1992/93 European Cup Winners’ Cup Final

Wednesday 12 May 1993

Venue: Wembley Stadium, London, England.

Attendance: 37,393


[Parma scorers: Minotti  9′, Melli  30′, Cuoghi  84′]

[Royal Antwerp: Severeyns  11′]

Parma: Marco Ballotta, Georges Grün, Lorenzo Minotti (c), Luigi Apolloni, Antonio Benarrivo, Alberto Di Chiara, Marco Osio (Fausto Pizzi 75’), Daniele Zoratto (Gabriele Pin 26’), Stefano Cuoghi, Tomas Brolin, Alessandro Melli.

Unused Substitutes: Marco Ferrari (GK), Salvatore Matrecano, Faustino Asprilla.

Royal Antwerp: Stevan Stojanovic, Rudi Taeymans, Nico Broeckaert, Rudi Smidts (c), Wim Kiekens, Didier Segers (Noureddine Moukrim 82’), Ronny Van Rethy, Dragan Jakovljevic (Patrick Van Veirdeghem 51’), Hans-Peter Lehnhoff, Francis Severeyns, Alexandre Czerniatynski. 

Unused Substitutes: Wim De Coninck (GK), Geert Emmerechts, Garry De Graef.

Referee: Karl-Josef Assenmacher (Germany)


This was the 33rd Final of the Cup Winners Cup and the first at Wembley since West Ham United played in the 1964/65 Final against 1860 Munich.

Parma started brightly and went ahead within the opening ten minutes. Alessandro Melli had a diving header brilliantly saved by Antwerp ‘keeper Stevan Stojanovic, however from the resulting corner, Stojanovic flapped at the ball allowing Parma skipper Lorenzo Minotti to acrobatically hook home into the net. The lead only lasted two minutes, as the Parma defence was put under pressure with Alexandre Czerniatynski putting through a clever ball to Francis Severeyns who ran onto it and clinically finished past Marco Ballotta. On the half-hour mark, Parma went back in front and again the Antwerp ‘keeper didn’t cover himself in glory. Marco Osio crossed into the box and Stojanovic came out only to be well beaten to the ball by Alessandro Melli, who headed home into an unguarded goal. Melli had the ball in the net once more before the break but was aggrieved to see the flag up for off-side, leaving the Italian side 2-1 up at the break. Parma dominated proceedings in the second-half, but only sealed victory six minutes from time, when a ball over the top found Stefano Cuoghi clear of the Antwerp defence, he took a single touch in the box before curling over the advancing Stojanovic for I Gialloblu (The Yellow and Blues) first European trophy.

The low attendance on the night is said to have contributed to the thinking that the competition had a limited future. Indeed just six years on from that Wembley game, in 1999, the last ever Final in the tournament was played out at Villa Park.

The programme from the last Final in 1999 summarised the game under the following headline:

Parma outgun brave Antwerp

The Wembley final was a glittering occasion but both clubs took a tortuous route to London. Parma AC squeezed past Ujpesti TC 2-1, then drew 0-0 at home to Boavista FC before winning 2-0 in Portugal. After beating Sparta Praha (conquerers of defending champions SV Werder Bremen), they won the away leg of their semi-final against Club Atletico de Madrid 2-1, only to lose 1-0 at home.

Royal Antwerp FC needed a penalty shoot-out to beat the Irisj part-timers of Glenavon FC in the first round. Then, having beaten FC Admira Wacker 4-2 in Austria, they contrived to lose 4-3 at home. IN the quarter-final against Steaua Bucuresti an 82nd minute goal by Alex Czerniatynski let them through on the away-goals rule and, in the semi-finals a controversial penalty allowed them to beat Spartak Moscow 3-2 on aggregate.

Walter Meeuws’ side showed similar resilience in the Wembley final. Parma AC opened the scoring in the 10th minute when goalkeeper Steven Stojanovic misjudges a corner and allowed Parma’s captain, Lorenzo Minotti to hook home the ball. But the Belgians replied within two minutes, Czerniatynski playing a lovely through ball to Francis Severeyns. The Italians began to dominate an end-to-end game and Alessandro Melli headed them 2-1 ahead after half an hour. Antwerp offered sterling resistance in the second half, but the game was put beyond their reach six minutes from time when Stefan Cuoghi curled in the third. Parma had become the eighth Italian team to win a Europen trophy.

Two players from Parma that night will be familiar to fans in England from the 1990s, are Tomas Brolin and Faustino Asprilla. Their pen-pics in the programme for the Final were as follows:

Tomas Brolin: Striker. Age 23 (born November 29, 1969) with 22 caps for Sweden (12 goals). Brolin was the hero of Sweden when he led the European Championship hosts to the semi-finals last summer – scoring a brilliant goal against England along the way. Sweden’s current top player, Brolin began with Leksands IF, then GIF Sundsvall and played for Sweden at youth, under-21, and Olympic level before exploding into the senior national team as a 20-year-old in the spring of 1990. His debut was a World Cup warm-up friendly against Wales and Brolin scored twice in a 4-2 win. The next time out he scored two in the 6-0 thrashing of Finland. Those goals took him from nowhere to the 1990 World Cup in four months. Brolin was outstanding at Italia ’90 and Parma surprised bigger rivals by snapping him up. The £900, 000 deal has proved excellent value; Brolin led Parma to a UEFA place in his first season, to the Italian Cup in his second and now – despite knee injury problems last summer – to the club’s first European club final.

Faustino Asprilla: Attack. Aged 23 (born November 6, 1969) with 12 caps for Columbia. One of the most exciting players to have been seen in any of the three European club competitions this season. Parma took a major gamble when they signed Asprilla from the former South American champions Atletico Nacional of Medellin, last summer. But they have been rewarded with some spectacular performances and equally spectacular goals – including the goal which helped end Milan’s 58-game unbeaten run. Asprilla scored both Parma’s goals in the first-leg victory over Atletico Madrid in the semi-final in Spain. But he missed the return after gashing a leg in a bizarre domestic accident whilst visiting his family back in Columbia on between the ties.

Brolin stayed at Parma until November 1995 and moved to England to play in the Premier League for Leeds United. His stay in Yorkshire was unsuccessful to say the least, with his cause nor helped by an ankle injury which meant he never hit the heights of his time in Italy. Brolin’s two-years at Elland Road saw his go out on short loan spells to FC Zurich in 1996 and his old club Parma in 1997. His last hurrah came with a move to Crystal Palace at the back end of the 1997/98 campaign, but with The Eagles relegated from the Premier League at the end of that season he was released, and Brolin returned to Sweden where he retired from playing.

The Columbian stayed at Parma until February 1996 when he moved into the Premier league with Newcastle United. Asprilla was at times brilliant for The Toon but in equal measures inconsistent on the pitch and never far away from incidents off of it. He returned to Parma in January 1988 collecting another European medal in the 1998/99 UEFA Cup Final win over Marseille in Moscow. Asprilla left in 1999 to then see out his career (effectively retiring in 2004), with a number of clubs in South America, including Palmeiras, Fluminense (both Brazil), Atlante (Mexico), Atletico Nacional (Columbia), Universidad de Chile (Chile), Estudiantes La Plata (Argentina) and Cortuluá (Columbia).