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We are waiting for the first Champions League without Messi and Ronaldo in 21 years! Do you remember what the world of football was like at that time?

Date: September 24, 2023 Time: 20:20:17

This Champions League season will be special for two reasons. First: This is the last draw of the tournament in its current format. Second: for the first time since the 2002/2003 season, neither Lionel Messi nor Cristiano Ronaldo will participate at the same time.

In 2002, Leo was still in the Barcelona youth team and Krish was accelerating his career at Sporting, which then did not go beyond the third qualifying round of the Champions League.

What will the Champions League be like in a year?

The last group stage of the Champions League in history awaits us. Then the tournament will change a lot.

Champions League – 2002/2003

That season there was an Italian final: Juventus – Milan. The match ended in a goalless draw, so the winner was determined in the penalty shootout, in which the Milanese team was stronger by 3:2.

Milan started their path to that final from the third qualifying round and almost finished it immediately: the away goal rule helped them beat Slovan (1-0 home, 1-2 away). In the first group stage (yes, then the Champions League was played in two group stages; the second was for the teams that finished first and second in their groups), Carlo Ancelotti’s team won four victories and suffered two defeats. , obtaining the same number of points as Deportivo” But still took first place thanks to a crushing victory over the Spanish team (4-0). The second group stage with Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and Lokomotiv Milan continued with the same style: four 1:0 wins and two losses. This, however, was enough to take first place.

In the quarterfinals, where Milan faced Ajax, the main battle took place in the second leg at San Siro: the home team took the lead, but in the second half the visitors got involved, so in the 90th minute The Dutch surpassed the classification. away goal rule (first the match ended with the score 0:0). However, Dal Tomasson finally got the win for Milan, scoring the third. In the semi-final against Inter, the situation was repeated: in the first leg there was a goalless draw, and in the second leg, a goal by Andrei Shevchenko in the conditional first leg was enough to reach the final by 1-1.

He also scored against Juventus at Old Trafford, but the referee disallowed the goal for offside, after which both teams locked down and held scoreless until the penalty shootout, where Dida saved three shots: Buffon only had two saves.


Photo: Alex Livesey/Getty Images

The top scorer of that tournament was Ruud van Nistelrooy: the Manchester United striker scored 12 goals in two group stages and the quarterfinals.

Ballon d’Or – 2002 and 2003

The Ballon d’Or was not awarded at the end of the season, but at the end of the year. In December 2002, Real Madrid forward Ronaldo received the award: he beat another Brazilian, Roberto Carlos, by 24 points. For the Phenomenon, that award was the second in his career: he received his first Ballon d’Or in 1997.

In 2003, the award went to Czech Pavel Nedved: despite losing the Champions League final, he left behind Thierry Henry and Paolo Maldini.

Who won the Ballon d’Or, and also the World Cup and the Champions League


A closed club without Messi and Ronaldo. Only these 8 players won the Champions League, the World Cup and the Ballon d’Or

Champions 2002/2003

In England, Manchester United took the championship, five points ahead of Arsenal, who led by an eight-point margin at the beginning of March. Newcastle took third place, Chelsea fourth: both clubs entered the third qualifying round of the Champions League. Liverpool, Blackburn and Southampton entered the first round of the UEFA Cup. Manchester City, who only came in ninth place, also qualified for the European competition thanks to their fair play rating.

The top scorer of the season in the Premier League, as well as in the Champions League, was Van Nistelrooy, with 25 goals.

“Manchester united”

Photo: John Peters/Getty Images

In Spain, Real were proclaimed champions for the 29th time (what a team they were!), second place with a difference of only two points was occupied by Real Sociedad, for whom Valery Karpin and Dmitry Khokhlov later played, and Deportivo was third. . . Fourth place was occupied by Celta with another Russian in the lineup: Alexander Mostov. But Barcelona is only sixth.

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In Italy, Juventus won the Scudetto for the 27th time, Inter came second (interestingly, this was the only club led by a non-Italian; the Milan club was then led by the Argentine Hector Cuper), Milan came third.


Photo: Grazia Neri/Getty Images

In Germany, Bayern took first place, ahead of Stuttgart with 16 points and Borussia Dortmund with 17. Classic.

In France, Lyon won the championship for the second time in history; This was the beginning of their heyday, which lasted until 2008. But PSG finished that season in 11th place.


Photo: Christophe Paucellier/Getty Images

In Russia, CSKA was champion in 2003, Zenit was second and Rubin third. What about Spartak? 10th

Team rating

At the end of May 2003, the top ten teams in the world looked like this:

Brazil (world champion – 2002) Spain France Germany (second place in the 2002 World Cup) Argentina Netherlands England Turkey (third place in the 2002 World Cup) Mexico United States (1/4 final in the 2002 World Cup).

Heroes of 2023

Kylian Mbappé was four years old at the end of the 2002/2003 season. Erling Haaland is not yet three years old.

The world in 2002-2003

On the Billboard Hot 100 in 2002, Nickelback’s song “How You Remind Me” ranked first, and in 2003, 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” ranked first.

Eminem’s song “Lose Yourself” stayed on the charts the longest, staying at the top for a total of 12 weeks (eight in 2002 and another four weeks in 2003). The song won several Grammy Awards.

The 2003 Oscar went to the film Chicago by Martin Richards, which also won the largest number of statuettes in different categories (6). Adrien Brody, who starred in “The Pianist,” was recognized as best actor; Nicole Kidman was recognized as best actress for her role as Virginia Woolf in the film “The Hours.”

In March 2003, Intel introduced its newest processor, the Pentium M.

In 2003, Apple launched iTunes, Skype appeared, and also the dating service Friendster.

Nokia and Motorola were the most popular phones.

What do you remember from the 2002/2003 season? Share in the comments!

Puck Henry
Puck Henry
Puck Henry is an editor for ePrimefeed covering all types of news.

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