It's the 25th anniversary of Lars Ricken's golden lob against Juventus Turin into Champions League glory. A second that stays forever, the BVB goal of the century. Ricken missed the premier class final almost for an absurd reason.
Lars Ricken preferred to keep his own Champions League trophy safe. The smaller replica of the behemoth with the grotesquely large ears has been banished from the living room to the basement for years. "The kids always knocked it over while playing," says Ricken, laughing. The trophy may get dusty, but the brilliance of the moment - it still shines after 25 years like on the first day.
The current youth manager at Borussia Dortmund has told thousands of times how he lobbed the ball over Angelo Peruzzi into the goal of Juventus Turin on May 28, 1997 in Munich's Olympic Stadium. It's a magical second, the 3-1, immediately after he was substituted on. A sensation from 25 meters, later voted BVB's goal of the century, even if Ricken says: "It's one meter more for the people every year. I've heard that it was from behind the center line."
At the SID interview appointment with Schalke's European Cup hero Olaf Thon (the "Blues" had won the UEFA Cup a week earlier) there was a lot of teasing and teasing - the "Eurofighters" were in the stadium in Munich at the time and were switched on live. "There's a rumor that you jumped up when Del Piero scored," says Ricken with a wink. Thon replies: "One or the other maybe..."
But there really was, that wonderful feeling of a "Summer of 97" on those eight days when both pots went into the pot. Please don't make it too romantic. "There was pride in the area, which was evident throughout Europe. It was great to bring that out into the world," says Ricken, but he quickly qualifies: "There weren't any fraternization scenes."
There were all sorts of oddities. You really have to imagine it that way, says 45-year-old Ricken, that he was standing in front of Munich's posh disco P1 and drinking beer from the bottle - with Rod and Bela B. from the punk bank "Die Ärzte". He didn't feel like going to the big party with his colleagues, expressive dance and sweaty man hugs.
Maybe he knew what was coming? From then on, miracles were expected of Ricken, the Bundesliga poster boy, which he logically could not deliver on a regular basis. He had a great career and always stayed in Dortmund. The world career that was prophesied at the time did not come about.
It almost didn't even come to the dream goal against Juventus. Why? Lars Ricken told the "kicker" again on the occasion of the anniversary: In the Bundeswehr - he was very irregular in the barracks in Ahlen - there was a locker check two days before the final. Everything was in order, but: Ricken had left his weapons card open.
"Theoretically, someone could have taken out my gun and shot someone with it," says Ricken. "I was threatened with three days of construction." He replied that the timing of the jail time was unfavorable, as he had a final to play. "We have agreed on a night shift."
The way was clear - for a second for eternity, accompanied by Marcel Reif: "Lift now!" And Lars Ricken lifted.