Open main menu

The 1968 European Cup Final was a football match played at Wembley Stadium on 29 May 1968 to determine the winners of the 1967–68 European Cup, the 13th season of the European Cup, a tournament organised by UEFA for the champions of European leagues. The final was contested by Benfica of Portugal and Manchester United of England, with Manchester United winning 4–1 after extra time.

1968 European Cup Final
Old Wembley Stadium (external view).jpg
Event1967–68 European Cup
After extra time
Date29 May 1968
VenueWembley Stadium, London
Man of the MatchJohn Aston
(Manchester United)
RefereeConcetto Lo Bello (Italy)


Route to the finalEdit

  Benfica Round   Manchester United
Opponent Agg. 1st leg 2nd leg Opponent Agg. 1st leg 2nd leg
  Glentoran 1–1 (a) 1–1 (A) 0–0 (H) First round   Hibernians 4–0 4–0 (H) 0–0 (A)
  Saint-Étienne 2–1 2–0 (H) 0–1 (A) Second round   Sarajevo 2–1 0–0 (A) 2–1 (H)
  Vasas 3–0 0–0 (A) 3–0 (H) Quarter-finals   Górnik Zabrze 2–1 2–0 (H) 0–1 (A)
  Juventus 3–0 2–0 (H) 1–0 (A) Semi-finals   Real Madrid 4–3 1–0 (H) 3–3 (A)



The first half passed without incident, but eight minutes into the second half, Bobby Charlton opened the scoring for Manchester United with a rare headed goal. However, the lead only lasted for 22 minutes before Jaime Graça scored for Benfica. Benfica had a chance to win the match near the end of normal time, but goalkeeper Alex Stepney made a crucial save during a one-on-one with Eusébio. Eusébio applauded the save.[1]

The score remained at 1–1 until the end of normal time, forcing the match into extra time. The temperature was clearly playing a part in the players' fitness, and Benfica's players were clearly flagging when George Best put United in the lead again three minutes into extra time. Picking up the ball 25 yards from goal after the Benfica players failed to deal with Stepney's long kick downfield, Best broke into the penalty area and dribbled round the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. Brian Kidd, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, added United's third a minute later, before Charlton rounded off the scoring before 100 minutes had been played.

United were without their high-scoring forward Denis Law, who was sidelined with a knee injury and watched the match on television while in hospital.[2]

United's win meant that they became the first English team to win the European Cup, just a year after Celtic had become the first British team to do so. The win also marked the culmination of Manchester United's 10 years of rebuilding after the 1958 Munich air disaster, in which eight players had been killed and manager Matt Busby had been left fighting for his life. Captain Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes who had both survived the crash played in the game.


Benfica  1–4 (a.e.t.)  Manchester United
Graça   79' Report Charlton   53'99'
Best   92'
Kidd   94'
Attendance: 92,225
Manchester United
GK 1   José Henrique
RB 2   Adolfo Calisto
CB 3   Humberto Fernandes   20'
CB 4   Jacinto Santos
LB 5   Fernando Cruz
RM 6   Jaime Graça
CM 7   Mário Coluna (c)
LM 8   José Augusto
RF 9   José Torres
CF 10   Eusébio
LF 11   António Simões
GK 12   Nascimento
  Otto Glória
GK 1   Alex Stepney
RB 2   Shay Brennan
LB 3   Tony Dunne
RM 4   Pat Crerand
CB 5   Bill Foulkes
LM 6   Nobby Stiles
RF 7   George Best
CF 8   Brian Kidd
CM 9   Bobby Charlton (c)
CB 10   David Sadler
LF 11   John Aston
GK 12   Jimmy Rimmer
  Matt Busby

Man of the Match:
  John Aston (Manchester United)[3]

  Aurelio Angonese (Italy)
  Francesco Francescon (Italy)

See alsoEdit


  • Murphy, Alex (2006). The Official Illustrated History of Manchester United. London: Orion Books. pp. 118–121. ISBN 0-7528-7603-1.
  • White, John D. T. (2008). The Official Manchester United Almanac. London: Orion Books. pp. 160–161. ISBN 978-0-7528-9192-7.
  • 1968 European Cup Final - Manchester United 4 Benfica 1 (DVD). Manchester United. 29 May 1968.
  • "1968: Manchester Utd win European Cup". On This Day. BBC. 29 May 1968. Retrieved 19 September 2008.


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ "Denis Law". Archived from the original on 22 June 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2013.
  3. ^ Morgan, Steve (14 April 2009). "Portuguese links: A-M". Manchester United. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009.

External linksEdit