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1971 Cup Winners’ Cup Final: How Chelsea geared up for their first European triumph

This story about Chelsea’s victory in the 1971 Cup Winners’ Cup first appeared in the May 2021 edition of FourFourTwo

Thursday, May 20, 1971. It’s 11am at the Hilton Athens Hotel, but 27-degree heat is already searing down on the poolside concrete. Among scorched football fans and bikini-clad holidaymakers, a group of Chelsea players ruminate over the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final a day before. The Blues had been moments away from beating the mighty Real Madrid to secure the trophy, when sweeper Ignacio Zoco levelled with the last kick of normal time. A replay was scheduled for Friday.