Comebacks in sports are exciting, especially if your team wins. In this list I will talk about the best comebacks of the last 20 years. Comebacks that resulted in a championship for a team or an individual.
NBA Finals 2006
Miami Heat vs. Dallas Mavericks
Series Score: 4 – 2
MVP of the Finales: Dwyane Wade
Led by a young Dwane Wade, the Miami Heat recovered from a 2 – 0 in the series, winning the next four matches to obtain their first NBA championship in franchise history. Wade averaged 34.7 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists. Some of the players that participated in the Finals were Shaquille O’Neal, Gary Payton, Jason Williams, and Udonis Haslem, for the Heat; Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Terry and Jerry Stackhouse for Dallas.
Miami Masters 1000
Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal
Score: 2 – 6, 6 – 7 (4), 7 – 6 (5), 6 – 3, 6 – 1
In the first final between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, the Swiss overcame a two set deficit to win the Miami title.
Nadal was up 4 – 1 in the third set, but Federer won key points, winning the set in the tiebreak. The 18 years old Spaniard was not the same in the forth and fifth set, losing against the Nº1 player of the world at the time.
Formula 1: 2010
Champion: Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull Racing)
The German was 15 points behind the favorite Fernando Alonso (Ferrari), before the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (last race of the season).
During the race, Vettel took advantage of a bad call made by Ferrari, leading the Grand Prix with an outstanding level. Alonso finished seventh, four points behind the World title.
Sebastian Vettel became the youngest Formula 1 driver to win a championship with 23 years of age.
NBA Finals 2013
Miami Heat vs. San Antonio Spurs
Series Score: 4 – 3
MVP of the Finals: LeBron James
Game 6 was the most important match of the series, played in Miami. The San Antonio Spurs were 28.2 seconds of winning their fifth NBA Championship, but two triples, one from LeBron James and the other from Ray Allen, and two missed free throws, allowed Miami to even the score and win the game in overtime.
The Heat beat the Spurs in Game 7, achieving back-to-back championships.
UEFA Champions League Final 2006
FC Barcelona vs. Arsenal FC
Score: 2 – 1
Goals: Sol Campbell 37’, Samuel Eto’o 76’, Juliano Belletti 81’
In their first UEFA Champions League final, Arsenal crumbled in the last 15 minutes, allowing their rivals to score two goals in five minutes.
Barcelona won his second Champions League with players such as Ronaldinho, Carles Puyol, Samuel Eto’o and Deco.
The Gunners played almost the entire match with ten men. Jens Lehman, Arsenal goalkeeper, was sent off at minute 18. His replacement, Manuel Almunia, was a good goalkeeper but not as good as Lehman.
UEFA Champions League Final 2012
Bayern Munich vs. Chelsea
Score: 1 – 1 (penales: 4 – 5)
Goals: Thomas Müller 83’, Didier Drogba 88’
In an exciting match, Chelsea defeated Bayern Munich on penalties at the Allianz Arena, winning their first UEFA Champions League trophy. Didier Drogba and Petr Cech were the heroes for the Blues. Drogba scored the equalizer at the dying minutes of the game; Cech saved crucial penalties, one at extra time and two on the shootout.
UEFA Champions League Final 2014
Real Madrid vs. Atlético de Madrid
Score: 4 – 1
Goals: Diego Godín 36’, Sergio Ramos 93’, Gareth Bale 110’, Marcelo 118’, Cristiano Ronaldo 120’
Atlético de Madrid was a minute a way to be crown European champions, however, a last minute header by Sergio Ramos destroyed them. In overtime, Real Madrid was mentally better, scoring three goals to achieve «La Décima».
Formula 1: 2007
Champion: Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari)
Kimi Räikkönen first year at Ferrari was one to remember. The Finnish won the last two races of the season (China and Brazil), beating a rookie Lewis Hamilton and two-time champion Fernando Alonso by only one point, obtaining his first (and only) Formula 1 title.
Even though Räikkönen trailed almost the entire season, he won crucial races at the end, overcoming a 20-point deficit.
NBA Finals 2016
Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors
Score: 4 – 3
MVP of the Finales: LeBron James
Cleveland became the first team to overcome a 3 – 1 Finals deficit against the Golden State Warriors, winning their first NBA title in franchise history. LeBron James showed everyone why he was the best player in the world.
Golden State was the favorite, ending the regular season with a record of 73 victories and 9 defeats. It seemed the Warriors were going to easily beat Cleveland, taking an important 3 – 1 lead, advantage that no other team in NBA history has comeback from.
Yet, they the Cavaliers fought, forcing a Game 7 in California. The Game was decided in the last minute. A clutch Kyrie Irving hit a three with 53 seconds to go, giving his team the lead and the championship.
UEFA Champions League Final 2005
AC Milan vs. Liverpool
Score: 3 – 3 (penalties: 2 – 3)
Goals: Paolo Maldini 1’, Hernán Crespo 39’ – 44’, Steven Gerrard 54’, Vladimir Smicer 56’, Xabi Alonso 60’
In an unforgettable match, Liverpool came back from 3 – 0 in the second half, beating an AC Milan full of stars in penalties.
Milan was by far the best team in the first half, obtaining a three goal lead and dominating their rivals. However, Liverpool was not beaten, waking up in the second half, tying the score three a piece. The Italian team tried to recover, but Jerzy Dudek and a fierce Merseyside defence prevented it.
The game was decided on penalties, where Dudek became the hero (again), stopping two penalty shoots to give Liverpool their fifth Champions League.
En español: Remontadas de los últimos 20 años