The history of the Olympiastadion in München is inextricably linked with the goal-scoring exploits of Gerd Der Bomber Muller. Who else but Germany's all-time leading goal scorer could have christened the stadium in such sensational style on 26 May 1972? Inspired by 80,000 awed fans, the nimble, stocky striker scored four against the Soviets, who could only add a meaningless consolation goal in a 4-1 drubbing.

München's Olympiastadion is truly one of the most extraordinary stadia in all the world. A living example of functionality combined with stylised architecture, even if some have come to consider it dated - owing largely to the distance between the spectators and the pitch. The 75,000-square-metre roof, once heralded as an architectural milestone, still enchants visitors today.

A national architectural competition was launched in autumn 1967 to find the right people for such a daunting project. In 1966, the International Olympic Committee awarded the 1972 Olympic Games to Munich, a city bereft of any major sporting venues. The Olympiastadion was created over a period of six years, surrounded by a vast park landscape with an 80,000-square-metre lake. The unlikely three-square-kilometre site was the Oberwiesenfeld, formerly used for Royal Bavarian Army exercises and later converted into an airport. The winning design was submitted by architects Günter Behnisch and partners whose idea for the sweeping roof, a pioneering concept in design and technology, became an established fixture in global architecture. The Olympiastadion was Munich innovative architectural answer to its Berlin namesake constructed for the Olympics back in 1936.

Precisely three months after the opening match, 80,000 spectators poured into the stadium once again on 26 August 1972 to watch the sun-drenched opening ceremony of the Olympic Games and the entrance of the 121 participating nations.

Olympics and FIFA World Cup landmarks
The Olympiastadion has repeatedly been called upon as a stage for major national and international sporting events and has welcomed almost 50 million spectators through its turnstiles over the years. The pitch is 105 x 68 metres and has an automated sprinkler system and under-soil heating. The current normal capacity is 63,000.

Besides the Olympic Games in 1972, the Olympiastadion will be forever remembered as the site of the Germany 74 final on 7 July when hosts Germany overcame hot favourites Holland.

Reigning European champions Germany were strongly favoured going into the 1974 tournament, but mediocre performances in the group stage compared with Johan Cruyff & Company's 'Clockwork Orange' saw them soon ranked as outsiders for the ultimate contest. The Oranje team had been outstanding throughout the competition and took the lead against Germany with barely two minutes on the clock. Uli Hoeness brought down Cruyff and Johan Neeskens made no mistake from the penalty spot. Germany responded in the 25th minute courtesy of another penalty. The outstanding Paul Breitner seized the ball before tucking it away to restore parity at 1-1.

And when Gerd Muller finished off some fine work from Jurgen Grabowski and Rainer Bonhof in inimitable fashion for a 2-1 lead two minutes before the interval, Germany were world champions and the Netherlands were shell-shocked. Muller recalls: "I got back on the ball, turned and just hit it, and it went in. It was that simple. My goal winning us the World Cup was the most important event in my career, even though I scored more goals four years earlier," the legendary striker said recently. The next Dutch generation has better memories of Munich's Olympiastadion - they triumphed 2-0 there against the Soviet Union in the final of the 1988 UEFA European Championship. Marco van Basten's magical volley into the corner of the net will never be forgotten.

Club surprises
In 1993, Olympique Marseille won the Champions League final against favourites AC Milan through a solitary Basile Boli goal. Another upset followed four years later when Borussia Dortmund defeated Champions League favourites Juventus 3-1 in the final. The stadium has seen the world's best teams over the course of its history.

Renowned clubs such as Inter Milan, Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United have all met Bayern Munich in the awe-inspiring arena, while memories of the UEFA Cup semi-final from 1988/1989 against Diego Maradona's SSC Napoli still bring a tear to the eye. From the start of the 2005/06 season, Bayern Munich have played their football at the FIFA World Cup Stadium in the north of the city.

In many ways, the successes of Bayern Munich also belong to the Olympiastadion: 18 championships, 11 DFB Cups, four European Champions Cups or Champions Leagues (1974, 1975, 1976 and 2001), the 1976 European team of the year and FIFA World Club Champions, a feat repeated in 2001.

Hosted matches

Olympic Football Tournament Munich 1972

27 Aug 1972 - 15:00 Local time
27 Aug 1972
Match 1
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group 1
Olympiastadion
Munich
27Aug
Germany FR
Germany FRFRG
Malaysia
MalaysiaMAS
Full-time
FT
3-0
28 Aug 1972 - 17:30 Local time
28 Aug 1972
Match 7
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group 4
Olympiastadion
Munich
28Aug
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic RepublicGDR
Ghana
GhanaGHA
Full-time
FT
4-0
29 Aug 1972 - 17:30 Local time
29 Aug 1972
Match 11
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group 3
Olympiastadion
Munich
29Aug
Hungary
HungaryHUN
Brazil
BrazilBRA
Full-time
FT
2-2
30 Aug 1972 - 17:30 Local time
30 Aug 1972
Match 13
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group 2
Olympiastadion
Munich
30Aug
Soviet Union
Soviet UnionURS
Sudan
SudanSDN
Full-time
FT
2-1
31 Aug 1972 - 21:00 Local time
31 Aug 1972
Match 17
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group 1
Olympiastadion
Munich
31Aug
Germany FR
Germany FRFRG
USA
USAUSA
Full-time
FT
7-0
01 Sep 1972 - 21:00 Local time
01 Sep 1972
Match 24
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group 4
Olympiastadion
Munich
01Sep
Colombia
ColombiaCOL
Ghana
GhanaGHA
Full-time
FT
3-1
03 Sep 1972 - 21:00 Local time
03 Sep 1972
Match 27
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group B
Olympiastadion
Munich
03Sep
Soviet Union
Soviet UnionURS
Morocco
MoroccoMAR
Full-time
FT
3-0
06 Sep 1972 - 20:00 Local time
06 Sep 1972
Match 29
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group A
Olympiastadion
Munich
06Sep
Hungary
HungaryHUN
Germany FR
Germany FRFRG
Full-time
FT
4-1
08 Sep 1972 - 21:30 Local time
08 Sep 1972
Match 33
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Group A
Olympiastadion
Munich
08Sep
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic RepublicGDR
Germany FR
Germany FRFRG
Full-time
FT
3-2
10 Sep 1972 - 10:00 Local time
10 Sep 1972
Match 37
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Bronze medal match
Olympiastadion
Munich
10Sep
Soviet Union
Soviet UnionURS
German Democratic Republic
German Democratic RepublicGDR
Full-time
FT
2-2
10 Sep 1972 - 20:15 Local time
10 Sep 1972
Match 38
Olympic Football Tournament Final
Gold medal match
Olympiastadion
Munich
10Sep
Poland
PolandPOL
Hungary
HungaryHUN
Full-time
FT
2-1

1974 FIFA World Cup Germany ™

UEFA EURO 1976 Prel. Comp.

22 May 1976
22 May 1976
Match
Continental Qualifier
Quarter-finals
Olympiastadion
Munich
22May
Germany FR
Germany FRFRG
Spain
SpainESP
Full-time
FT
2-0

FIFA WC 1986 Prel. Comp. UEFA

17 Nov 1985
17 Nov 1985
Match
Group 2
Olympiastadion
Munich
17Nov
Germany FR
Germany FRFRG
Czechoslovakia
CzechoslovakiaTCH
Full-time
FT
2-2

FIFA WC 1990 Prel. Comp. UEFA

19 Oct 1988
19 Oct 1988
Match
Group 4
Olympiastadion
Munich
19Oct
Germany FR
Germany FRFRG
Netherlands
NetherlandsNED
Full-time
FT
0-0