A helping hand from the neighbours - 20 years on
On May 20, 2000, SpVgg Unterhaching provided unforgettable support as neighbours when the underdogs beat Bayer Leverkusen on the final matchday and helped FC Bayern win the title. The club magazine "51" takes a journey back in time with the key figures.
Uli Hoeneß: "I'm always an optimist - but I wasn't very confident in the morning. A draw was enough for Leverkusen. We promised Haching sausages and beer, but there wasn't much belief they would do it."
Markus Oberleitner (SpVgg Unterhaching striker): "If it hadn't been the last game of the season, we probably wouldn't have had a chance. Leverkusen were very strong. For us, this game was extra income. We had avoided relegation, which few expected us to do. We knew everyone in German football was watching. It would be a Herculean task, but we were happy. We had no pressure - we just had one aim: to stop Leverkusen at our own stadium at the end of the season."
Carsten Jancker: "It was clear from the start we wanted to do our thing. We knew we needed quick goals against Bremen to build pressure. In Unterhaching you don't get anything for free. And if we scored early, Leverkusen would start to have doubts..."
In the stadium
Oberleitner: "Our coach Lorenz Köstner didn't say much in the changing room: 'Have fun, enjoy it, that's your crowd, you deserve it!' The stadium was sold out. You soak up the mood and feel the joy."
Jancker: "This story basically began a year earlier, with the painful 2-1 loss against Manchester United in the Champions League final in Barcelona. We were hungry for victory. There were some big egos - that's normal with so many international players - but we were a close bunch on the pitch: Kahn in goal, Andersson, Linke, Effe, Fink, Paulo, Bixente, Brazzo, Scholli, Zico, Babbel in his last game for us, Jerry was injured, Kuffour couldn't play... We had a lot of injuries that day, but that doesn't matter. Last matchday, an opportunity was there. It was tense."
Bayern ramp up the pressure with dream start
Jancker: "I watched the final against Manchester United again recently, I'm a masochist. But after that experience we knew you always have a chance. Second minute, Babbel crossed from the right, I was at the far post and somehow knocked it in, no idea how. The second goal ten minutes later was even easier. Again a header, crouching, a rebound after Paulo Sergio hit the crossbar. Paulo made it 3-0 four minutes later - from then on it was clear we would win our game."
Hoeneß: "It was a psychological blow for Leverkusen. They couldn't slip up now. And we had a good relationship with Unterhaching, which is still the case today. President Manfred Schwabl is doing a great job. It was a wonderful opportunity for Haching to write history. We knew if they saw a chance, they would try everything. "
Oberleitner: "Things didn't go smoothly withLeverkusen. We played confidently and realised that we could match them at this level. They had Ballack, Emerson, Ze Roberto, Kirsten, Nowotny on the pitch - all top players. But even world-class stars have days when they play for themselves. And then the entire team suffers."
Ballack's own goal
Reiner Calmund: "The best player of the season scored the own goal after 20 minutes! I still remember DJ Ötzi with his 'Anton aus Tyrol'. The Haching fans turned up the volume at every goal - they probably heard them in the Olympic Stadium. After that I couldn't stand 'Anton aus Tyrol' for years."
Jancker: "If someone asks me today what I remember most, it was the murmur in the stands in the Olympic Stadium. First a small whisper, then it became more intense, it went around like wildfire - and then the explosion came! Back then there were no smartphones, no live text - there was only radio. I don't know whether the score from Unterhaching was announced or if it appeared on the scoreboard, but I still remember how the mood swept through the stadium. I celebrated with about 80 per cent emotion. I had to come off shortly before half-time, a muscle had cramped up. I went into the changing room and stayed there. I couldn't leave. I sat there alone, listening and waiting."
Hoeneß:"On the bench we had a dedicated line to Unterhaching and knew what was happening over there in the Sportpark a good 30 seconds before the crowd. We could lean back and watch how the fans reacted. At the time, the cheers were fairly subdued."
Oberleitner makes it 2-0
Oberleitner:"Counter-attack. I didn't want to go into the penalty area because Jochen Seitz had the ball on on his left foot - normally nothing would happen. But he chipped it softly, I extended my head, inside the near post. I was lucky. But it was good football. Friends in Austria still call me the 'butterfly plucker' because of my celebration."
Hoeneß: "The Olympic Stadium really exploded after this goal. All hell broke loose. But it was clear to me we still had 18 restless minutes to go. Leverkusen had a top team. Something could always happen there. I was still nervous."
Calmund: "In the evening, still in Munich, at the airport, my phone rang: Uli Hoeneß. He said he was happy, of course, but he was sorry too. I always appreciated that about him and Bayern the class. We lost a lot of players to Munich, but every negotiation was always fair. I tip my hat in respect for Uli - there is no one in world football who has achieved more. Ten years ago he told me that the Bayern leadership had to be rejuvenated at the highest level. He planned that back then. And now, as well as Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Jan Dreesen, Andy Jung and Jörg Wacker, they have other world class colleagues in Oliver Kahn, Hasan Salihamidžić and Herbert Hainer. That lineup is unbeatable."
Hoeneß:"It became one of our best title celebrations. Wonderfully spontaneous. The caterers had to find more food and drinks. On the balcony of the town hall we had a poster that said "Thank you Unterhaching", and in the evening the Haching team came to our party in the 'Alte Gärtnerei' in Taufkirchen. It was a miracle they survived against those Leverkusen players, they had hung in there for 90 minutes. I remember it was cool, the heating didn't work - but nobody got cold. I called Reiner Calmund as a mark of respect. We have a great relationship, and after Manchester United the previous year we knew how hard it was to fail so close to the goal."
Oberleitner: "None of us left the Sportpark. Leverkusen left quickly, we felt sorry for how Daum cried in his son's arms. It was a strange situation. We celebrated but at the same time the world was falling apart for them. Hasan Salihamidžić invited us to the Bayern celebrations. I still knew some players because I had played there for a season. My Bayern past didn't play a direct role in my goal, but of course there's a connection. Paul Breitner was our neighbour, I played in his garden as a child, he became a mentor for me. It was a nice ending. A circle has closed."
You can read the full length report in the current issue of FC Bayern magazine "51".
One year later, FC Bayern secured the Bundesliga title in even more dramatic fashion. Patrik Andersson was the hero in injury time against Hamburg. In the interview, the kingmaker remembers his unforgettable triumph: