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Classic Final Goals

Sudden Impact

Substitute Lars Ricken needed just 16 seconds to seal Dortmund’s greatest triumph

WORDS Chris Burke | ILLUSTRATION Osvaldo Casanova

Suppose for a moment that Lars Ricken is eating an apple. Or, better yet, given his Dortmund DNA, a banana – the Black and Yellow underdog of the fruit world. And there he goes, chomping away until he looks down at the peel, considering his next move. Now, does he walk over to the bin and aim it in safely from close range? Or does he fling it from across the room, trusting his instinct to nail the angles?

If the answer isn’t obvious, you probably haven’t seen Ricken’s goal in the 1997 Champions League final. But rest assured that you’re in good company. Nor was it obvious to Angelo Peruzzi that night of surprises in Munich, the Juventus goalkeeper caught utterly off guard and left scowling into the middle distance.  

But let’s not feel too bad for Peruzzi. He has a Champions League winner’s medal of his own after all, earned the very year before. Which, incidentally, is part of why Ricken’s goal remains so memorable, so clickable. As much a touchstone for fans of a good upset as it is for the Schwarzgelben faithful.

This, remember, was a game Dortmund were never supposed to win. They were facing the European champions and a line-up that read like a fantasy side: a Zinédine Zidane here, a Didier Deschamps there, with Christian Vieri and Alen Bokšić keeping Alessandro Del Piero on the bench. Juve had also beaten Dortmund 6-1 over two legs in the 1993 UEFA Cup final. There was history, and it was painful.

Especially for Ricken. He was 16 when that UEFA Cup final was played, but set to graduate from academy dreamer into first-team contender, sharing a pitch with the same players he had idolised as a fan in the Yellow Wall – the loud and legendary terrace of Dortmund’s home ground. Born in the city, Ricken was a Dortmund die-hard, a local lad coming good, and still only 20 when his crucial semi-final goal at Old Trafford helped BVB secure their showpiece berth.

Suppose for a moment that Lars Ricken is eating an apple. Or, better yet, given his Dortmund DNA, a banana – the Black and Yellow underdog of the fruit world. And there he goes, chomping away until he looks down at the peel, considering his next move. Now, does he walk over to the bin and aim it in safely from close range? Or does he fling it from across the room, trusting his instinct to nail the angles?

If the answer isn’t obvious, you probably haven’t seen Ricken’s goal in the 1997 Champions League final. But rest assured that you’re in good company. Nor was it obvious to Angelo Peruzzi that night of surprises in Munich, the Juventus goalkeeper caught utterly off guard and left scowling into the middle distance.  

But let’s not feel too bad for Peruzzi. He has a Champions League winner’s medal of his own after all, earned the very year before. Which, incidentally, is part of why Ricken’s goal remains so memorable, so clickable. As much a touchstone for fans of a good upset as it is for the Schwarzgelben faithful.

This, remember, was a game Dortmund were never supposed to win. They were facing the European champions and a line-up that read like a fantasy side: a Zinédine Zidane here, a Didier Deschamps there, with Christian Vieri and Alen Bokšić keeping Alessandro Del Piero on the bench. Juve had also beaten Dortmund 6-1 over two legs in the 1993 UEFA Cup final. There was history, and it was painful.

Especially for Ricken. He was 16 when that UEFA Cup final was played, but set to graduate from academy dreamer into first-team contender, sharing a pitch with the same players he had idolised as a fan in the Yellow Wall – the loud and legendary terrace of Dortmund’s home ground. Born in the city, Ricken was a Dortmund die-hard, a local lad coming good, and still only 20 when his crucial semi-final goal at Old Trafford helped BVB secure their showpiece berth.

Read the full story
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Even so, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld named the young midfielder as a substitute for the biggest game in the club’s history. Ricken was disappointed, but rather than sulk in his seat at the Olympiastadion, he started watching. Watching closely.

He saw what everyone saw: Paul Lambert stifling Zidane, Karl-Heinz Riedle scoring twice for Dortmund in the first half, and Del Piero reigniting the tension with a back-heel on 65 minutes. But he saw something else as well. “I noticed Peruzzi was often standing too far from his goal,” Ricken later explained. “I came into the match with that in mind, thinking: ‘Peruzzi is too far out of goal, Peruzzi is too far out of goal.’”

His chance arose five minutes after Del Piero had struck. Taking off Swiss forward Stéphane Chapuisat, Hitzfeld’s plan was to tighten up, yet Ricken wasted no time in settling the encounter… unless 16 seconds counts as wasted time. Because that was all it took for Ricken to finish Juventus off, his first move being to slot into space on the right as Dortmund launched a counter.

Former Juve player Paulo Sousa led the charge, before feeding another of the Bianconeri’s exes, Andreas Möller, who saw Ricken make a run. His threaded pass between Angelo Di Livio and Ciro Ferrara was a geometric marvel, perfectly weighted into the sub’s trajectory. And Ricken knew what needed to happen next, even if he had the space and fresh legs to close in on goal. No, Peruzzi was too far out. Peruzzi was too far out!

Before anyone else could notice, the ball was in the air. Ricken had gone for it, applied his theory, his very first touch of the game a firm sweep of the leg from around 25 metres out. And there it still was, the ball in the air. And there it was a second later, still in the air, curling high and wide past the stranded Peruzzi, reminiscent of a certain curved fruit before its satisfying drop and swish into the net.

Cue wild celebrations, Ricken waving his arms a little gawkishly and heading
off to the sidelines. Cue Peruzzi’s scowl and 20 minutes of Juve knowing this was over. Cue Dortmund, unfancied Dortmund, lifting the trophy, defying the odds, upsetting the apple cart of European football. Absolute bananas.  

Suppose for a moment that Lars Ricken is eating an apple. Or, better yet, given his Dortmund DNA, a banana – the Black and Yellow underdog of the fruit world. And there he goes, chomping away until he looks down at the peel, considering his next move. Now, does he walk over to the bin and aim it in safely from close range? Or does he fling it from across the room, trusting his instinct to nail the angles?

If the answer isn’t obvious, you probably haven’t seen Ricken’s goal in the 1997 Champions League final. But rest assured that you’re in good company. Nor was it obvious to Angelo Peruzzi that night of surprises in Munich, the Juventus goalkeeper caught utterly off guard and left scowling into the middle distance.  

But let’s not feel too bad for Peruzzi. He has a Champions League winner’s medal of his own after all, earned the very year before. Which, incidentally, is part of why Ricken’s goal remains so memorable, so clickable. As much a touchstone for fans of a good upset as it is for the Schwarzgelben faithful.

This, remember, was a game Dortmund were never supposed to win. They were facing the European champions and a line-up that read like a fantasy side: a Zinédine Zidane here, a Didier Deschamps there, with Christian Vieri and Alen Bokšić keeping Alessandro Del Piero on the bench. Juve had also beaten Dortmund 6-1 over two legs in the 1993 UEFA Cup final. There was history, and it was painful.

Especially for Ricken. He was 16 when that UEFA Cup final was played, but set to graduate from academy dreamer into first-team contender, sharing a pitch with the same players he had idolised as a fan in the Yellow Wall – the loud and legendary terrace of Dortmund’s home ground. Born in the city, Ricken was a Dortmund die-hard, a local lad coming good, and still only 20 when his crucial semi-final goal at Old Trafford helped BVB secure their showpiece berth.

Sudden Impact
Classic Final Goals

Sudden Impact

Substitute Lars Ricken needed just 16 seconds to seal Dortmund’s greatest triumph

WORDS Chris Burke | ILLUSTRATION Osvaldo Casanova

Suppose for a moment that Lars Ricken is eating an apple. Or, better yet, given his Dortmund DNA, a banana – the Black and Yellow underdog of the fruit world. And there he goes, chomping away until he looks down at the peel, considering his next move. Now, does he walk over to the bin and aim it in safely from close range? Or does he fling it from across the room, trusting his instinct to nail the angles?

If the answer isn’t obvious, you probably haven’t seen Ricken’s goal in the 1997 Champions League final. But rest assured that you’re in good company. Nor was it obvious to Angelo Peruzzi that night of surprises in Munich, the Juventus goalkeeper caught utterly off guard and left scowling into the middle distance.  

But let’s not feel too bad for Peruzzi. He has a Champions League winner’s medal of his own after all, earned the very year before. Which, incidentally, is part of why Ricken’s goal remains so memorable, so clickable. As much a touchstone for fans of a good upset as it is for the Schwarzgelben faithful.

This, remember, was a game Dortmund were never supposed to win. They were facing the European champions and a line-up that read like a fantasy side: a Zinédine Zidane here, a Didier Deschamps there, with Christian Vieri and Alen Bokšić keeping Alessandro Del Piero on the bench. Juve had also beaten Dortmund 6-1 over two legs in the 1993 UEFA Cup final. There was history, and it was painful.

Especially for Ricken. He was 16 when that UEFA Cup final was played, but set to graduate from academy dreamer into first-team contender, sharing a pitch with the same players he had idolised as a fan in the Yellow Wall – the loud and legendary terrace of Dortmund’s home ground. Born in the city, Ricken was a Dortmund die-hard, a local lad coming good, and still only 20 when his crucial semi-final goal at Old Trafford helped BVB secure their showpiece berth.

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.

Suppose for a moment that Lars Ricken is eating an apple. Or, better yet, given his Dortmund DNA, a banana – the Black and Yellow underdog of the fruit world. And there he goes, chomping away until he looks down at the peel, considering his next move. Now, does he walk over to the bin and aim it in safely from close range? Or does he fling it from across the room, trusting his instinct to nail the angles?

If the answer isn’t obvious, you probably haven’t seen Ricken’s goal in the 1997 Champions League final. But rest assured that you’re in good company. Nor was it obvious to Angelo Peruzzi that night of surprises in Munich, the Juventus goalkeeper caught utterly off guard and left scowling into the middle distance.  

But let’s not feel too bad for Peruzzi. He has a Champions League winner’s medal of his own after all, earned the very year before. Which, incidentally, is part of why Ricken’s goal remains so memorable, so clickable. As much a touchstone for fans of a good upset as it is for the Schwarzgelben faithful.

This, remember, was a game Dortmund were never supposed to win. They were facing the European champions and a line-up that read like a fantasy side: a Zinédine Zidane here, a Didier Deschamps there, with Christian Vieri and Alen Bokšić keeping Alessandro Del Piero on the bench. Juve had also beaten Dortmund 6-1 over two legs in the 1993 UEFA Cup final. There was history, and it was painful.

Especially for Ricken. He was 16 when that UEFA Cup final was played, but set to graduate from academy dreamer into first-team contender, sharing a pitch with the same players he had idolised as a fan in the Yellow Wall – the loud and legendary terrace of Dortmund’s home ground. Born in the city, Ricken was a Dortmund die-hard, a local lad coming good, and still only 20 when his crucial semi-final goal at Old Trafford helped BVB secure their showpiece berth.

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!

Even so, coach Ottmar Hitzfeld named the young midfielder as a substitute for the biggest game in the club’s history. Ricken was disappointed, but rather than sulk in his seat at the Olympiastadion, he started watching. Watching closely.

He saw what everyone saw: Paul Lambert stifling Zidane, Karl-Heinz Riedle scoring twice for Dortmund in the first half, and Del Piero reigniting the tension with a back-heel on 65 minutes. But he saw something else as well. “I noticed Peruzzi was often standing too far from his goal,” Ricken later explained. “I came into the match with that in mind, thinking: ‘Peruzzi is too far out of goal, Peruzzi is too far out of goal.’”

His chance arose five minutes after Del Piero had struck. Taking off Swiss forward Stéphane Chapuisat, Hitzfeld’s plan was to tighten up, yet Ricken wasted no time in settling the encounter… unless 16 seconds counts as wasted time. Because that was all it took for Ricken to finish Juventus off, his first move being to slot into space on the right as Dortmund launched a counter.

Former Juve player Paulo Sousa led the charge, before feeding another of the Bianconeri’s exes, Andreas Möller, who saw Ricken make a run. His threaded pass between Angelo Di Livio and Ciro Ferrara was a geometric marvel, perfectly weighted into the sub’s trajectory. And Ricken knew what needed to happen next, even if he had the space and fresh legs to close in on goal. No, Peruzzi was too far out. Peruzzi was too far out!

Before anyone else could notice, the ball was in the air. Ricken had gone for it, applied his theory, his very first touch of the game a firm sweep of the leg from around 25 metres out. And there it still was, the ball in the air. And there it was a second later, still in the air, curling high and wide past the stranded Peruzzi, reminiscent of a certain curved fruit before its satisfying drop and swish into the net.

Cue wild celebrations, Ricken waving his arms a little gawkishly and heading
off to the sidelines. Cue Peruzzi’s scowl and 20 minutes of Juve knowing this was over. Cue Dortmund, unfancied Dortmund, lifting the trophy, defying the odds, upsetting the apple cart of European football. Absolute bananas.  

Suppose for a moment that Lars Ricken is eating an apple. Or, better yet, given his Dortmund DNA, a banana – the Black and Yellow underdog of the fruit world. And there he goes, chomping away until he looks down at the peel, considering his next move. Now, does he walk over to the bin and aim it in safely from close range? Or does he fling it from across the room, trusting his instinct to nail the angles?

If the answer isn’t obvious, you probably haven’t seen Ricken’s goal in the 1997 Champions League final. But rest assured that you’re in good company. Nor was it obvious to Angelo Peruzzi that night of surprises in Munich, the Juventus goalkeeper caught utterly off guard and left scowling into the middle distance.  

But let’s not feel too bad for Peruzzi. He has a Champions League winner’s medal of his own after all, earned the very year before. Which, incidentally, is part of why Ricken’s goal remains so memorable, so clickable. As much a touchstone for fans of a good upset as it is for the Schwarzgelben faithful.

This, remember, was a game Dortmund were never supposed to win. They were facing the European champions and a line-up that read like a fantasy side: a Zinédine Zidane here, a Didier Deschamps there, with Christian Vieri and Alen Bokšić keeping Alessandro Del Piero on the bench. Juve had also beaten Dortmund 6-1 over two legs in the 1993 UEFA Cup final. There was history, and it was painful.

Especially for Ricken. He was 16 when that UEFA Cup final was played, but set to graduate from academy dreamer into first-team contender, sharing a pitch with the same players he had idolised as a fan in the Yellow Wall – the loud and legendary terrace of Dortmund’s home ground. Born in the city, Ricken was a Dortmund die-hard, a local lad coming good, and still only 20 when his crucial semi-final goal at Old Trafford helped BVB secure their showpiece berth.

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.

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