Milestone moment

FCB great Elber celebrates 40th birthday

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In mid-2012, one of the greatest servants in the history of the club celebrated his 40th birthday. And during his six seasons in Munich, striker Giovane Elber repeatedly had good cause to celebrate out on the field.

The cheerful Brazilian, always good for a quotable quote and seemingly never down in the dumps, was a true crowd hero and a near-automatic choice for the FCB Team of the Century named in 2005. His personality and public appearances were one reason for the honour, but the main factor was his 139 goals for the club between 1997 and 2003. Two of his celebrations have passed into legend: shortly before Christmas 1998, he rolled himself into a touchline advertising mat after scoring at home, and in November 2001, he symbolically formed his hands into the shape of a dove just days after the 9/11 terrorist atrocity.

Giovane ranked as the leading non-German scorer in Bundesliga history for almost a decade, until he was succeeded by his former team-mate Claudio Pizarro. Elber’s honours collection with FCB includes the Bundesliga title, DFB Cup and League Cup four times each, plus the crowning glory of the Champions League and Intercontinental Cup in 2001.

The striker was born in Londrina in Brazil and took his first steps in European football with Milan, Zürich and Stuttgart. He joined Munich in 1997, seven years after his arrival on the continent, but settling in to the Bundesliga was not a problem after six seasons in the German-speaking world.

After making 266 appearances for Bayern, he moved on in 2003 and played for Olympique Lyon, Mönchengladbach and back home for Cruzeiro Belo Horizonte. He now operates a cattle ranch in his home country, but he retains close ties to Germany, often appearing as a star guest on TV and frequently dropping in at the Säbener Strasse. His generous donations to the Erlebniswelt include the cannon-shaped trophy as Bundesliga top scorer in 2003, and his boots from the 2001 Champions League final and his testimonial match in 2007.

The Erlebniswelt team and everyone at the club wishes Giovane all the best, good health and happiness for the next 40 years and more!