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1985/86: Madrid the comeback kings

1985/86: Madrid the comeback kings
Real Madrid celebrate retaining the UEFA Cup ©Getty Images

1985/86: Madrid the comeback kings

Real Madrid CF 5-1 1.FC Köln
(Sánchez 38, Gordillo 42, Valdano 51 84, Santillana 89; Allofs 29)
1.FC Köln 2-0 Real Madrid CF
(Bein 22, Geilenkirchen 72)
(agg: 5-3 to Madrid)

The Real Madrid CF team of 1985/86 made Lazarus look like a fatalist. They lost at AEK Athens, VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, Neuchâtel Xamax FC, Internazionale FC and 1. FC Köln - yet still managed to win the UEFA Cup.

Their greatest comeback was against Mönchengladbach in round three. Five-one down from the first leg in West Germany, Madrid triumphed 4-0 at home to go through on away goals. The Merengues' recovery powers were further tested by Inter in a repeat of the previous year's semi-final. Here the Nerazzurri held a 3-1 lead which Madrid overhauled with goals from Hugo Sánchez and Carlos Santillana, two apiece, and Rafael Gordillo.

This devastating form confirmed them as favourites to beat Köln, conquerors of Sporting Gijón, CU Bohemians Praha, Hammarby IF FF, Sporting Clube de Portugal and KSV Waregem. Perennial semi-finalists, the Bundesliga club were appearing in their first European final. Yet in Klaus Allofs, they had the competition's top marksman, and it was he who struck first at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Soon, however, the initiative shifted back to the men in white: Sánchez, Gordillo and Jorge Valdano netted before late efforts from Santillana and Valdano put the tie out of reach. So while Köln gained respectability with a 2-0 success in the return at Berlin's Olympiastadion, it was not enough to stop Madrid retaining the UEFA Cup.