Place: Hamburg, AOL Arena
Time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Date: 19 May 2001
Referee: Merk (Kaiserslautern)
Place: Gelsenkirchen, Parkstadion
Time: Saturday, 3:30 p.m.
Date: 19 May 2001
Referee: Strampe (Handorf)
After Schalke had triumphed in Munich beating the hosts 3-1 they had assumed control of the Bundesliga while Bayern had dropped to second. At that point, Schalke had their fate in their own hands but two weeks later Bayern had equalized in terms of points after Schalke could only draw away at Bochum while Munich won at home against Freiburg.
On the penultimate round of the season, Schalke played a very lacklustre game at Stuttgart, without any passion and determination.
They lost 0-1 and it looked as if they gave away the championship on that day. Their inexplicably bad performance really shocked their fans. Stuttgart had scored the decisive goal in the very last minute, which coincidentally was at almost exactly the same second that Alexander Zickler scored the match winner for Bayern against Kaiserslautern in Munich.
This gave Bayern a three-point lead over Schalke with just one game left. The equation as it stood was that Bayern only needed to draw in their last league game to secure the championship.
Their opponents were Hamburg; who were in no man’s land, neither having to fear relegation nor having a chance to reach a UEFA- or even UI-Cup rank.
Schalke however had dropped from the frying pan into the fire, it seemed. Their last game was at home against SpVgg Unterhaching, who were ranked 16th and thus had to fight against getting relegated. Equally important was that Unterhaching is a close suburb of Munich!
All in all, it just didn’t look terribly good for Schalke.
The following is a blow-by-blow account of what transpired on that epic and unforgettable last day of the season:
3:30 p.m., Hamburg: The game in Hamburg is supposed to commence but Bayern goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is still occupied clearing his penalty box of bananas. “We knew that the Hamburg fans did not want to see Munich become champions,” said a philosophical Kahn.
3:33 p.m., 3rd min., Gelsenkirchen: Silence in Schalke’s Park stadium. Martin Cizek hits a freekick into the Schalke box and in the ensuing melee André Breitenreiter scores to put Unterhaching 1-0 up!
3:35 p.m., 2nd min., Hamburg: No special moves on the Bayern bench upon hearing the good news from Gelsenkirchen.
3:51 p.m., 21st min., Gelsenkirchen: It is a measure of how tight the league is that Schalke drops to third place as Dortmund takes the lead against Cologne.
3:54 p.m., 21st min., Hamburg: Kahn dives full-length and gets to the ball with his left hand to thwart the best of Hamburg’s numerous chances. Bayern have so far only threatened the Hamburg goal once via Carsten Jancker. On the touchline, the usually impassive Ottmar Hitzfeld looks worried.
3:54 p.m., 24th min., Gelsenkirchen: More headshaking on the Schalke bench as even a victory for Unterhaching would now be worthless for them, as Cottbus leads 1-0 at TSV 1860 Munich.
3:57 p.m., 27th min., Gelsenkirchen: Game over already for Schalke? The paralysed hosts are trailing by two goals! Spizak with the nutmeg on Oliver Reck in the Schalke goal. 0-2!
3:58 p.m., 28th min., Gelsenkirchen: It makes no one smile but at least Schalke climbs back to the second spot as Dortmund concedes the equalizer against Cologne.
4:02 p.m., 29th min., Hamburg: Unterhaching’s second goal is celebrated among the Bayern fans: “Haching! Haching!”. Uli Hoeness is not pleased with the score from Gelsenkirchen being shown on the screen: “Our players slowed down after that,” he later said.
4:15 p.m., 44th min., Gelsenkirchen: He is left unmarked but giant Dane striker Ebbe Sand somehow scuffs his chance from five yards away. Thankfully, Nico van Kerckhoven is there, tapping the ball over the goalline: 1-2!
4:16 p.m., 45th min., Gelsenkirchen: Schalke rising like phoenix from the ashes? Gerald Asamoah, never the most cultured of players, scores the equalizer with a cheeky backheel! 2-2 and it comes only a minute after they pulled their first goal back.
4:16 p.m., 43rd min., Hamburg: Schalke’s equalizer is displayed on the stadium screen. Cries of “Schalke! Schalke!” roar down from thousands of HSV fans. Meanwhile, Ingo Hertzsch is running towards the Bayern goal all alone but his shot misses the goal.
4:19 p.m., 45th min., Hamburg: Half-time break. Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is a keen observer. “The pressure on our players is noticeable,” he says.
4:47 p.m., 59th min., Hamburg: Out of nowhere, goal for Bayern! The giant Jancker converts a cross by the French left-back Bixenti Lizarazu. Bayern celebrate until they see the flag of the linesman: Off-side! A wrong decision. “I can’t believe the referee is deciding the championship” complains Jancker after he is substituted.
4:50 p.m., 62nd min., Hamburg: Bayern is extremely passive. Hamburg are anxious to score a goal. The majority of the Bayern fans are already looking forward to the Champions League final on the coming Wednesday, chanting: “Finale! O-Ho! Finale! O-Ho-Ho-Ho!”
4:54 p.m., 69th min., Gelsenkirchen: Another freekick by Cizek, and this time Seifert heads the ball into the back of the Schalke net: 2-3! Unbelievably, Haching leads again!
4:55 p.m., 67th min., Hamburg: Celebrations among the Bayern fans upon hearing of Hachings’ lead!
4:56 p.m., 71st min., Gelsenkirchen: Schalke fans call for their last hope: Schalke legend Olaf Thon enters the pitch for the first time after an eight-month lay-off due to injury.
4:58 p.m., 73rd min., Gelsenkirchen: An excellent freekick by Schalke’s Jörg Böhme, ripples the back of the net from 20 yards: 3-3!
4:59 p.m., 74th min., Gelsenkirchen: Again Böhme! He is on fire. First a feign, then a subtle chip: 4-3! Orgiastic jubilations in the Park stadium! Finally the Royal Blues are in the lead! Again their goal came only a minute after the equalizer … amazing.
4:59 p.m., 71st min., Hamburg: The situation in the AOL-Arena has come to an absolute boil. The stadium is riveting, the HSV fans are rocking. The home side only needs to score one goal and Schalke would be crowned champions!
5:08 p.m., 83rd min., Gelsenkirchen: Olaf Thon, it had to be him, scores Schalke’s fifth goal, but the goal is whistled off due to off-side. TV replays prove conclusively that it wasn’t!
5:12 p.m., 84th min., Hamburg: No Bayern official is calm enough to keep on sitting on the bench. Everyone’s stood up. Michael Tarnat has chosen a place among the photographers, Hitzfeld stands at the outermost corner of the coaching zone. There’s no doubt about Schalke winning their game against Haching now while Bayern are under high pressure from Hamburg. If ever there was a time for the cliché, you could cut the tension with a knife, this was it.
5:13 p.m., 88th min., Gelsenkirchen: The chants inside the Park stadium are so loud that they could almost be heard in Hamburg: “HSV! HSV! HSV!”
5:15 p.m., 89th min., Gelsenkirchen: Schalke scores the 1,067th and the last goal inside the soon-to-be replaced Park stadium, Ebbe Sand has tapped the ball over the goalline from close distance. His 22nd league goal that season, and at that moment he’s the sole leader in the goal scorers’ chart. “I didn’t think about that at all” Sand later explained. 5-3 to Schalke!
5:18 p.m., 90th min., Hamburg: The pressure finally tells. Marek Heinz crosses from the left and Sergej Barbarez scores for Hamburg!!! The northerners take the lead in the last minute of regulation time!! Bayern are stunned. Ottmar Hitzfeld looks shocked, Uli Hoeness licks his lips in nervous resignation. Steffan Effenberg nods in a manner which suggests he might have expected this. Some others go down, and they all let their heads hang down. Hamburg celebrates Barbarez’s strike so excessively, that it seems as if they had just won the championship themselves. Barbarez stretches his fist into the air in triumph while Kahn grabs the ball and runs to the mid circle, screaming to his teammates: “Go on! Go on!”
5:18 p.m., 93 rd min., Gelsenkirchen: The Schalke fans all jump up at the same time. “At that moment we immediately realized what had happened in Hamburg,” stated Andreas Möller. Some Schalke players run around the pitch with their arms stretched to the sky although the game is still going. Then referee Strampe whistles off! The spectators invade the pitch in joy and bliss. Schalke have just won their first German championship since 1958!
5:19 p.m., 91st min., Hamburg: Bayern’s assistant coach Michael Henke notes how Ottmar Hitzfeld is clenching his fists. “Suddenly he said to me: ‘We will pull it off. We will pull it off’. I thought that was insane.” Suddenly all in the Bayern camp believe it. Skipper Stefan Effenberg shouts: “We must try to get near their goal once or twice. Come on!”
5:20 p.m., 92nd min., Hamburg: Sammy Kuffour has the biggest opportunity to score, but instead of kicking the ball he kicks Hamburg goalie Matthias Schober towards the goal post. Schober lies down benumbed. Kuffour can’t comprehend his misery.
5:21 p.m., 93rd min., Hamburg: This is the last attack. Effenberg addresses a through ball to Paulo Sergio but his marker Thomas Ujfalusi kicks the ball with his boot a second earlier back to Schober. Schober takes up the ball with his hands and at the Bayern bench immediately the protests start. “Back pass!” Referee Markus Merk gives a freekick inside the penalty box, Hamburg protests! Effenberg realizes the situation, lays the ball down and has a short discussion with Patrik Andersson about what to do. “Andersson is among our hardest shooters,” Effenberg later stated. Freekick expert Mehmet Scholl is already substituted. Hard shot expert Michael Tarnat is not in the game. Kahn is rushing out of his goal towards the Hamburg box watching the proceedings at the edge of the penalty box. The legendary goalkeeper would later say that he was bemused that Effenberg was handing the ball over to Andersson. “Why Andersson?” was Kahn’s question in his head. The answer came a moment later as the Swedish defender hammered the ball in!!
Kahn storms back to his goal stretching his fist in the air! At the terraces Franz Beckenbauer and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge are freaking out and one has to fear for the health of Gerhard Mayer-Vorfelder in the middle of the two.
5:22 p.m., 94th min., Hamburg: Final whistle! The game is over! Bayern get the needed point and are in a state of total ecstasy! Kahn runs towards the corner flag, tears it out and whirls it through the air. “Because none of my teammates was around,” Kahn explained later. Hoeness reports that he saw “unbelievable scenes,” the heroic goal scorer Andersson gets showered in beer. The stadium announcer celebrates Sergej Barbarez as top goal scorer of the season while the Hamburg fans whistle and jeer mercilessly at Bayern.
5:22 p.m., Gelsenkirchen: Fans, players and officials are still in the middle of their celebrations. Ecstasy, bliss and delight inside the Park stadium. The stadium screen is not displaying the result of the other game. Some people still have their ear on the radio and follow the live report from Hamburg while all others are already off celebrating. Suddenly a rumour makes the rounds. Bayern has scored? What? People thought the game in Hamburg was already over? Is this a joke? This must be a joke?
But it’s not a joke. It’s the bitter reality.
Schalke, from the heights of heavenly joy suddenly have to face the brutal truth. It’s like a drop into hell. What a mean, wicked fate. The Park stadium transforms into a sea of tears.
5:34 p.m., Hamburg: Mayer-Vorfelder hands the Champions trophy to Bayern skipper Stefan Effenberg to conclude what was the most thrilling Bundesliga finale ever. Schalke had to be happy with the tag of ‘four-minute champions.’
Uli Hoeness (Bayern managing director): “I thought it was all over. A normal side could not come back after such a blow.”
Andreas Müller (Schalke) after having heard of Hamburg’s 1-0: “I raise a drink on Hamburg!”
Ebbe Sand (Schalke): “We were champions for four minutes. It was so great.”
Gerald Asamoah (Schalke): “God knows what he does.”
Edmund Stoiber (then-Prime minister of Bavaria): “Only the one who really wants to win will win in the end.”
Dieter Hoeness (brother of Uli and managing director of Hertha BSC): “Insane! Unbelievable! Madness!”
Rudi Assauer (Schalke managing director): “From today on I don’t believe in the god of football anymore for he is unjust.”
Klaus Fischer (Schalke legend): “At everything they attempt, they are blessed with luck. They seem to have the pope in their trouser pockets.” (note: the pope John Paul II. was a member of Schalke 04).
Berti Vogts (manager of Bayer Leverkusen): “If you’re not a fan of Bayern, this is quite bitter.”
Adam Matysek (goalkeeper of Bayer Leverkusen): “The same shit as last year.” (when Leverkusen was toppled from the top of the league at the last day by Bayern).
Giovane Elber (Bayern): “Whoever had cardiac problems was knocked out today. And those without cardiac problems now have them.”
Franz Beckenbauer (Bayern president) after being asked how many years he aged during that game: “I have to count first.”
The Finale in the famous Bundesliga Conference
Goal Scorers (Hamburg-Bayern):
1-0 Barbarez 90
1-1 Andersson 93
Goal Scorers (Schalke-Unterhaching):
0-1 Breitenreiter 3
0-2 Spizak 27
1-2 Asamoah 44
2-2 van Kerckhoven 45
2-3 Seifert 69
3-3 Böhme 73
4-3 Böhme 74
5-3 Sand 89
Hamburg Schober – Hertzsch, Hoogma, Ujfalusi, Kientz (77. Bester) – Mahdavikia (90. A.Fischer), Töfting, Hollerbach, Heinz – Präger (77. Yilmaz), Barbarez
Bayern Kahn – Kuffour, Andersson, Linke – Sagnol, Hargreaves, Scholl (68. Paulo Sergio), Effenberg, Lizarazu – Jancker (78. Zickler), Elber (88. Santacruz)
Schalke Reck – Waldoch (29. Oude-Kamphuis), Hajto, van Hoogdalem – van Kerckhoven (68. Büskens), Asamoah, A.Möller, Nemec (71. Thon), Böhme – Mpenza, Sand
Unterhaching: Tremmel – Seifert, Strehmel, Grassow, Haber – Zimmermann, Schwarz, Hirsch, Cizek – Breitenreiter (79. Ahanfouf), Spizak (68. Rraklli)
What happened next:
Patrik Andersson, the Swedish defender who scored the only goal of his Bayern career in that epic finale at Hamburg would go on to win the Champions League a week later. He missed his penalty in the shoot-out for Bayern, but the Bavarians still saw off Valencia. Andersson was transferred to Barcelona the same year, but his spell at the Catalan club was one of injury-plagued misery. He made just 19 appearances in three years. Andersson retired in 2005 and is currently employed as a scout by Manchester United.
Ebbe Sand too, never managed to hit the heights of that magical season. He rounded off his career with Schalke in 2006 and in his final match in the Bundesliga scored against Vfb Stuttgart. He was given a standing ovation when he came off. Sand also holds the record for the fastest goal by a substitute in World Cup history, with his effort 16 seconds after coming on against Nigeria in 1998.