Before Borussia Dortmund and Juventus part ways in the Champions League, as only one can prevail from the current tie, we look back at the classic encounters between the two sides. Our Football Collective partners Juve FC have done reviews of previous classic games, which you will find here and here, but they were happy to not think too much about the last of the bunch. The 1997 Champions League Final, which ended up to be Borussia Dortmund’s most famous victory of their club history.
So kick back and enjoy a little nostalgia:
The match took place in the Olympiastadion in Munich on the 28th of May in 1997. For Borussia Dortmund it was an “all or nothing” game, as they slumped to 9 losses in the league after winning back to back titles in 1995 and 1996. For the black and yellows it was the only chance to re qualify for the competition. But BVB entered the match as massive under dogs against Juventus, who were looking to win back-to-back Champions League trophies, after winning the 1996 edition against Ajax. After all this Juventus side was equipped with the finest footballing talent of the time. Christian Vieri, Alen Boksic, Alessandro Del Piero and of course Zinedin Zidane where the highlights upfront. This trophy had Juventus‘s name written all over it and the entire continent was expecting them to win it.
Dortmund: Klos – Kohler, Sammer, Kree – Reuter, Lambert, Sousa, Heinrich, Möller (89. Zorc) – Riedle (67. Herrlich), Chapuisat (70. Ricken), Coach: Ottmar Hitzfeld
Juventus: Peruzzi – Iuliano, Montero, Ferrara, Porrini (46. Del Piero) – Jugovic, Zidane, Deschamps, Di Livio – Vieri (73. Amoruso), Boksic (88. Tacchinardi), Coach: Marcello Lippi
From kick off on Juventus were the side in control, the majority of the match took place in Dortmund’s half and in their penalty area. BVB played their usual brand of industrial football under Hitzfeld, while Juventus was pushing forward and pressuring the Dortmund defense. Yet, Juventus failed to create the big chances and let Dortmund live. It was maybe down to Juventus winning the Scudetto against Atalanta Bergamo just three days ahead of the biggest match in Europe – they might have been still a bit sore from the title celebrations.
Half an hour in and the game was put on its head by Karl-Heinz Riedle. BVB hadn’t created a single chance thus far, but after 28 minutes the Germans took advantage of their first corner. The corner kick was cleared away half heartedly and Paul Lambert lumped the ball back into the box. Kalle Riedle chested down the ball but needed a few more strides to get it, before he blasted the leather past Angelo Peruzzi.
The Olympia Stadium went into mayhem, as Riedle went off to the corner flag to celebrate. Juventus were shocked as this was not standing in their script. Finally Borussia Dortmund were taking part in this game as well, as their attacking play got into gear. Riedle won possession in Juve’s half and send Stephane Chapuisat down the left wing, whose cross was cleared to Dortmund’s second corner of the match.
Before the Old Lady began to understand what was really happening, BVB already doubled their lead. Again Riedle, again from a corner kick – German efficiency at it’s best, as it was only Dortmund’s second real attack of the match. Andreas Möller sent the ball in from the left corner flag and seconds later Riedle’s perfectly struck bullet header flew past Peruzzi. Unbelievable scenes, Dortmund fans could only have imagined in their dreams. Surreal moments of joy on the one side and disbelieve on the other. Neither expected such a turnout of events, as BVB defied all odds. Football showed itself from its magical, but also very cruel side as the scoreline was harshly against the run of play.
Yet only 34 minutes were on the clock and the game wasn’t out of reach for the Italian giants. Before the first half had ended Zidane indicated Juve’s looming resurgence by hitting the post. Vieri had a goal ruled out because of a handball before striking the ball past Dortmund’s goalkeeper Stefan Klos.
In the second half Juventus threw everything they had at Dortmund. Juve coach Lippi brought Del Piero on for Porrini for an even more offense line up, but the black and yellows managed to fend them off for the first 20 minutes. Stefan Klos was called more and more into action as he had to parry a well taken shot from distance from Vieri.
Eventually the inevitable happened. Borussia Dortmund only managed to lump the balls away, succumbing more and more to the pressure. 65 minutes in Boksic made his way through the left wing and crossed the ball just before the byline. Del Piero made the run towards the short post and scored with a sensational back heel to finally beat Klos. It was a symphony of a goal, converted with such cleverness and elegance, that swung the momentum right back into Juve’s hands. They had pulled one back and there was enough time on the clock to decide the tie in their favor.
The match was standing on the edge and the Dortmund fans were silenced and Juventus were trying to force trying to force the equalizer carried by their new gained euphoria.
But that euphoria didn’t last too long, as one of the most famous substitutions followed six minutes later. Hitzfeld had already reacted by bringing Heiko Herrlich on for two-time goalscorer Riedle to bring new energy to the attack. Now Lars Ricken, who already had a reputation for deciding goals, was waiting on the touch-line to be unleashed, as Stephane Chapuisat made way.
What followed is in the memory of every Borussia Dortmund fan, as it’s the goal, that was voted ‘goal of the century’. Dortmund won the battle following the throw-in in midfield and Andreas Möller unlocked the already very open Juve defense with a pass for Ricken to chase. Lars Ricken lobbed the ball over Peruzzi with his first touch of the game and became a legend. A beautiful chip that put the game out of reach for Juventus and the trophy in Dortmund’s hands.
Peruzzi perplex as any Juventus fan could only stand and watch Ricken running off the pith celebrating with raised hands. It was the third shot on target and the third goal of the night. The party started for Dortmund fans from that moment on, as they were sure that their team would hold onto the lead now. Finally Borussia Dortmund managed to defeat Juventus after the many attempts in the years before. The win came at the right time, as it was the most prestigious game of them all.