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Eleven years on

FCB versus Valencia, an unforgettable night

The 17-year-old Philipp Lahm and his 16-year-old fellow FCB youth Bastian Schweinsteiger were on the verge of winning their first major honours with the club, the German U-19 and U-17 championships respectively. Schoolboy Thomas Müller had just completed his first season in the famous red shirt as a U-11 hopeful. It's all a long time ago, but the night of 23 May 2001 is indelibly engraved on the memory of the three current stars and all Bayern fans. It was the night Munich won the Champions League against Valencia, who visit the Allianz Arena on Wednesday evening for the opening match in the latest edition of Europe's elite club competition.

The first meeting between the clubs since the final 11 years ago evokes happy memories of that famous night in Milan: Franz Beckenbauer jumping for joy in the VIP stand; Stefan Effenberg hoisting the trophy into the night sky; the players hailing Ottmar Hitzfeld and Uli Hoeneß; Sammy Kuffour kneeling in celebration with the cup in the goalmouth in front of the FCB fans; Bixente Lizarazu inverting the trophy and placing it all the way over his head; and last but absolutely by no means least, Oliver Kahn's penalty save from Mauricio Pellegrino to seal the tense but deserved victory.