The Champions League is a special trophy, and it’s one Nottingham Forest have won twice (even if they did so when it was called the European Cup).
Because of this, they became a perfect subject for an exposé by Le Temps in Switzerland, who decided to go around Europe and discover more about six of the more prestigious competition’s winners.
While Forest last won it back in 1980, they are the only club to have won twice as many Champions League (2) as they have top league titles (1), and that made them an interesting choice for the newspaper.
To find out a bit more about it, they decided to have a chat with one of their former players, Raimondo Ponte, who spent a year under Brian Clough at City Stadium during the 1980-81 season, and was asked why he stayed such a short amount of time.
He said: “Because of Leo Walker (then manager of Switzerland). He told me that I couldn’t play for the national team if I didn’t play more often. I still featured 24 times, but for Mr Walker, it wasn’t enough. I made the biggest mistake of my career by listening to him…
“Nottingham, that was fantastic! There were world class level players, like Peter Shilton, Trevor Francis, John Robertson, and the stadium was always full.”
The former striker was then asked about Brian Clough: “He was a very good coach and a very special man. He knew exactly how to manage the group and gave responsibility to all his players. In the end, it was rather simple: you were good, you played, and if you weren’t, you were on the bench.”
The forward still keeps track of what goes on at his former club, such was the impact it had on his life, and he ‘hopes they’ll be able to climb back into the Premier League’.