The Champions League has been home to some of the most memorable goals in the history of football.
Zidane’s volley, Bale’s overhead kick and Messi’s solo run are all widely heralded as some of the game’s best goals of all time, and Steve McManaman’s scissor kick in the 2000 final is right up there with them.
McManaman, the second English player to ever represent Real Madrid, made it to the final in his debut season with Los Blancos and made sure it was one to remember with this dazzling strike to help secure a 3-0 victory over Valencia.
The technique on the strike was incredible, but for McManaman, it was just another day at the office.
“I was quite adept at those types of volleys,” said McManaman, speaking on BT Sport podcast James Richardson’s Kings of Europe. “I found them quite comfortable.
“I had to have both feet off the ground so I could elevate myself, because I wanted to hit the ball as early as I could. The more time you let the ball drop, the more time somebody can get a block. So I quite happy to jump in the air and get the volley away. I could do it quite comfortably. Even though it’s a hard volley to attempt, I felt I could do that quite easily.
“It wasn’t just thrashed at. I could control the ball really easily, and the way I jumped up, I knew I could control my feet so I wasn’t going to go under the ball, it was never going to go high. It was always a case of just getting the placement in.
“I could hit them hard and I could hit them without bouncing, but this one, with the bodies in the box, it was about diverting it away from my teammates and defenders and trying to place it into the corner.”
Scoring such a goal on the grandest stage in club football is the sort of thing every aspiring footballer dreams about, and the oft-subdued McManaman admitted it was one of the few moments in his career which really had him pinching himself.
“I think so, but only because we won the game,” he continued. “I look back, that made it 2-0, which gave us a little breathing space in the game, and I ran towards my family. I very rarely celebrated when I scored goals but I celebrated that particular day, and I ran over to my father and all the family.
“Watching Liverpool score in Champions Leagues… In 1981, I was nine. In 1984, I’m 12, and then I go watch Everton at my first time at Wembley. To ever think you’re going to get to finals…
“Looking back, it’s definitely a pinch yourself moment.”
Listen to the Steve McManaman interview in full in the latest episode of ‘James Richardson’s Kings of Europe’ – the latest podcast from BT Sport Pods out today across major podcast platforms.
Every Monday, journalist James Richardson interviews a Champions League winner from the past 30 years, providing unique insights into some of the biggest moments in European football history: btsport.com/pods