For fans of a certain age at Nottingham Forest, the talk of winning European Cups and dominating English football is somewhat tiresome. For others, it’s the reason they love the Reds and are mightily proud of what those two trophies are symbolic of.
For the latter, last night will have etched a smile over their face. Real Madrid’s 5-4 aggregate victory over Chelsea means that Forest are still the last English team to defend the famous trophy, with the Blues out of the competition.
These days, the European Cup has been replaced by the Champions League. The name and the concept, of the competition, changed back in 1992. Out went the non-seeded straight knockout competition and in came a group stage featuring 32 teams once the qualifying stages had been completed.
Back in the day when Forest were dominating, you actually had to be champions to enter it. These days, a fourth-place finish in the Premier League hands one club a golden ticket to a place among European football’s elite.
The Reds won the trophy twice. First, the Reds beat Malmo 1-0 with Trevor Francis scoring the winner during 1978/79. The Reds followed that up with a win by the same scoreline over Hamburg in the 1979/80 campaign. John Robertson netted the winner on that occasion.
Something to be proud of for some Forest fans
It can be hard not to feel a sense of nostalgia whenever those two stars etched on the Forest shirt come into sight. Of course, for some fans, there is a feeling of it never happening based on the fact it was long before they were born.
That is of course fine. For those who were at those European matches though, it’s only natural that they’ll want to keep those memories firmly in their hearts.
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For Chelsea, last night really was a sickener. When Timo Werner fired them into a 3-0 lead in the Bernabeu they were firmly back in the tie.
It wasn’t to be though. Goals from Rodrygo, followed by an extra-time strike by Karim Benzema meant the Blues’ spell as champions came to a close.
For Forest fans of a certain age, Chelsea’s exit will have proved poetic.