20 years ago: The day Dida was the man of the match in a Champions League final

On this day but in 2003, the Brazilian goalkeeper stole the show as Milan won the continental title
Martín O'Donnell
2023-05-28 12:00:23

When it comes to the greatest Brazilian goalkeepers of all time, Dida will probably one of the first names that come to mind. Back in the day, there was no one better between the posts than the Milan legend.

Dida has won it all throughout his career, both at the club and the international level. On May 28, but in 2003, he came up with a heroic performance to help the Rossoneri beat Juventus in the UEFA Champions League final.


++ Dida: The mentor of Mike Maignan
++ It’s Kaka’s birthday! Remember why the Brazilian was the best in the world in 2007
++ All Brazilians who have won the UEFA Champions League

The day Dida saved three penalties to help Milan win the Champions League

Following a goalless draw after 120 minutes, the final between the Italian rivals had to be decided on penalties. That’s when Dida stepped up, saving three spot-kicks as Milan won the series 3-2 to lift the trophy for the sixth time.

The Brazilian superstar first denied David Trezeguet’s shot, later guessing Marcelo Zalayeta’s kick before making his third save against Paolo Montero. That enabled the Rossoneri to win the final despite missing two of their own shots.

“I was a spectator. It was a nervous game and I remember many fouls. It was a game not good to watch, but football is like this,” Dida recalled in an interview with the club’s official social media channels, as quoted by MilanNews.

“It’s easier for me when I know the penalty takers. I was sure to parry Del Piero’s penalty, but it didn’t happen. When you find players a little nervous it’s easier for me. You have to be very calm to do what you want to do. If you are someone who changes your attitude, you can lose.”

Needless to say, it was an unforgettable night for Dida, even if he had already won prestigious titles and went on to do so. The Brazilian won the Champions League again in 2007, but the 2003 final will always be special for him.