Classic Final Goals

The first time

One May night in 1987, Porto beat Bayern and Rabah Madjer brought a new goalscoring method to heel

WORDS Chris Burke | ILLUSTRATION Osvaldo Casanova

Thanks to Pulp Fiction, everybody knows what Parisians call a quarter-pounder with cheese. But what about the French term for a goal flicked in with the back of the foot? And no, it has nothing to do with the metric system.

That’s right, John Travolta. They call it… “a Madjer”.

Few players pull off a feat so iconic, so eye-opening, that it carries their name forever, but Rabah Madjer joined that club on 27 May 1987 when he dazzled millions worldwide with a different way of putting the ball in the net. Antonín Panenka has his impudent penalty. Johan Cruyff served up his elastic turn. And Madjer gave us his glorious back-heel.

“It’s a registered trademark,” joked the man himself decades later, his entire career summed up by a single moment more than 30 years ago. A moment he can barely walk to the shops without being stopped and asked about. A moment relived every day in the present tense.

Cut to the Praterstadion in Vienna, where Madjer’s side Porto are facing Bayern München in the 1987 European Cup final. The Dragons are massive underdogs against the three-time continental champions and many believe the result a foregone conclusion. Bayern president Fritz Scherer has even penned his victory speech for the post-match banquet.  

When Ludwig Kögl heads Bayern in front after 25 minutes, that confidence feels justified. Porto have never before appeared in the final. Porto, for most people watching at home, is the place where they make that drink. And look who they have up front, a little-known Algerian who signed from second-tier French side Racing Club in 1985.

Thanks to Pulp Fiction, everybody knows what Parisians call a quarter-pounder with cheese. But what about the French term for a goal flicked in with the back of the foot? And no, it has nothing to do with the metric system.

That’s right, John Travolta. They call it… “a Madjer”.

Few players pull off a feat so iconic, so eye-opening, that it carries their name forever, but Rabah Madjer joined that club on 27 May 1987 when he dazzled millions worldwide with a different way of putting the ball in the net. Antonín Panenka has his impudent penalty. Johan Cruyff served up his elastic turn. And Madjer gave us his glorious back-heel.

“It’s a registered trademark,” joked the man himself decades later, his entire career summed up by a single moment more than 30 years ago. A moment he can barely walk to the shops without being stopped and asked about. A moment relived every day in the present tense.

Cut to the Praterstadion in Vienna, where Madjer’s side Porto are facing Bayern München in the 1987 European Cup final. The Dragons are massive underdogs against the three-time continental champions and many believe the result a foregone conclusion. Bayern president Fritz Scherer has even penned his victory speech for the post-match banquet.  

When Ludwig Kögl heads Bayern in front after 25 minutes, that confidence feels justified. Porto have never before appeared in the final. Porto, for most people watching at home, is the place where they make that drink. And look who they have up front, a little-known Algerian who signed from second-tier French side Racing Club in 1985.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

“I was rooming with our Polish goalkeeper Józef Młynarczyk and he was a bit stressed the night before the game,” Madjer later recalled. “Everybody thought Bayern would beat us. But I told Józef we hadn’t come this far to lose. I even predicted we would win 2-1.”

And so they did, though the comeback was an awfully long time coming.

It was worth the wait. Thirteen minutes from the end, Brazilian forward Juary breaks into the Bayern area down the right, receiving the ball as goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff and defender Hans Pflügler converge. Juary turns and attempts a pass across goal, spotting Madjer sprint into position. But the ball takes a deflection which slows it down. Madjer, it seems, has overrun it…

He has, but no matter. With his back to the net, Madjer calmly prods his right leg forward, waits for the ball to bounce behind and pulls the trigger, jabbing it beyond Hansi Flick on the line. Flick can only stand there bewildered, out-flicked. Like everyone else, he had no idea what was coming. Did that just happen? Oh yes.

“It’s hard to explain what goes through your head at such a moment,” Madjer recounted in 2015. “Your body reacts before your brain does.” Fortunately for Porto, their No8 did not dwell long on his masterpiece. Just as crucial, though less celebrated, was his cross for Juary to bury the winner a mere four minutes later, the impudence of that first goal having broken Bayern.

And can you blame them? Even the great Pelé was stunned. “It would have been the greatest goal I’ve ever seen if he had not looked back at it,” the Brazil legend is reported to have said. There speaks a purist, a true connoisseur. Or perhaps a man with an unfair thirst for perfection.

After all, why should Madjer not have witnessed the goal that made his name – the goal he would end up describing for the rest of his life?

Thanks to Pulp Fiction, everybody knows what Parisians call a quarter-pounder with cheese. But what about the French term for a goal flicked in with the back of the foot? And no, it has nothing to do with the metric system.

That’s right, John Travolta. They call it… “a Madjer”.

Few players pull off a feat so iconic, so eye-opening, that it carries their name forever, but Rabah Madjer joined that club on 27 May 1987 when he dazzled millions worldwide with a different way of putting the ball in the net. Antonín Panenka has his impudent penalty. Johan Cruyff served up his elastic turn. And Madjer gave us his glorious back-heel.

“It’s a registered trademark,” joked the man himself decades later, his entire career summed up by a single moment more than 30 years ago. A moment he can barely walk to the shops without being stopped and asked about. A moment relived every day in the present tense.

Cut to the Praterstadion in Vienna, where Madjer’s side Porto are facing Bayern München in the 1987 European Cup final. The Dragons are massive underdogs against the three-time continental champions and many believe the result a foregone conclusion. Bayern president Fritz Scherer has even penned his victory speech for the post-match banquet.  

When Ludwig Kögl heads Bayern in front after 25 minutes, that confidence feels justified. Porto have never before appeared in the final. Porto, for most people watching at home, is the place where they make that drink. And look who they have up front, a little-known Algerian who signed from second-tier French side Racing Club in 1985.

The first time
Classic Final Goals

The first time

One May night in 1987, Porto beat Bayern and Rabah Madjer brought a new goalscoring method to heel

WORDS Chris Burke | ILLUSTRATION Osvaldo Casanova

Thanks to Pulp Fiction, everybody knows what Parisians call a quarter-pounder with cheese. But what about the French term for a goal flicked in with the back of the foot? And no, it has nothing to do with the metric system.

That’s right, John Travolta. They call it… “a Madjer”.

Few players pull off a feat so iconic, so eye-opening, that it carries their name forever, but Rabah Madjer joined that club on 27 May 1987 when he dazzled millions worldwide with a different way of putting the ball in the net. Antonín Panenka has his impudent penalty. Johan Cruyff served up his elastic turn. And Madjer gave us his glorious back-heel.

“It’s a registered trademark,” joked the man himself decades later, his entire career summed up by a single moment more than 30 years ago. A moment he can barely walk to the shops without being stopped and asked about. A moment relived every day in the present tense.

Cut to the Praterstadion in Vienna, where Madjer’s side Porto are facing Bayern München in the 1987 European Cup final. The Dragons are massive underdogs against the three-time continental champions and many believe the result a foregone conclusion. Bayern president Fritz Scherer has even penned his victory speech for the post-match banquet.  

When Ludwig Kögl heads Bayern in front after 25 minutes, that confidence feels justified. Porto have never before appeared in the final. Porto, for most people watching at home, is the place where they make that drink. And look who they have up front, a little-known Algerian who signed from second-tier French side Racing Club in 1985.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

Thanks to Pulp Fiction, everybody knows what Parisians call a quarter-pounder with cheese. But what about the French term for a goal flicked in with the back of the foot? And no, it has nothing to do with the metric system.

That’s right, John Travolta. They call it… “a Madjer”.

Few players pull off a feat so iconic, so eye-opening, that it carries their name forever, but Rabah Madjer joined that club on 27 May 1987 when he dazzled millions worldwide with a different way of putting the ball in the net. Antonín Panenka has his impudent penalty. Johan Cruyff served up his elastic turn. And Madjer gave us his glorious back-heel.

“It’s a registered trademark,” joked the man himself decades later, his entire career summed up by a single moment more than 30 years ago. A moment he can barely walk to the shops without being stopped and asked about. A moment relived every day in the present tense.

Cut to the Praterstadion in Vienna, where Madjer’s side Porto are facing Bayern München in the 1987 European Cup final. The Dragons are massive underdogs against the three-time continental champions and many believe the result a foregone conclusion. Bayern president Fritz Scherer has even penned his victory speech for the post-match banquet.  

When Ludwig Kögl heads Bayern in front after 25 minutes, that confidence feels justified. Porto have never before appeared in the final. Porto, for most people watching at home, is the place where they make that drink. And look who they have up front, a little-known Algerian who signed from second-tier French side Racing Club in 1985.

Read the full story
Sign up now to get access to this and every premium feature on Champions Journal. You will also get access to member-only competitions and offers. And you get all of that completely free!

“I was rooming with our Polish goalkeeper Józef Młynarczyk and he was a bit stressed the night before the game,” Madjer later recalled. “Everybody thought Bayern would beat us. But I told Józef we hadn’t come this far to lose. I even predicted we would win 2-1.”

And so they did, though the comeback was an awfully long time coming.

It was worth the wait. Thirteen minutes from the end, Brazilian forward Juary breaks into the Bayern area down the right, receiving the ball as goalkeeper Jean-Marie Pfaff and defender Hans Pflügler converge. Juary turns and attempts a pass across goal, spotting Madjer sprint into position. But the ball takes a deflection which slows it down. Madjer, it seems, has overrun it…

He has, but no matter. With his back to the net, Madjer calmly prods his right leg forward, waits for the ball to bounce behind and pulls the trigger, jabbing it beyond Hansi Flick on the line. Flick can only stand there bewildered, out-flicked. Like everyone else, he had no idea what was coming. Did that just happen? Oh yes.

“It’s hard to explain what goes through your head at such a moment,” Madjer recounted in 2015. “Your body reacts before your brain does.” Fortunately for Porto, their No8 did not dwell long on his masterpiece. Just as crucial, though less celebrated, was his cross for Juary to bury the winner a mere four minutes later, the impudence of that first goal having broken Bayern.

And can you blame them? Even the great Pelé was stunned. “It would have been the greatest goal I’ve ever seen if he had not looked back at it,” the Brazil legend is reported to have said. There speaks a purist, a true connoisseur. Or perhaps a man with an unfair thirst for perfection.

After all, why should Madjer not have witnessed the goal that made his name – the goal he would end up describing for the rest of his life?

Thanks to Pulp Fiction, everybody knows what Parisians call a quarter-pounder with cheese. But what about the French term for a goal flicked in with the back of the foot? And no, it has nothing to do with the metric system.

That’s right, John Travolta. They call it… “a Madjer”.

Few players pull off a feat so iconic, so eye-opening, that it carries their name forever, but Rabah Madjer joined that club on 27 May 1987 when he dazzled millions worldwide with a different way of putting the ball in the net. Antonín Panenka has his impudent penalty. Johan Cruyff served up his elastic turn. And Madjer gave us his glorious back-heel.

“It’s a registered trademark,” joked the man himself decades later, his entire career summed up by a single moment more than 30 years ago. A moment he can barely walk to the shops without being stopped and asked about. A moment relived every day in the present tense.

Cut to the Praterstadion in Vienna, where Madjer’s side Porto are facing Bayern München in the 1987 European Cup final. The Dragons are massive underdogs against the three-time continental champions and many believe the result a foregone conclusion. Bayern president Fritz Scherer has even penned his victory speech for the post-match banquet.  

When Ludwig Kögl heads Bayern in front after 25 minutes, that confidence feels justified. Porto have never before appeared in the final. Porto, for most people watching at home, is the place where they make that drink. And look who they have up front, a little-known Algerian who signed from second-tier French side Racing Club in 1985.

Penalty Pedigree

Etiam erat velit scelerisque in dictum non. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at. Scelerisque felis imperdiet proin fermentum leo. Nibh tortor id aliquet lectus proin nibh nisl. Nulla at volutpat diam ut venenatis. At urna condimentum mattis pellentesque id nibh tortor id aliquet. Leo a diam sollicitudin tempor id eu nisl nunc mi. Dui vivamus arcu felis bibendum ut. Pharetra convallis posuere morbi leo urna molestie. Adipiscing at in tellus integer feugiat scelerisque. In arcu cursus euismod quis. Dictum non consectetur a erat nam at lectus urna duis. Facilisi nullam vehicula ipsum a arcu cursus. At tempor commodo ullamcorper a lacus vestibulum sed arcu non. Ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur adipiscing elit pellentesque habitant. Vitae sapien pellentesque habitant morbi tristique senectus. Eget nullam non nisi est sit amet facilisis. Ipsum consequat nisl vel pretium lectus quam. Elit sed vulputate mi sit amet mauris commodo quis. Pretium fusce id velit ut tortor pretium viverra suspendisse potenti.

To access this article, as well as all CJ+ content and competitions, you will need a subscription to Champions Journal.
Already a subscriber? Sign in
close
Special Offers
christmas offer
Christmas CHEER
Up to 40% off
Start shopping
50% off
game night flash sale!!!
Don't miss out
00
Hours
:
00
minutes
:
00
Seconds
Valid on selected products only. subscriptions not included
close