Mehmet Scholl, Lothar Matthaus and Stefan Effenberg.

When two footballing giants collide

Former Bayern Munich stars Stefan Effenberg and Lothar Matthaus are hoping to exact some revenge when they face Manchester United Legends on Sunday, in the Treble Reunion match.

The game, of course, marks exactly 20 years to the day since Alex Ferguson’s Reds beat the Germans in Barcelona to win the Champions League and round off our historic Treble campaign.

Tickets for Sunday’s charity match are still available.

While two decades may have healed some of those wounds for the opposition, Effenberg and Matthaus still insist Bayern were unfortunate to come out on the wrong side of that famous 2-1 scoreline in 1999.

Bayern Munich squad photo.
Bayern Munich line up for the Champions League final in 1999.
“Football has often shown you can never be sure, not even for one second of a game, that you are going to win,”
Effenberg told our official matchday programme.

“We had the 1999 Champions League final under control and, in our eyes, we were the better team.

“So, losing in the last few seconds was an extreme situation. It was a big disappointment straight after the game.

Matthaus, who was substituted in the closing stages at the Nou Camp, agrees with his former team-mate’s assessment of the match.

“I had the feeling, during the 80 minutes I was on the pitch, that actually nothing could happen to us,” said Matthaus. 

“We dominated the game, we had a lot of chances to score the second or third goal, but did not take them. There was also a lot of bad luck with two shots that hit the woodwork. 

“In that moment [conceding the two goals], you could not understand what just happened. You look the certain winners, then lose concentration. A goal can always happen, but two have happened and that was very disappointing.”

Lothar Matthaus spreads the play in the 1999 Champions League final.
Lothar Matthaus in action against the Reds at the Nou Camp.
While it was a frustrating night for Bayern players 20 years ago, they are looking forward to a special occasion in Sunday’s repeat.

“Mostly, I am looking forward to seeing my colleagues: the ones I’ve played with and the ones I’ve played against, and have always seen privately in the last 20 years,”
said Matthaus.

“David Beckham and I bump into each other quite often and we’re always pleased to see each other – and, no, we don’t talk about that game! It’s just nice to have games like this and there’s a reason we are playing against each other. 

It’s a better reason for United than for us, but we just have to respect that; back then, we did not do what we should have done.

Classic Match: United 2-1 Bayern MunichVideo

Although the Treble Reunion match is obviously a friendly encounter, the two Bayern old boys are looking forward to a clash between two of Europe’s elite clubs, to aid the Manchester United Foundation's good causes.

“United and Bayern are two big clubs with a great history and, when two big clubs play each other, with the success they have written in the past, it’s always something special - not only for the players, but also for the spectators,” said Effenberg.

“In our day, there were the three big clubs that always fought for the Champions League. That was Bayern Munich, Manchester United and Real Madrid. It has always been a great rivalry, but always very respectful.

“This is a stadium with a big, big history and I believe that anyone who plays football would love to play here. We now have this opportunity again and it’s going to be a great day.

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