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World Cup special exhibition

Breitner: Miracle of Berne was sacred

In the background it is 2–2 between Germany and Hungary. A Nandor Hidegkuti shot smacks against the German goalpost, keeper Toni Turek performs heroics in the face of Hungarian attacks. And then Helmut Rahn takes aim... Paul Breitner watched the huge LED screen closely as the film showed Germany wrapping up their first world crown. “Yet again I'm fascinated by the pace. Extraordinary! This team, together with the Hungarians, stands above all others," he declared. The famous 60-year-old footage is now back in the spotlight at the FC Bayern Erlebniswelt.

A special exhibition entitled “60 years since the Miracle of Berne" runs at the club museum until 30 September. The exhibition features rare footage and exclusive exhibits, including part of the goal net from the final at Wankdorf Stadium in Berne; one of the clocks given by coach Sepp Herberger to each member of his team after the final; a duplicate of the FIFA winner’s medal; the menu from the celebratory banquet; and much more besides.

“In terms of its overall significance, no World Cup win will ever be comparable to that of 1954," commented Breitner, himself a World Cup winner on home soil in 1974, “it was like a Phoenix rising from the ashes for the German nation. '54 was sacred, '74 at home was our duty.“ Breitner was only three at the time of the Miracle of Berne and has no personal memory of the tournament, but another FCB player was in the thick of the action: Hans Bauer, the club's first world champion.

Breitner: Germany are among the favourites

Just as in 1974, FC Bayern players form the spine of the Germany team for the World Cup in Brazil. Breitner can hardly wait for next Monday's opening match against Portugal. “I'm looking forward to it. I'm one of those who think Germany are definitely among the favourites.“

However, the 62-year-old believes Spain remain the team to beat. “I'm comforted by the fact that the best team only rarely wins the World Cup," he continued, pointing to his own moment of global glory in 1974. “We were no longer the best, so I'm hopeful we’d have a chance in a final against Spain.“ The FCB brand ambassador also feels Chile and Uruguay are a good outside bet.

By contrast, Germany were rank outsiders in 1954. The exhibition at the FC Bayern Erlebniswelt re-examines the Miracle of Berne, including the magic moment when Fritz Walter took the trophy in his hands and the players hailed their brilliant coach Sepp Herberger. And, of course, when Helmut Rahn shaped to shoot.