In the summer of 1997, “Spartak” most powerfully goofed up in the Champions League. In qualifying for the main club tournament in Europe, the Russian champion lost to the unknown Slovak Kosice.
After the Moscow match, which ended in a goalless draw, about three thousand fans gathered near the service exit of the Lokomotiv stadium and chanted the unheard-of: “Romantsev, get out!”
The coach fled from the angry fans through the back door, and a few days later the Football Club program aired a scandalous story about Spartak’s shame.
It seemed that this “Spartacus” came to an end. But in autumn the team once again became the champion of Russia and made it to the European spring. In the UEFA Cup, where the red-whites ended up after being eliminated from the Champions League, Sion (with gate measurement), Valladolid and Karlsruhe were passed.
In 1997, Sion knocked out a replay with Spartak: they measured the goal, checked Gorlukovich’s spikes, framed ORT for 100k dollars
At the last match of the year, which took place on December 9, Spartak supported 33 thousand people. On a weekday, in sub-zero temperatures, and no one left the Dynamo stadium before the final whistle to greet the players who pushed the decisive goal against Karlsruhe in the 109th minute.
Is everything okay? Seems to be yes. And finally everything settled down in the spring of 1998.
In the 1/4 finals, Spartak got one of the best clubs in Europe – Ajax, which recently played twice in the Champions League final, one of which won. Yes, almost all the main stars have already left Amsterdam, but look at the squad that came out to beat the Russian champion on March 3, 1998.
But it’s not even about composition. Morten Olsen’s Ajax, inherited from Louis van Gaal, is a well-oiled combination machine whose attacking game was admired by the whole world.
But Spartak arrived and… In short, the match at the Amsterdam Arena became in its way the quintessence of Spartak’s trademark football, which fans and experts still remember with rapture. This is a must watch!
Aleksander Shirko’s brace, Valery Kechinov’s mocking shot into the near corner, running-in walls – the recipe for a sensational victory for Romantsev’s team with a score of 3:1.
And that legendary red and black uniform!
Two weeks later, Ajax arrived in Moscow with thoughts of recouping, but the concrete field of the Dynamo stadium was waiting for the Dutch.
In the 85th minute, the hosts put an end to this confrontation: Shirko scored the only goal and forever went down in football history as the “Winner of Ajax”.
In the semi-finals, the Spartacists were waiting for Inter Milan and Ronaldo personally. But this is a topic for another conversation.
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