The eyes of the football world were locked on the Praterstadion in Vienna 25 years ago this Sunday. There, Bayern Munich and Porto convened to fight for the European Cup.
The Germans giants were the heavy favourites. They had appeared in four previous finals, winning three of them, while the Portuguese side were virgins in the fixture; Bayern had thrashed Anderlecht in the quarters and beaten Real Madrid 4-2 to reach the showpiece, whereas Porto had edged Brondby before struggling past Dynamo Kiev in the semis; and Udo Lattek’s team included Jean-Marie Pfaff, Andreas Brehme and Lothar Matthaus – all among the best performers in their respective positions in the world – while Artur Jorge was without star man Fernando Gomes and fielded an XI largely made up of little-known players who had never plied their trade outside Portugal.
And the game appeared set to follow the pre-match script when Bayern, who had dominated the opening exchanges, deservedly went in front. There appeared little danger when a long throw was flicked towards Ludwig Kogl, but from 13 yards he directed an acrobatic diving header into the back of the Jozef Młynarczyk’s net.
Porto had the Polish keeper to thank for sending them in at the break at just a one-goal deficit, following smart saves from Dieter Hoeness and Michael Rumminegge, but the odds were significantly stacked against them as the second half kicked off. Indeed, only one European Cup final in the previous ten years had produced more than one goal – Liverpool drew 1-1 with Roma in 1984 before the English side won on penalties – and the first 45 minutes had firmly suggested that if anybody was to net the game’s second, it would be Bayern.
That match is the greatest memory I have off my career.
Jorge nevertheless made a bold double substitution at half-time, with midfielder Antonio Frasco and forward Juary coming on for left-back Augusto Inacio and engine-room holder Quim, and though it took time to pay dividends, crucially it did. Indeed, with 12 minutes remaining, Juary held the ball up and laid it off to Frasco, who skipped outside his marker and returned it to the Brazilian. Juary then scrambled it past Pfaff and across his goal towards Rabah Madjer, but the ball fell behind the Algerian. Few would have had the ingenuity to think of even attempting a back-heel, but Madjer had both that and the technique to flick home one of the greatest goals in the history of the fixture.
"It was an instinctive thing and I just did it," Madjer later told FIFA.com. "I didn't have any time to think about it. I tried it again in a league match just after the final and it went in that time too. It's a registered trademark.”
Minutes later, Madjer exquisitely tricked his way past Helmut Winklhofer and delivered an inch-perfect cross past Pfaff and to the back post, which Juary stabbed home to seal a dramatic 2-1 success. Porto were the kings of Europe.
"That match is the greatest memory I have off my career," Madjer said. "The day before the final I was wondering how I was going to perform. Jozef Mlynarczyk, my room-mate at the time, was really worried. But I told him that we were going to win 2-1. Fortunately, God was listening."