The 1970 European Cup final etched an unforgettable chapter in football history, as the San Siro stadium in Milan bore witness to a riveting clash between Feyenoord of the Netherlands and Celtic of Scotland. In a thrilling encounter that extended into extra time, Feyenoord secured a dramatic 2-1 victory over their Scottish counterparts, marking the first time a Dutch club had clinched the coveted trophy. Notably, this triumph remains the sole European Cup victory for Feyenoord.
For Celtic, the final represented their second, and to date, most recent appearance on the European Cup’s grand stage, following their celebrated victory as the “Lisbon Lions” in the 1967 edition. The backdrop of the match was marred by the threat of cancellation due to extensive strikes across Italy during 1970. Nevertheless, the Italian Football Federation relented, ensuring the final could proceed, guaranteeing the participation of their own clubs in future UEFA competitions.
In contrast to their previous European Cup final, where they had defied the odds against Inter Milan, Celtic entered the 1970 final as firm favorites over Feyenoord. Despite Celtic’s Tommy Gemmell breaking the deadlock in the 30th minute, the Dutch outfit under the tutelage of manager Ernst Happel delivered a masterful performance. Feyenoord skillfully double-marked Celtic winger Jimmy Johnstone while their midfield trio, comprising Franz Hasil, Willem van Hanegem, and Wim Jansen, dominated their Scottish counterparts.
Rinus Israël’s swift header equalized for Feyenoord, marking the first goal the Dutch club scored away from their home stadium in their European campaign. The second half saw Celtic resiliently maintain the 1-1 scoreline, leading the match into an intense period of extra time. With the minutes ticking away, a crucial moment arrived as a long free-kick from the Feyenoord half found its way into the Celtic penalty area. Amidst a tussle, Feyenoord’s Ove Kindvall seized the opportunity, deftly chipping the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper Evan Williams, securing Feyenoord’s historic 2-1 triumph in a gripping finale at the San Siro.