PSV Eindhoven, The worst European champion in history?

PSV Eindhoven, The worst European champion in history?
PSV became European champion in 1988 with a very practical style of play (Doll)

Last update September 8, 2020 by Javier Argudo

The edition of the European Cup 1987-1988 it was one of the strangest in history. Among many other things, because the tournament champion, the PSV Eindhoven, did not start among the favorites at the beginning of the competition.

The PSV (Philips Sports Association) was characterized in that season for being a compact team, solid and with a little showy but very effective game. The Dutch team had just won 2 consecutive leagues, but the sale of Ruud Gullit Milan lowered the level of the team considerably. Nevertheless, the young promises of PSV, among which was Ronald Koeman, they pulled the team wagon finally making an impressive campaign.

Koeman PSV
A young Ronald Koeman already stood out at PSV at the end of the 80 (L´Esportiu)

His career in Europe began in the round of 32 against Galatasaray, in a comfortable home game in which the Dutch won by 3-0, advantage that in the end would be definitive. In the second leg, the turks got 2-0 ahead on the scoreboard before the break, but the game ended like this and the PSV advanced to the round of 16.

In them, ran into the Vienna Rapid, team they could comfortably defeat with a 1-2 in Austria and a 2-0 at home.

Already in the quarterfinals, the dutch met the french champion, the Girondins of Bordeaux, team that a priori, was superior to them. The French started the tie on the right foot, noting the 1-0 in his stadium, but a goal from PSV Scored by Kieft before the break, it was enough to pass his team to the semifinals, behind the 0-0 that would be played two weeks later in Eindhoven.


Against all odds, those from Eindhoven were planted in the semifinals of the European Cup, where they faced Real Madrid of the Quinta del Vulture, that came from eliminating Naples by Maradona, the current champion, Porto and the always competitive Bayern Munich.

In the first leg in the Santiago Bernabeu, there was a certain atmosphere of calm in the white team, since PSV was a far inferior team to Bayern, Naples and Porto. This tranquility increased when as soon as the meeting started, Hugo Sanchez scored from 11 meters to put the 1-0, but shortly after the PSV would mark the final 1-1 with which they returned home with a certain advantage, because Real Madrid had to score at least one goal to go to the final.

Real Madrid PSV
La Quinta del Buitre lost its great opportunity to win the European Cup in Eindhoven (Sphera Sports)

Like in the quarterfinals, the PSV proved to be an incredibly strong team and managed to keep the 0-0 throughout the game, result with which he eliminated one of the best teams that the Real Madrid in the history. Again, the double value of the goals scored in the opposite half was enough for the Philips team to qualify.

The Dutch team reached a final in which the Benfica, a team that was not characterized by playing a too showy game and proof of this was the boring final offered by the 2 sets, tying to 0 in a game in which the fear of losing outweighed the desire to win. In the penalty shootout, both teams scored the 5 first releases, but a failure of the Portuguese in sudden death, proclaimed champion for the first time PSV Eindhoven.

The Dutch had won the top continental competition by drawing the last 5 matches and winning alone 3 throughout the competition. Thus, the tulips achieved a historical triplet: League, European Cup and Cup. yes, even today, some consider the rojiblancos the worst champion of the highest continental competition.

Raúl Martínez

Passionate about historical football despite my youth. Learning and enjoying this sport every day. Follow me on Twitter @HistoricMVB

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