Former Milan Stopper Kaladze Reminisces UCL Triumphs

Milan icon and current mayor of Tbilisi, Kakha Kaladze enjoyed a fruitful career in the Rossoneri colors, winning one Serie A and two UEFA Champions League, among a host of other titles. Of all, It is the latter set of trophies that Kaladze remembers the most fondly – Milan’s sixth and seventh continental triumphs.

Speaking to La Gazzetta dello Sport (via MilanNews), Kaladze immersed into the details of the two historic UCL finals, first in 2003, and then four years later in 2007.

Milan ousted Juventus 3-2 on penalties in Manchester in the first final, after a stalemate in normal and additional time.

“Two different realities. The first time I had just arrived in Milan and you can imagine the tension that the match gets you right in. The one against Juventus was a match worthy of football history books, in terms of how it was played, how it was resolved and the atmosphere that was created in Manchester with our fans. It was a surreal final for how it ended, the ball just didn’t want to go in.”

Kaladze then spoke of the Rossoneri’s revenge in 2007, two years after the fateful showdown against familiar foes Liverpool, which is still regarded by many as one of the greatest ever football finals in history.

“I remember in extra time a shot by Sheva with a sure shot and their goalkeeper takes it with part of his wrist and the ball incredibly rears up as it comes out. We arrived at penalties mentally tired and unfortunately it ended as we know. The third final was the match of the solidity of the team, concentrated. I would say total concentration: having met him two years earlier, we knew what Liverpool were like and mentally we were perfect.”

Kaladze appeared 284 times for Milan, before moving to Genoa for two seasons, after which he ended his playing career.

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