Snapshot: Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells a photographer where he should point his camera

It is the 89th minute of the European Championship final between Germany and Belgium in 1980. The Stadio Olympico has sold out, and Belgium and Germany are tied at 1-1, and the game seems to be steering towards extra time. Belgium has to defend one last corner, taken by Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, and then the teams will head in to extra time. Or, so it would seem.

A hard-fought battle

The Germans had taken an early lead through a Horst Hrubesch goal in the 10th minute. The Belgiums around future Kaiserslautern coach Erik Gerets and Bayern München keeper Jean Marie Pfaff had answered Germany’s early lead by taking charge of the game after a while, pressuring the German defense relentlessly at times.

German defenders Karlheinz Förster and Uli Stielike saved Germany time and time again. Future German assistant coach Stielike was out of answers to the Belgian attacks in the 72nd minute, putting in a foul on François Van Der Elst just outside the penalty area. Referee Rainea wrongly pointed to the spot, and René Vandereycken made no mistakes against Toni Schumacher, putting the Belgians on level terms again.

The corner kick

Normally this might have been enough to secure extra time. But, there is still the matter of the corner kick in the 89th minute. Germany’s designated corner kick taker Karl-Heinz Rummenigge approached Horst Hrubesch before taking the corner. The HSV striker’s German nickname(Kopfballmonster) can be roughly translated to ”the monster of headers”. Rummenigge was well aware of Hrubesch’s qualities, and therefore he told him:

I’ll kick the ball onto your head, and you’ll put it into the goal!

Rummenigge was in fact so confident in his and Hrubesch’s ability to execute this simple plan, that he turned to a photographer before taking the corner kick, yelling at him:

Point your camera at Hrubesch.

When the photographer asked Rummenigge why he should do so, the Bayern man replied:

Just point it!

After this brief exchange Rummenigge went up to take the corner. He floated the ball beautifully into the box, with Hrubesch storming onto the ball, heading it into the net. The plan had worked out. Hrubesch who hadn’t scored a single goal before the final, and who actually only got onto Germany’s roaster due to Klaus Fischer’s injury, had managed to score a brace, securing Germany’s second European championship.

Feel free to leave a comment.

P.S: If you want to hear Karl-Heinz Rummenigge telling the story behind this goal himself, have a look at this YouTube clip.

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 32-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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