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22nd Jun 2015

Cardiff to host Champions League final – Memorable Millennium Moments

Tom Victor

Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium is set to become the first Welsh ground to ever host the Champions League final, according to multiple reports.

The 74,500 capacity stadium, which held six FA Cup finals and seven League Cup finals in the early 2000s, will be the venue for the 2017 final after the San Siro plays host to next season’s showpiece game.

It will be a chance for the Millennium to add to its catalogue of memorable footballing moments, following its grand opening in 1999, and here are just some of the scenes to which it has played witness.

Ray Parlour’s stunner

The FA Cup Final often produces an unlikely hero, and Ray Parlour fit that description back in 2002.

The 31-year-old was in his final year at Arsenal after a relatively unglamorous time in London, and there looked to be little danger when he collected the ball about 30 yards from Chelsea’s goal.

However, defying the odds, the ‘Romford Pele’ sent a curling shot beyond Carlo Cudicini and into the top corner, setting up a victory which would be sealed by Freddie Ljungberg 10 minutes from time.

Wales’ greatest win

The Millennium Stadium has been the home of the Welsh national team for more than 15 years, though results over that period have been mixed.

While the current generation look on course to qualify for their first major tournament of the century, it was a much earlier game which stands out as the country’s finest performance at the ground.

An Italian team containing the likes of Buffon, Cannavaro, Nesta and Pirlo were put to the sword by Craig Bellamy as Wales secured their first ever win against the Azzurri.

The Gerrard Final

If you ask anyone to name one FA Cup Final from the past 15 years, Liverpool’s penalty shoot-out victory in 2006 will be top of most people’s lists.

Underdogs West Ham led 2-0 and 3-2, only for Gerrard to take the game to extra-time with one of his finest ever strikes.

As the Liverpool man prepares to move to MLS, we can expect to see this goal on plenty of video montages on American TV screens.