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Some 62 years have passed since Real Madrid ran out to face Eintracht Frankfurt in the 1960 European Cup Final and the legend surrounding this epic contest remains as strong as ever.

Over 127,000 fans packed into Hampden for the game on May 18, with that figure still standing as a record attendance for a European tie and one that is unlikely to be broken. An estimated 70 million also watched on TVs across Europe.

The stage is set

The Germans had earned their place at Hampden courtesy of a 12-4 aggregate win over Rangers while Real had beaten their domestic rivals, Barcelona, 6-2. Those thrilling semis gave a hint of what was to come in the final in Scotland.

A Scottish referee, Jack Mowat, was in the middle for kick off and the Real side, in particular, was bristling with some of the greatest stars to play the game. In the 90 minutes that followed, two of them would score hat-tricks.

It was like Frankfurt had provoked us.

Pepe Santamaría, Real Madrid

A legend unfolds

Frankfurt actually opened the scoring in the 18th minute through Richard Kress but Di Stefano levelled two minutes later and from there the Spaniards didn’t look back.

Di Stefano soon made it 2-1 and would complete his hat-trick in the second half. ‘The Galloping Major’ and great Hungarian, Ferenc Puskas would score Real’s other four goals.

However, what made this game great was the fact that, despite bombardment, Frankfurt never gave up. Even in the closing stages they continued to attack, roared on by a Glasgow crowd – many of whom had queued all day to gain entry.

Bee stings and bliss

However, speaking in the Guardian 60 years later, Real’s Pepe Santamaría revealed that the German’s resistance only provoked Di Stefano, Puskas and co.

“Their goal was like a sting from a huge bee,” he said. “Suddenly, you’re desperate, frantic, you’ve just got to get that sting out quick. You react. And that’s what happened. They were shocked by it, taken aback. They didn’t know what to do and their level dropped. Our mentality was: ‘Right, let’s go for them’. It was like Frankfurt had provoked us.”

In an interview before his death the great Puskas cherished memories of the occasion and the Hampden crowd: “Those folks certainly appreciated football. It was one of those blissful times when the whole team seemed to play brilliantly and we almost achieved some sort of footballing perfection.”

For Real the 7-3 stood as the fifth and final triumph in a record-setting run of five consecutive European Cup final victories and secured their place as one of the greatest club sides of all time.