25 years of waiting
Sat, 23/05/20, 09:00
Bayern's 2001 Champions League victory: "A good day to make history"
Bayern could not have gone into this final with more confidence. Only four days after securing the Bundesliga title in the last second with Patrik Andersson's goal against Hamburg, the next big showdown was due in Milan as the Reds faced Valencia on 23 May 2001, aiming to finally bring the Champions League back to Munich after 25 years of waiting. The Bayern fans in the San Siro made their point with their choreography before the game: "Today is a good day to make history!!!"
Important lessons learned
Two years on from the drama in Barcelona when Manchester United beat FCB 2-1 in injury time, Bayern had another attempt at glory. Early on, the 2001 final seemed to be going against the Munich side. Valencia converted a penalty and took the lead after just three minutes. Mehmet Scholl missed a spot-kick of his own shortly afterwards. "The images of '99 came to mind. We thought everything was going against us," remembered Giovane Elber. At the same time, the defeat in that final also served as motivation for Bayern, as Thomas Linke said in retrospect: "We learned from the 1999 game that you always have the chance to turn things around."
Onwards and upwards
Bayern did not give up. They continued to push the Spaniards onto the defensive. The referee blew for the final's third penalty five minutes after the break. This time, the captain took control. Stefan Effenberg buried it for 1-1 and FCB were back in the game. However, neither team could find the goal again. Even extra-time failed to bring a decision, despite the golden goal rule. The game would end with a penalty shootout.
Kahn the difference maker
Paulo Sergio and Patrik Andersson were unable to convert their penalties, but an impressive Oliver Kahn kept Bayern in the game with two saves. Linke scored his penalty and put FCB ahead. Next, it was Mauricio Pellegrino's turn for Valencia. Kahn guessed the right corner, fended off the ball and became a hero. "Kahn, Bayern," shouted Marcel Reif in the live commentary. Der Titan let the emotions run wild and sprinted towards his teammates - the party could begin.