Manchester United vs Bayern München, 26 May 1999: the first Champions League final I remember. A new friend of mine, my teammate at the football playground, is a huge Manchester United fan. He wears his red devil’s t-shirt every single time, while I’m switching between my Juventus or newly received Barcelona kit. Only a blue Bayern München short bond me to the final. I should support the German squad as they got similar colors to Steaua Bucuresti and Barcelona, but I’m not convinced yet.
Some family friends were visiting my parents, so it’s the perfect time to get back to my room and check the TV. I’m not aware that the Champions League final is broadcasted (shame on me) so you cannot imagine my excitement.
I opened my Grundig TV just in time for the first goal.
Bayern München opened the score
Ronny Johnsen, Manchester’s CB, fouled the Bayern striker Jancker. Basler take the free kick from the penalty area limit and place a low shot that tricked Manchester wall. Peter Schmeichel is just a spectator. Bayern leads from the 6th minute. I remember a few missed chances by Andy Cole and Bayern looking dangerous on the counter-attacks.
Time for bed…
My parents guests were about to leave, therefore I came back to the adults table for the desert: a good chocolate cake made by my mother. It’s still my favourite dessert 😊
Unfortunately, the departure of their guests means sleep time. School was waiting for me the next morning; no more Champions League final for tonight…
Replay to the rescue
The next morning, I understand that Manchester United realised a huge comeback. What a pity I didn’t watch it live. Our dial-up connection could not be an option so I’m waiting to come back home and check the highlights during the sport news. The English squad surpassed themselves and won just before final whistle. But I’m not happy with the highlights so I will wait for the whole replay broadcasted during the weekend.
The final minutes
I finished my homework so I can watch the replay in peace. Both sides got their chances, but with just 10 minutes to go, the Trophy seemed to drift away from Manchester. Ferguson introduced Ole Gunnar Solskjær. The Norwegian forward entered immediately into the game with a header that forced Kahn into a diving in order to save it.
The fourth referee is announcing three minutes of injury time. It’s a corner for Manchester United, and Peter Schmeichel run it’s way up to Bayern’s penalty area. Beckham kicks the ball towards a crowded area. In all this mess, Ryan Giggs got the ball but his right-footed weak shot went just towards Sheringham. The former striker direct the ball near the post and it’s in.
1-1 and Manchester United can dream
Less than a minute after the kick-off, it’s another corner for United. Beckham retakes its duty and finds Sheringham’s head. He didn’t manage to put it in the net this time, but as the ball is going through the goal line, Solskjær shot out before the German defenders and direct the ball on the upper side of the goal.
We have a winner
92’ and the Champions League trophy shifts towards Manchester.
Bayern München players are now overwhelmed, and they struggle to put a final pressure on Manchester. I cannot imagine how terrible they felt losing at literally, the last minute. The legendary Pierluigi Collina blows the final whistles and the English squad can celebrate. Manchester got their second Champions League trophy and my playground friend is on cloud nine.