Leicester City may be making their first Champions League quarter-finals appearance, but they had a memorable encounter with Atletico Madrid in Europe 20 years ago.
The Foxes faced Atletico over two legs in the 1961/62 European Cup Winners’ Cup, drawing 1-1 at home before losing 2-0 away. More recently, the two sides clashed in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup, a tie that turned out to be a controversial and ill-tempered affair.
Atletico Madrid were a heavy-spending side at the time, and had secured the services of Juninho (who would later go on to become a legend at Middlesbrough) and Christian Vieri that summer.
Both scored in the first leg in Madrid, but Ian Marshall’s away goal gave Leicester fans hope ahead of the return leg. It wasn’t just the supporters – the club’s match programme for the return leg featured Marshall eating paella on the cover, as a sign of their confidence.
The first half of the second leg ended goalless, but it all kicked off after the break. Atletico had a player sent off, briefly giving Leicester a flicker of hope, but then midfielder Garry Parker was dismissed for a second yellow card for taking a free kick too early, a decision that left Leicester players unhappy.
With both sides down to ten men, Atletico quickly scored twice, and Foxes manager Martin O’Neill was further incensed by the referees failure to award Leicester a penalty despite striker Muzzy Izzet being tripped in the box. Atletico won 2-0 and progressed to the second round with a 4-1 aggregate win.
20 years later, Leicester have their chance at revenge…