Michael Tarnat's unforgettable stint as goalkeeper

Read article contents
Increase size

Absolutely nothing was going right for Bayern on 18 September 1999, but that’s exactly why the legendary match against Eintracht Frankfurt 21 years ago is still fondly remembered by all FCB fans. It produced an unforgettable happy ending as Michael Tarnat became a surprise hero in an unfamiliar position.

Three injuries in an hour

The record champions found themselves 1-0 down inside 20 minutes that day in Frankfurt. To make matters worse, Michael Wiesinger had already gone off injured in the first half. The real big setback, though, came in the 56th minute as a collision between Sammy Kuffour and Oliver Kahn saw the goalkeeper knocked out by a knee to the head. Bernd Dreher came on to replace the Titan, but it wasn’t a long appearance by the back-up keeper. Just eight minutes later, Dreher had to go off himself with a knee injury.

Left-back Michael Tarnat (r.) was forced to replace Bernd Dreher in the 64th minute as Bayern’s third goalkeeper of the day.

There were discussions down on the touchline as Ottmar Hitzfeld considered which outfielder to put in net. Tarnat put himself forward. The full-back had played in goal a few times in the past and immediately convinced the coach he was the man to cover for Dreher. And that he was. Tarnat kept a clean sheet as Giovane Elber and Kuffour turned the game around for Bayern to secure a remarkable 2-1 win.

Tarnat still has the gloves he wore in that memorable Bundesliga match. “At home in Munich, I’ve got all the shirts I swapped during my career on a rack. All the gloves I collected are hanging on the wall, including the pair from my Bundesliga debut in goal,” said the 50-year-old in a recent interview.

In our “Looking back” series, fcbayern.com regularly looks back at memorable moments from FCB’s photo archive, such as these special shots from the 2020 Champions League final.