Jancker: You just have to want it
Carsten Jancker's trademark goal celebration is famous: he kissed his wedding ring every time he found the net. The 42-year-old appeared in Bayern colours from 1996 to 2002, winning four German championship titles, the DFB Cup twice and the Champions League trophy at the end of the remarkable 2000/01 season. Jancker is currently learning from FCB boss Carlo Ancelotti as part of his UEFA pro licence programme, observing how the Italian supervises training sessions. The Fußballgott (Football God), as the fans called him, met up with fcbayern.com to talk about the special match in Hamburg in 2001, Robert Lewandowski and his wedding ring.
Last-minute goals are a hot topic at Bayern at the moment. You won the German championship in 2001 thanks to a last-minute goal. Where does this happy knack come from?
Jancker:It has always been a trademark quality of Bayern. It actually doesn't matter when you score, be it in the first minute or in injury time. It's a question of quality, the ability to up the ante in the closing stages, and Bayern have always had strong players with individual quality. Of course you need a bit of luck in the end, but you just have to want it. However, I've also seen it the other way around.
What do you remember about Patrik Andersson 's free-kick in Hamburg in 2001?
Jancker:We knew it was our last chance to turn the tide, the referee was about to blow for full time. Technically, the ball could not have sailed into the net the way it did. But apparently it was just meant to be. It didn't work in 1999, but in 2001 winning the championship and the Champions League was just meant to be.
You mentioned the 1999 Champions League final where you witnessed the other extreme of last-minute goals...
Jancker: It was one of the most bitter experiences I've ever had in sport. But it's easier to talk about if you win it eventually (laughs).
So this setback is just forgotten thanks to the success in 2001?
Jancker:No. Had it worked in 1999 we'd have won the competition twice. We always wanted more and still more. If you watch the match from Barcelona today you still can't explain what happened there. Sometimes you just can't explain football. It really hurt back then, but I guess it was just meant to be.
Being a former striker, you must keep an eye on Robert Lewandowski during training. What's your impression of him?
Jancker:He's perfect. He's at the right age, and if you ask me he's a perfect 9.
What makes him a perfect 9?
Jancker:First and foremost he scores goals, especially the opener. Not just the fifth or sixth; he does score them because he's always fired up for goals. But he often scores the opener. Besides, he rarely squanders possession and has a superb understanding of the game. He often sets up his team-mates and provides assists. Also, he isn't exactly slow.
It's been almost 15 years since you left FC Bayern. What has changed at the Säbener Straße?
Jancker:Everything's got bigger, for example there's another training pitch. We had very good conditions back then, but everything's improved again.
You were here for six years. Do you still follow FCB?
Jancker:The time here has shaped me. Both my children were born here. I've won the clean sweep here. I had a superb time at Bayern, and I still keep track of everything. You just can't turn it off.
Lastly, how's your wedding ring now that you don't play any more?
Jancker: *(laughs)*These days I only kiss my wife because I don't score goals any more. But the ring is fine, and we're still happily married.