Can football really be so brutal?

As mentioned in my “Name on the Trophy” blog on 21st September, where I’d recently discovered three e-mails from 26th May 2004 from my old work e-mail address in London to my hotmail account. It was something that I had completely forgotten I’d done, but now so glad I had as it has been a fascinating read that I’d like to share with you.

The e-mails were entitled “Name on the Trophy!!! 26/05/1999 (1), (2) and (3)” and it was a load of quotes from the world of TV commentary from the day, as well as various newspaper reports from the days after the event. Below is one of those reports and I have many more to come, enjoy reading them. I certainly have.

Rheinische Post
“Can football really be so brutal? I cannot find the words.. I find it hard to describe.” Steffen Effenberg was speechless after Bayern Munich’s 2-1 defeat by Manchester United in the Champions League Final. So were his team-mates.
Up to the 90th minute, Bayern had done the job and their dream was almost a reality… Then came what had to come: Manchester United created the incomprehensible and turned it around in injury time. Within 102 seconds, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer destroyed Bayern’s dreams. Whilst the English rejoiced, the Bayern players were distraught and in tears.

Suddeutsche Zeitung
Franz Beckenbauer, usually so optimistic, said that the shock of this 1-2 defeat would not evaporate on Thursday: “The worst day,” said Beckenbauer, “is the day after.” It was written all over the players’ faces, as if they had received an enormous blow: their trophy taken away.

“Football can be so cruel. I did not experience such a cruel defeat ever. The game was almost over, the Cup was almost ours.”

Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld reflected on missed chances: ” Had we not twice hit the post, we would have gone home as winners from the stadium. Manchester earned the victory exactly like Bayern. We can leave with our heads raised high from the stadium. But I am bitterly disappointed.”

Bundesliga (TV Today)
Approximately 40,000 fans of Bayern were left speechless and shocked in the streets of Munich, after the defeat of their team in the last minute of the Champions League Final in Barcelona. With free beer and almost cloudless evening sky on Wednesday, the Bayern fans had watched the game on the big screen at the Olympic Stadium.

The fans witnessed Manchester United score two injury-time goals. “That was unfair”, was the unanimous tenor. Numerous fans had tears in their eyes or struck their hands on their faces.

#16 ‘Can football really be so brutal?’ – The Guardian
German reaction to Manchester United’s late, late show

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