It’s the furthest Arsenal have gone in the Champions League before or since but it just wasn’t to be for the Gunners in the 2006 final.
The Stade de France played host to this one with both Arsenal and their opponents Barcelona going into the final in incredible form in Europe.
The Gunners had topped their group ahead of Ajax, Sparta Prague and Swiss outfit FC Thun, drawing one game and winning their other five.
In the knockout stages they were even more impressive, defeating European giants Real Madrid and Juventus, before negotiating the tricky test that Villarreal posed.
Arsenal won the first leg to nil in all three games before remarkably managing scoreless draws in the three second legs, failing to concede a goal in the knockout stages.
Like their English opponents, Barcelona also topped their group comfortably ahead of Werder Bremen, Udinese and Panathinaikos, winning five and drawing one.
They defeated Chelsea 3-2 on aggregate in the last 16 before seeing off Benfica 2-0 in the quarter-final with a hard fought 1-0 win against AC Milan enough to see them reach the final.
Missing their wonderkid Lionel Messi but armed with the likes of Ronaldinho, Eto’o and Deco, Barcelona came under pressure early but after 18 minutes were given a big lift as Arsenal’s goalkeeper, who shall remain nameless for fear of giving answers away, brought down the Cameroonian striker outside the box and was shown a red card.
Arsenal took the lead in the 37th minute despite Barcelona’s numerical advantage and they would cling onto that one goal cushion until the 76th minute when Eto’o grabbed a brilliant equaliser.
Four minutes later, Barca had the lead thanks to Juliano Belletti and despite their best efforts Arsenal could not find the equaliser with Frank Rijkaard’s side taking home the trophy.
It was a memorable game in Paris but how well do you remember the Arsenal starting XI and subs from that game?
You have five minutes to name the 14 players who played for Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final.
The only clue we have given is the squad number of each player. (You just have to enter their surnames in the box below).
Good luck and let us know what score you get.
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