Spanish giants Real Madrid need to overcome a 2-0 first leg deficit against Wolfsburg on Tuesday if they are to reach the Champions League semi-finals for a fifth consecutive season.
The 10-time European champions have a famous history of turning around heavy first leg defeats in European competition, but haven’t managed to do so in their last eight attempts stretching back to 2002.
Here, AFP Sports looks at four of Madrid’s most famous fightbacks.
Real Madrid 5 Derby County 1, European Cup 1975/1976 (Real Madrid won 5-4 on aggregate)
The birth of the Real “remontada” (comeback) tradition began in the unglamorous surroundings of Derby County’s old Baseball Ground. Infuriated by some dubious decisions as the English champions were awarded two penalties in a 4-1 first leg win, Madrid roared back to take the game to extra time at the Bernabeu before club legend Santillana bagged the winner to progress to the quarter-finals in 1975.
Real Madrid 3 Inter Milan 0, UEFA Cup 1984/85 (Real Madrid won 3-2 on aggregate)
To this day Madrid fans recall the spirit of Juanito after the diminutive forward warned Inter’s players that “90 minutes at the Bernabeu is a long time” after a 2-0 first leg defeat at the San Siro.
He was proven right as two more goals from Santillana and a winner by Michel turned the tie around as Madrid went onto win the UEFA Cup for the first time.
Real Madrid 4 Borussia Moenchengladbach 0, UEFA Cup 1985/86 (5-5 on aggregate, Real Madrid won on away goals)
An even more remarkable comeback was needed for Madrid to retain the UEFA Cup a year later as they overturned a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Moenchengladbach in the last 16.
Santillana and Argentine World Cup winner Jorge Valdano both scored twice to progress to the quarter-finals on away goals.
Real Madrid 2 Bayern Munich 0, Champions League 2001/2002 (Real Madrid won 3-2 on aggregate)
The good omens for Madrid are that the last time they managed to overcome a first leg deficit it was against German opposition, coach Zinedine Zidane was playing and they went on to win the Champions League. The bad news is it was 14 years ago.
Ivan Helguera and Guti were Madrid’s heroes against Bayern in the quarter-finals before Zidane went on to shine against another German side Bayer Leverkusen with a stunning volleyed winner in the final.
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