This Thursday marks 57 years on winning of the 1st European Champion Clubs’ Cup. Benfica made an outstanding season, beginning a golden decade, and the heroes of Bern were received in glory.
It was a notable journey in every level! After winning the National Championship in the previous season, Benfica sealed the presence in the restricted group of clubs that competed in the European Champion Clubs’ Cup in 1960/61.
Step by step, tie by tie, the reds showed quality, ambition and merit… a merit crowned with class, quality and a lot of personality at the Wankdorf Stadium, in Bern.
But first, to reach the much sought final, Benfica left behind Hearts, Ujpesti, Aarhus and Rapid behind.
Already with the Second National title in a row secured, four rounds away from its end, Benfica traveled to Switzerland to play its first European Champion Clubs’ Cups final. On the other side, the powerful Barcelona.
The Hungarian coach Béla Guttmann fielded Costa Pereira, Mário João, Ângelo Neto, Germano, Cruz, José Augusto, Santana, José Águas (captain), Coluna and Cavém…
The blaugrana squad opened the scoring in the 20th minute through Kocsis, but the Portuguese Champion responded immediately. After a quick play on the left, José Águas, scored the equalizer. One minute later, the unthinkable, with the eagles getting in front, after an own goal from Ramallets. 2-1 was the result at half time.
In the resumption, a huge Benfica, with Coluna, at 55’, extending the lead to two goals. A spectacular and unstoppable strike with Ramallets watching the ball enter on the bottom right corner of his goal.
For Barcelona it was the all or nothing… At 75’, Barça pulled one back with a stunner from Czibor that sealed the final 3-2 score.
In its second participation in the competition, and after Rogério Pipi had lifted the Latin Cup in 1950, this time, on May 31, 1961, José Águas (top scorer of the competition, with 11 goals) received and lifted the 1st European Champion Clubs’ Cup… an unforgettable moment that would forever enroll the Glorious, of a tiny European country, as one of the great behemoths of the Old Continent!