'The game of my life'
Tue, 14/04/20, 14:00
Ivica Olic makes the Arena erupt vs. Manchester Utd
Illustration: Jörn Kaspuhl
For a large part of the first leg of the 2010 Champions League quarter final, things were not looking good for FCB - right up until Ivica Olić caused the Allianz Arena to erupt in the 92nd minute. 50 friends from Olić' Croatian homeland had also travelled to Munich especially for the game - and suddenly found themselves in completely different seat rows after his goal. Rarely has our arena been witness to such ecstatic scenes. No-one who was there will ever forget it - not least Olić himself. In an interview with club magazine '51' the forward reminisces.
Ivica Olić on his 'Game of my life'
"I can still see it in my mind: the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final against Manchester United. The score was 1-1 in the 92nd minute and Mario Gomez dribbled through the midfield, before losing the ball in the penalty area. Patrice Evra wanted to calmly collect the ball and didn't notice me behind his back. I sprinted forward, stole the ball from him and just before shooting - completely out of character - I spontaneously made a feint. I only realised it when I saw it on video later."
"If you're in front of goal in injury time, you shoot blind. The main thing is that the ball goes in. But I was very calm. When the ball skittered over the line, the Allianz Arena exploded. I'll never forget that eruption. That was my best moment in Munich. Even today people still talk to me about it."
Louis van Gaal had a premonition
"After the game, I asked coach Louis van Gaal why he hadn't taken me off just before the 90th minute, as he so often did. He just said, 'The coach is always right. I had a feeling you were still going to score.' That was funny. Because whenever I asked him why I'd been substituted, he'd always say, 'I had a feeling you wouldn't score again.'"
Olić' unforgettable last-minute goal in the first leg against the Red Devils paved the way for the legendary return leg in Manchester.
‘The best season of my career’
"He and I had a special relationship. On my first day in Munich he told me it would be hard for me. That's because I had signed for Bayern long before his time, when Jürgen Klinsmann was still coach. But I assured him I would fight for my place - and three weeks later van Gaal said he would have to put me in the starting XI if I kept going like that. I played the best season of my career under him - with my personal highlight against United."
In the ‘Game of my life’ series, Andreas Ottl looks back on his first goal: