When most people think of Bayern Munich losing a European final, they think of Manchester United’s infamous comeback against the German giants in 1999, courtesy of two injury-time goals.
But perhaps Bayern’s shaky nerve was rooted in the 1987 European Cup final against Porto, who were desperate to add a European title to their cabinet. Die Roten went into the match in Vienna as firm favourites, having won the previous two Bundesliga titles, including a league and cup double in the previous season.
All of this was overseen by Udo Lattek in his second spell at the Bavarian helm. His first five years at the club, from 1970 to 1975, brought a hat-trick of league titles as well as the 1974 European Cup, earned when his Bayern side crushed Atletico Madrid in a 4-0 replay win.
By squeezing the best out of the established Gerd Müller, Sepp Maier, and Franz Beckenbauer (the latter having recommended him for the job despite his lack of managerial experience) as well as bringing in promising youngsters Paul Breitner and Uli Hoeneß. Most of these players were crucial in West Germany’s World Cup win in the same year, placing Lattek in an almost unassailable position at the top of the nation’s footballing conscience.
Or so he thought, until a bad start the following season led to his ousting in January 1975. Months of exile (or was it mourning?) followed until he took the job at Borussia Mönchengladbach, determined to prove the Bayern brass wrong.
Two league titles, a UEFA Cup triumph over Red Star Belgrade, and a Champions League final loss to Liverpool soon followed, and after a poor spell at Borussia Dortmund, Lattek found himself in Barcelona, winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1982 to cement a unique continental treble.
But after signing a young Diego Maradona, Lattek was ejected at the end of the second season in favour of World Cup-winning Argentine coach Cesar Luis Menotti. The German manager had never been afraid to challenge his players, famously saying “where there is friction, there is energy”.
Evidently, Maradona’s friction was too much even for Lattek.
Fast forward four years, though, and Prussian-born coach was back at the pinnacle of the German game. In the dressing room on that fateful night in Vienna, then, he must have been confident of a second European Cup.
And why wouldn’t he be? Though club captain Klaus Augenthaler was suspended, and regulars Roland Wohlfarth and Hans Dorfner were injured, Bayern weren’t at a loss for talent. Centre-back Norbert Eder, midfielder Lothar Matthäus, striker Dieter Hoeneß, and wideman Andreas Brehme were fixtures for the West German national side, while in Jean-Marie Pfaff, Lattek had arguably the best goalkeeper in the world.
Mind you, Porto were no small fry. Alongside the aforementioned consecutive league titles, the Portuguese had bested Johan Cruyff’s Ajax in the previous season’s European Cup. They even gave Barcelona a run for their money, beating them 3-1 in the second leg, although not enough to make up for their 2-0 loss at the Camp Nou.
Lattek’s opposite number was Artur Jorge, a man who had studied football in East Germany after a successful playing career at Porto’s rival Benfica. Unlike Lattek, Jorge had worked his way through club management before getting his first big break, having coached Vitoria de Guimaraes, Belenenses, and Portimonense before he was given the Porto job in 1984.
His side didn’t lack quality, but it did lack the pure star power of Bayern’s dressing room. FC Hollywood it wasn’t, but two of its players were to spark a comeback straight out of the movies. The tale of Algerian striker Rabah Madjer and Brazilian substitute Juary will be told later.
Porto were also hampered by injury, lacking prolific poacher and captain Fernando Gomes as well as centre-back Lima Pereira.
A seemingly one-sided final between two sides without their captains may not have sounded like an all-time classic, but Artur Jorge and his men put paid to those predictions.
The underdog narrative is always tempting to go with, but in truth, Porto had a somewhat easier time reaching the final than Bayern did. After dispatching Malta’s Rabat Ajax with a 9-0 home win and beating Czechoslovakia’s Vitkovice 3-1 on aggregate, surprise quarter-finalists Brondby gave them a scare after the Danes equalised at home to bring the score to 1-1 on aggregate.
Not for the first time, however, it was Brazilian forward Juary who saved the Dragões’ skin with a late equaliser to send them through to the semis.
Now came Porto’s first real test against Dynamo Kiev, who had thrashed Besiktas 5-0 in Turkey in the quarter-finals.
The home leg was a cathartic 2-1 win, opened with a spectacular dribble and lob by winger Paulo Futre that saw the forward scale the fence of the Estádio do Dragão to celebrate with the fans. Midfielder António André powered home a penalty to extend the lead, and though Pavlo Yakovenko pulled a goal back in the 74th minute, Porto held their nerve to keep their hard-earned lead.
The away leg was strangely comfortable. Centre-back Celso scored a free-kick within four minutes before captain Gomes headed in from a corner two minutes later. Alexei Mikhailichenko again scored a consolation for the Ukrainians, but again the away side settled defensively and saw themselves into the final, perhaps confident they belonged there.
Bayern had it a little differently. Starting off confidently, they saw off PSV Eindhoven and Austria Vienna 2-0 and 3-1 on aggregate respectively, but in the quarter-finals faced off against Anderlecht, a team that had beaten favourites (and last year’s champions) Steaua Bucharest 3-1 on aggregate in the second round.
But then Bayern went and dispatched them like nothing. Goals from star winger Michael Rummenigge, Hans Pfluegler, Hoeneß (two), and forward Wolfarth sunk the Belgians 5-0 in Munich, leaving them hope nor prayer of a comeback.
In the semi-final, Bayern took on favourites Real Madrid, who had squeezed past Red Star Belgrade 4-4 on aggregate on away goals and had previously knocked out Juventus.
Again, though, Lattek’s men made it look easy, and the tie was essentially over in the first leg. In Munich, Augenthaler scored after ten minutes before a controversial dive from Hans Dorfner led to a Bayern penalty, which Matthäus converted. Wohlfarth then nabbed a third, before Madrid’s Juanito was sent off for kicking Matthäus and pushing referee Robert Valentine, shortly before Emilio Butragueño scored for the Spaniards.
Did we mention all of this took place in the first half?
Matthäus then finished the match off with a second penalty after a handball from Mino, who was later sent off. Madrid had lost 4-1 and two of their players were now unavailable for the crucial second leg at home.
The home leg was a typically moody affair, delayed on the night because Madrid fans threw objects at Pfaff – and not for the first time.
Eventually, as football interspersed spells of ill behaviour from ultras, Santillana opened the scoring for Madrid, sparking hopes of a comeback, and not long before captain Augenthaler saw red and was subsequently shown it.
Pfaff was in form, however, and after East German Norbert Nachtweih fell back into sweeper position – a role he would fill in the fateful final – Bayern heroically fought off every attack the Spanish could muster. A pyrrhic victory it may have been, but a victory it was, and that’s all Lattek wanted.
On the night, in front of 62,000 fans in Vienna, the Germans were savouring victory, and what seemed like the first step towards it came in the most peculiar of ways.
As Hans Pflügler stepped up for a throw-in in the 24th minute, referee Alexis Ponnet ordered Jaime Magalhães to step away from the left-back. Pflügler sneakily took his chance as the winger tracked back, forcing Magalhães to head the ball towards his own penalty box for youngster Ludwig Kögl to nod into the net. A nightmare start for the Portuguese.
Porto limped on into half-time, somehow keeping the score at 1-0. Jorge knew a change was needed and brought on Juary, his hero in that quarter-final in Czechoslovakia, for midfielder Quim, encouraging Porto to attack. Juary kept Algerian striker Rabah Madjer fed with searching balls, although nothing gave until the final 15 minutes.
With 13 minutes to go, Juary picked up a pass and ran through on goal, Pfaff immediately dashing and diving to try and smother the ball. The Brazilian foresaw that move, though, and cheekily passed to the right for Madjer to backheel the ball past the Belgian. An audacious move had broken Bayern’s lead.
Just three minutes later, this unlikely duo doubled their misery. Madjer bombed down the left and hit a searching ball inside for Juary to volley it first-time into the net. Cue delirium.
The clocked ticked down and history was made. For both Madjer and Juary this proved their highest moments, the former winning the Ballon d’Or Africain for 1987 but never hitting those heights again, the latter eventually returning home to Brazil, where he retired. Artur Jorge, the man who had brought them together, left Portugal to become a journeyman manager, his only achievement of note being his Ligue 1 win with Paris Saint-Germain in 1994.
It was Lattek and Bayern whose legacies endured, the former remembered as one of European football’s most successful managers, the latter as one of Germany’s best factories for youth talent in the 1980s, not to mention their league successes.
But for that one night in Austria, it was Porto who made history. Ultimately even the unexpected nature of that match was topped in 1999 and is only remembered fleetingly, but for Juary, Madjer, Futre, et al, it remains the best night of their careers, a night in which every component of that Porto team peaked at just the right minute.
BY SAM BROOKE
YOU CAN FIND MORE OF SAM'S WORK FOR FOOTBALL CHRONICLE HERE