders on away goals through Paul Scholes' first-half header. From that point until the dying moments, the young Mourinho looked like simply becoming the latest bright young victim of Alex Ferguson in Europe.

But Howard fumbled, collided with his post and could do nothing as Costinho converted the rebound. Overcoat flapping in the Manchester night, off Mourinho tore down the touchline. Porto were into the quarter-finals and would go on to win the whole thing, dismissing Monaco 3-0 in the final. That sent Mourinho to Chelsea, where he declared himself to be a "Special One" at his unveiling news conference.

CHELSEA 4-2 BARCELONA (2005)

Despite winning back-to-back Premier League titles during his first spell at Stamford Bridge, Mourinho was unable to conquer Europe with Chelsea. However, this stirring, rollercoaster affair in west London will continue to live long in the memory.

Nursing a 2-1 deficit from a first leg doused in acrimony – the flames of which were fanned by Mourinho himself – Chelsea set about their illustrious opponents in riotous fashion. Eidur Gudjohnsen, Frank Lampard and Damien Duff made light of Didier Drogba's suspension to have the Blues 3-0 up inside 19 minutes.

Ronaldinho then reduced the deficit with an impudent touch of genius at the edge of the box and the Brazilian magician's penalty meant Barca were ahead on away goals before the break. Petr Cech had to produce heroics to keep the Blaugrana at bay during the second period before John Terry decisively powered home Duff's 76th-minute corner.

INTER 3-1 BARCELONA (2010)

The glorious nuisance value of the former Barca employee frustrating the club who turned him down in 2008 means 10-man Inter scraping through in Catalonia is the defining memory of this semi-final. However, as in the Chelsea triumph above, Mourinho showed his teams could combine thrill and efficiency during the initial encounter at San Siro.

Pep Guardiola's reigning European champions had to travel to Milan by coach due to the disruption to European air travel caused by the eruption of Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland and the resulting volcanic ash cloud. Pedro's opening goal suggested Barcelona were fully up to speed, only for the Nerazzurri to comprehensively outplay them.

Wesley Sneijder, enjoying the season of his career, levelled and Maicon gave Inter an early second-half lead. Diego Milito set up both those goals before making it 3-1. The Argentina forward would also be Inter's final hero, netting a brace to down Bayern at the Santiago Bernabeu – Mourinho's next port of call.

REAL MADRID 3-2 MANCHESTER CITY (2012)

Mourinho's capacity for irritating Barcelona undoubtedly played a part in his Madrid appointment and his stock was never higher than after Inter conquered all. He failed to scale those heights in the Spanish capital, however, with semi-final defeats a feature of each of his three seasons at the helm.

In the last of those seasons, Madrid kicked off their bid for glory in thrilling fashion against Manchester City in the group stage. After a circumspect and goalless first half, the Premier League champions twice led through Edin Dzeko and Aleksandar Kolarov. Marcelo and Karim Benzema swiftly cancelled the deficit each time, leaving Cristiano Ronaldo to thrash home a last-gasp winner – prompting another on-field celebration from a knee-sliding Mourinho.

CHELSEA 2–0 PSG (2014)

A second spell at Chelsea yielded one more Premier League title and ended in deep disappointment after an alarming start to the 2015-16 season. Before all that unfolded, he was off and down the touchline once more as the Blues dramatically sank Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.

Staring at a 3-1 deficit from the first leg of the quarter-final tie, Chelsea battled back to prevail on away goals. Losing Eden Hazard to injury early on looked to have stacked the odds too heavily against the hosts but Andre Schurrle, on in place of the Belgium star, reduced the arrears.

Another unlikely hero from the bench, Demba Ba, bundled home three minutes from time to spark scenes of delirium. Unfortunately for Chelsea, they ran into Diego Simeone's formidable Atletico Madrid in the semi-finals and PSG earned revenge in the round of 16 the following season.

JUVENTUS 1-2 MANCHESTER UNITED (2018)

Mourinho's United reign had arguably already suffered the blow from which it would never recover during the previous season's Champions League, when Sevilla saw off their limp challenge at Old Trafford.

However, this group stage encounter offered hints of what might have been. Ronaldo thumped a stunning over-the-shoulder volley past David de Gea to give Juve a 65th-minute lead that remained intact until Juan Mata's delightful free-kick leveller with five to play.

Juventus were rattled and Leonardo Bonucci put Ashley Young's free-kick through his own goal. Ex-Inter boss Mourinho revelled in the celebrations, cupping his ear to the home supporters from the field. A month later, he was out of a job after United lost to Liverpool at Anfield.

It is almost a guarantee that whenever the name Diego Armando Maradona is spoken it will be in discussion about who is the greatest football player of all time. He was one of the two joint winners of the FIFA Player of the 20th Century award.

Maradona's vision, passing, ball control and dribbling skills combined with his small stature (1.65 m or 5 ft 5 in), giving him a low centre of gravity and allowing him to manoeuvre better than most other football players. He would often dribble past multiple opposing players on a run.

His presence and leadership on the field had a great effect on his team's general performance, while he would often be singled out by the opposition. In addition to his creative abilities, he also possessed an eye for goal and was known to be a free-kick specialist. A precocious talent, Maradona was given the nickname "El Pibe de Oro" ("The Golden Boy"), a name that stuck with him throughout his career.

In his international career with Argentina, he earned 91 caps and scored 34 goals.

Maradona played in four FIFA World Cups, including the 1986 World Cup in Mexico where he captained Argentina and led them to victory over West Germany in the final, and won the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player.

His second goal against England in the 1986 World Cup quarterfinal, a 60-metre dribble past five England players was voted "Goal of the Century" by FIFA.com voters in 2002.

 

Playing Career 

Full name: Diego Armando Maradona

Date of birth: 30 October 1960 (age 59)

Place of birth: Lanús, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Height: 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in)

Playing positions: Attacking midfielder/Second striker

 

Clubs

Years                  Team                           Apps        (Gls)

1976–1981          Argentinos Juniors           167         (116)

1981–1982          Boca Juniors                     40           (28)

1982–1984          Barcelona                         36           (22)

1984–1991          Napoli                            188           (81)

1992–1993          Sevilla                              26            (5)

1993–1994          Newell's Old Boys                5            (0)

1995–1997          Boca Juniors                      30           (7)

Total                                                      491         (259)

Honours

  • Boca Juniors - Argentine Primera División: 1981 Metropolitano
  • Barcelona - Copa del Rey: 1983; Copa de la Liga: 1983; Supercopa de España: 1983
  • Napoli - Serie A: 1986–87, 1989–90; Coppa Italia: 1986–87; UEFA Cup: 1988–89; Supercoppa Italiana: 1990

International

  • Argentina: 1977-1994 (91 Apps, 34 Gls)

 

Honours

  • FIFA World Youth Championship: 1979
  • FIFA World Cup: 1986
  • Artemio Franchi Trophy: 1993

Individual

  • Argentine Primera División top scorers: 1978 Metropolitano, 1979 Metropolitano, 1979 Nacional, 1980 Metropolitano, 1980 Nacional
  • FIFA World Youth Championship Golden Ball: 1979
  • FIFA World Youth Championship Silver Shoe: 1979
  • Argentine Football Writers' Footballer of the Year: 1979, 1980, 1981, 1986
  • South American Footballer of the Year: (official award) 1979, 1980
  • Olimpia de Oro: 1979, 1986
  • Guerin d'Oro (Serie A Footballer of the Year): 1985
  • UNICEF European Footballer of the Season: 1989–90
  • FIFA World Cup Golden Ball: 1986
  • FIFA World Cup Silver Shoe: 1986
  • FIFA World Cup Most Assists: 1986
  • FIFA World Cup All-Star Team: 1986, 1990
  • Onze d'Or: 1986, 1987
  • L'Équipe Champion of Champions: 1986
  • United Press International Athlete of the Year Award: 1986
  • World Soccer magazine's Player of the Year: 1986
  • Capocannoniere (Serie A top scorer): 1987–88
  • Coppa Italia top scorer: 1987–88
  • FIFA World Cup Bronze Ball: 1990
  • FIFA World Cup All-Time Team: 1994
  • South American Team of the Year: 1995
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