Anorak | A wonderful history of German football clubs in Europe: 1960 til now

A wonderful history of German football clubs in Europe: 1960 til now

by | 24th, May 2013

THE Germans are coming (again)

German football didn’t turn professional until the mid-sixties, but by that time the (West Germany) national team had already won the World Cup, and one of their clubs had reached the final of the European Champions Cup.


That club was Eintracht Frankfurt, whose appearance is etched in the memory of a generation of British football fans. The club had the misfortune to appear in the 1960 final in Glasgow in front of a crowd of more than 127,000, which was televised live and sent shock-waves throughout the land. Real Madrid won their fifth consecutive title that day they were the sole winners of the cup at that point and their 7-3 demolition of a decent Frankfurt side was probably the club’s greatest hour.

By spring 1974, however, things had changed dramatically. The West German national side were reigning European champions and would become World Champions during the summer. The Bundesliga was now a major force in European football and Bayern Munich were poised to usurp Ajax as the continent’s preeminent club. Their three consecutive European Cups would match the Dutch masters’ achievement over the previous three years, and Bayern skipper Franz Beckenbauer would become Der Kaiser of not just his country, but international football.

Bayern’s and Germany’s first triumph in the Champions Cup was performed in two acts. The first was a 1-1 draw against Atlético Madrid at the Heysel stadium in Brussels on 15 May, with both goals coming right at the end of extra time Bayern’s with just one minute left to play.

The replay took place three days later, in front of a mere 23,000 fans in the same stadium (which would itself achieve an unwanted place in football history the following decade). This time the Germans won emphatically 4-0, with two superb goals each for the legendary Uli Hoeness and Gerd Müller.

Bayern’s next victory came against Leeds United in France the following year, and the game is notorious for two things: controversial refereeing decisions, and the Leeds supporters’ reaction to them.

A Bayern player was taken off after what their coach described as “the most brutal foul I think I

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Posted: 24th, May 2013 | In: Key Posts, Sports Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink