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Five moments that rocked the Olympiastadion Berlin

04 Jun | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Five moments that rocked the Olympiastadion Berlin

The 2015 UEFA Champions League Final host stadium has witnessed some huge moments in sport.

Whether it’s Xavi or Gigi Buffon that go up to lift the richest prize in club football on Saturday, there is one thing that is for certain.

Treble winners will be crowned, and another chapter will be written into the incredible history of the famous – and in equal parts infamous – Olympiastadion Berlin.

Here’s 5 monumental moments that rocked the Olympiastadion:

Jesse Owens wins 4 Olympic Gold Medals (1936)

The 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin were supposed to be a bronze, silver and golden opportunity for Adolf HItler to showcase his ideals of racial superiority in front of the world. The newly-built, 110,000 capacity Olympiastadion the stage on which to play them out.

So how inspiringly fitting that a 22-year-old Black American would obliterate those very ideals by claiming 4 gold medals right under the nose of the Fuhrer, in a triumph of not only sporting significance, but of humanity as well.

Whilst this weekend’s combatants might think of an away trip to Real Madrid or Torino as a particularly intimidating experience, consider the environment in which Jesse Owens earned his place in history.

Under the gaze of a regime that considered him an inferior, a ‘non-human’, Owens would record stunning victories in the 100 metres, long jump, 200 metres and the 4×100 relay.

And while Nazi officials would refuse to acknowledge the American’s achievements, with Hitler ruling out even shaking his hand, the German public cheered the champion on like one of their own from the stands of the Olympiastadion. Inspirational stuff.

 

Giants stunned as Cup Final returns to the Olympiastadion (1985)

For the first time since the end of World War II, the German Cup (DFB Pokal as it is locally known) returned to the capital city, and once again to the ‘Wembley’ of German Football.

The 1985 final pit the mighty Bayern Munich against disregarded mid-table outfit Bayer 05 Uerdingen, and with Bayern having just been crowned Bundesliga champions and looking to complete a first domestic double since 1969, no one was predicting anything other than a comfortable win for the Munich giants.

And with just 8 minutes on the clock in the match, it looked to be heading exactly that way.

Dieter Hoeness’ smart strike from the edge of the area had given Bayern an early lead, but no more than a minute later, the underdogs would draw instantly level through midfielder Horst Feilzer.

Uerdingen would continue to trouble the champions throughout a frenetic first half, even having a second goal wrongly chalked off for offside.

Three minutes into the second half, things would get worse for Bayern, as Wolfgang Dremmler – a World Cup finalist with West Germany a three years previous – was given his marching orders for a synically late lunge.

Udo Lattek’s Bayern never managed to recover, and on 66 minutes, Uerdingen’s Wolfgang Schafer broke free of his marker to tuck away what would prove to be a stunning winner, and seal the unlikeliest of cupsets.

Bayer Uerdingen have since slipped down into the obscurity of the Regionalliga West (4th tier), and despite an impressive run to the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup semi-finals in 1986, the ’85 Cup Final remains the largely forgotten club’s sole major honour.

Still, what a way to do it.

 

Zizou sees red (2006)

One of those Earth-shattering moments in time that even now, still leaves you in utter disbelief that it really happened.

Zinedine Zidane. One of the most gifted footballers the world has ever known. His final match, France v Italy – the World Cup Final.

Could there be a more fitting stage for such a player to bow out on?

After just 7 minutes of the game, having nonchalently put his side into the lead with a typical ‘cheeky chip’ penalty, the Frenchman looked as though he was on his way to sealing his place among the immortals in the most emphatic of ways.

But, with the Italians having since equalised and the match deep into extra-time, the great man showed he was in fact, mortal afterall.

For the millions watching around the world, bemusement and confusion set in as the events played out in real time.

What on Earth was going on? The live camera down one end of the field. An incident, of some kind, at the other.

John Motson and Mark Lawrenson inside the Olympiastadion commentary box, completely none-the-wiser.

“Materazzi, is it?” pondered Lawrenson as the live pictures beamed the Italian laying clutching his chest on the Berlin turf.

“Yes, the assistant referee has seen something.” Responded Motson. “There’s been an incident here.”

One of the most infamous of ‘whodunnit’ sporting storylines began to unfold as a sheepish-looking Zidane looked ever more the ‘surely not him’ culprit.

And then, the replay, and the unthinkable headbutt that brought an abrupt and shocking end to one of the most glittering careers in the history of the game.

As the entire planet took in a collective gasp, the striking images of the disgraced superstar trudging past the gleaming trophy set in.

Italy would go on to win the final on penalties, but that night will always be remembered for that one, inexplicable, jaw-dropping moment.

 

Lightning strikes twice in Berlin (2009)

73 years on from Jesse Owens’ heroics, athletics history would once again be written inside the Olympiastadion.

At the 2009 World Championships in Berlin, all eyes were on one man: Jamaican sprint hero Usain Bolt.

The star had claimed Olympic gold in the 100m and 200m showpiece events in Beijing a year previous, smashing both world records in the process, and had firmly established himself as the poster boy of track and field.

So as Bolt took to his marks at the 100m World Final, few thought matching those incredible standards would be possible.

But in a matter of literal seconds (9.58 to be exact) he’d done it again, destroying his year young record by an unprecedented 11 hundredths of a second.

Even more remarkable in this race was that American Tyson Gay, who claimed the silver, had also set the third fastest time in sprinting history, with a 9.71 bettered only by Bolt’s previous world record and the new world record he’d just set 0.13 seconds ahead.

Rapturous scenes in the stands, but it was about to step up another notch as four day later, the Thunder Bolt returned to the Olympiastadion in pursuit of the 200m title.

And the Jamaican left them all trailing in his wake on again, wrapping up the gold with his closest competition barely in camera shot, 0.62 seconds behind.

It was yet another world record time (19.19) and incredibly, by a margin of 11 hundredths of a second, just as he’d done in the 100m. Lightning had indeed struck twice in Berlin.

6 years on and those records still stand, with many experts asking the question: is it now humanly possible for them ever to be beaten again?

There’s probably only one man who might have a chance…

Klopp’s finest hour (2012)

There’s no doubt the enigmatic Jurgen Klopp will be a sought after man when he comes to deciding his next managerial destination.

After several highs across a seven year tenure at the club, his finest hour came in 2012, as he secured Dortmund’s first ever League and Cup Double at the Olympiastadion.

And the fact that both achievements came twice over bitter rivals Bayern Munich made it all the more sweet for the BVB fans.

The Cup Final itself was a thriller from start to finish.

3 minutes in, soon-to-be Man United star Shinji Kagawa had put Dortmund ahead, before Arjen Robben levelled the scores from the spot on 25. Mats Hummels would then restore Dortmund’s lead 4 minutes from the half, also from the penalty spot, before star striker Robert Lewandowski added another heading into the break.

Lewandowski struck again midway through the second half to put the Borussians in dreamland – 4-1 up against their rivals, cruising, and on their way to a historic double.

A stunning piece of Franck Ribery skill and a clinical strike from the edge of the area would claw one back for Bayern, but this was Dortmund’s – and Klopp’s – day.

9 minutes from time, Lewandowski pounced with a back post header to secure a cup final hat-trick and a day to savour for Borussia Dortmund.

Although Bayern Munich would get their revenge in both the 2013 Champions League Final at Wembley and then 2014 German Cup Final – the 2012 clash will go down as one of the most thrilling of finals between Germany two biggest clubs.

So there you have it, 5 classic sporting moments inside this famous Olympiastadion, Berlin.

And before you say it, no, we haven’t left that one out.

England 5-1 Germany was actually at the Olympiastadion, Munich…

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