On This Day in Football History - 27 May: Gazza Is Born, Messi Terrorises Manchester United & Playoff Drama

Barcelona´s Argentinian forward Lionel M
Barcelona´s Argentinian forward Lionel M | LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

27 May. Normally we would be deep into cup and playoff final season - AKA, the best time of the year.

Instead, this May we're all going to have to make do with looking back through history for our fix of high stakes football.

Let's look at what this day in history has offered us in the past.

1967 - Gazza Is Born

Paul Gascoigne of England celebrates
Paul Gascoigne of England celebrates | Simon Bruty/Getty Images

On this day in 1967, a footballing genius was born a stone's throw away from the River Tyne in Dunston.

Paul Gascoigne began his career at Newcastle, securing a move to Tottenham in 1988 before having spells at Lazio, Rangers and a smattering of less reputable sides. Though his club form was impressive, Gazza's legendary status was very much forged on the international stage.

His tears in the 1990 World Cup have been credited with kickstarting the boom in football's popularity in England, while his joyous performances for the Three Lions at Euro 1996 only added to his adoration. By far the most beloved English footballer of his generation.

1981 - Liverpool Win Third European Cup

Alan Hansen, Kenny Dalglish, Graeme Souness
Liverpool 1981 UEFA European Cup Final Winners | Getty Images/Getty Images

Real Madrid don't really lose European Cup finals - failing to complete the job just three times in 16 appearances.

One such occasion was 39 years ago when Liverpool defeated Los Blancos 1-0 at the Parc des Princes to secure their third continental crown.

The unlikely hero was left-back Alan Kennedy, who scored the only goal of the game with just eight minutes left to play. Reds skipper Graeme Souness presumably used his post-match interview to criticise an as-yet unborn Paul Pogba.

2000 - Rangers Seal Century of Trophies

Rangers | Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Rangers romping to victory in the 2000 Scottish Cup final didn't just secure a historic double, it also made the Gers the first club in history to win 100 trophies.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst gave Dick Advocaat's side the ideal start when a quickly taken free kick afforded the left-back a clear sight at goal - and he made no mistake, finishing confidently from inside the box.

In a game in which Rangers were completely dominant, Tony Vidmar, Billy Dodds and Jorg Albertz all grabbed a goal to secure a 4-0 win.

2009 - Messi Arrives as a Megastar

Barcelona´s Argentinian forward Lionel M
Barcelona´s Argentinian forward Lionel M | CHRISTOPHE SIMON/Getty Images

Unlike the 2011 final between the two sides, Manchester United and Barcelona's meeting two years prior was a tighter affair.

Samuel Eto'o opened the scoring after being slipped in by Andrés Iniesta, with the movement of false nine Lionel Messi causing Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidíc all manner of problems. Messi capped off a fine performance by scoring a physics defying header to secure his side the win.

A few months later Cristiano Ronaldo would depart Old Trafford for Real Madrid, where he would lock horns with United's tormentor that night for the next decade.

2013 - Crystal Palace Secure Premier League Return

Watford v Crystal Palace - The npower Championship Playoff Final
Watford v Crystal Palace - The npower Championship Playoff Final | Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Oh how we miss the playoffs. High stakes, a pack-out Wembley and late drama - it's football at its most captivating.

The 2013 Championship playoff final - which took place seven years ago today - was more suspenseful than dramatic, with 39-year-old substitute Kevin Phillips converting an extra time penalty to give Crystal Palace a 1-0 win over Watford.

Since securing their return to the Premier League the Eagles have not looked back, establishing themselves as mid-table stalwarts and even reaching an FA Cup final in 2016.

2019 - Derby Lose Another Playoff Final

Aston Villa v Derby County EFL Championship Play-off Final
Aston Villa v Derby County EFL Championship Play-off Final | Tom Jenkins/Getty Images

Derby had four chances to get promoted through the playoffs during the 2010s and faltered on every occasion.

The Rams closed out the decade in typically disappointing fashion, succumbing to a 2-1 defeat to Aston Villa at Wembley. Anwar El Ghazi and John McGinn scord to give Villa a two goal lead with substitute Jack Marriott grabbing a late consolation.

Derby have nine games left of the current season to overcome the five point gap to the playoff places - though they may be better giving them a miss this year to avoid even more heartbreak.