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Memorable Monday: FC Bayern's First European Triumph

In today’s edition, we discuss Bayern’s first ever European trophy. The European Cup Winner’s Cup (CWC) tournament brought together winners of domestic competitions. In the late 90s, it was absorbed into the UEFA Cup but, nonetheless, it was a good competition while it lasted.

Hannes Magerstaedt/Getty Images

Bayern was not the first German team to lift the trophy. That honor went to Borussia Dortmund in the 1965-66 season. They beat Liverpool in the final, 2-1, to become the first German club to win a European title. But Bayern would give others a glimpse of their talents in the following season.

Things did not start easily for them. They had to play FC Tatran Presov in the first round. The first leg in Munich ended 1-1 but Bayern got through courtesy of a 2-3 win in the second leg. Ireland's Shamrock Rovers was next up for them. Rovers were no pushovers and to this day, remain one of Ireland's bests. Once again, the first leg in Munich proved troublesome and finished 1-1. A second leg victory, 2-3, in Ireland saw Bayern through. Meanwhile, the Scottish side Rangers knocked out the holders Borussia Dortmund.

SK Rapid Wien were up next. Wien's name is perhaps familiar to many of you, considering they are a legendary team of Austrian football. They finished second in the 2014-15 Austrian Bundesliga. Bayern needed extra time to overcome Wien. The first leg finished 1-0 to the team from Vienna and the second leg ended the same way in favor of the home side in Germany. An extra time goal set Bayern up for a semifinal clash with none other than Belgian heavyweights Standard Liege.

Bayern finally came alive. The extra time goal and the hard fought away victories all seemed to be things of the past. Within ten minutes in the first leg, goals from Gerd Müller and Peter Kupferschmidt saw Bayern go two goals up. In the second leg, der Bomber struck a hattrick to ensure Bayern's passage into the final. Somewhat luckily for Bayern, the final was to be played on home territory (Nürnberg) against a Scottish side under pressure.

One of the oldest rivalries in football is that between Celtic and Rangers. Old Firm Derbies are always rough and passionate ones. Celtic won the European Cup, Europe's premier competition, a few days before this final. Considering that the CWC was Europe's second most prestigious competition ahead of the UEFA Cup at that time, one country having a representative in each final was special. Scottish football was also proud of Celtic. The mayhem in the Rangers cup displayed the nerves of the Scots. Alex Willoughby, who had scored plenty for Rangers, was replaced by defender Roger Hynd for example.

Only one player who was not either German or Scot played in the final: the Danish rightback Kai Johansen. But it was another foreigner who won the day with his tactics, Zlatko Cajkovski. An extra time strike from Franz Roth secured the final in Bayern's favor and handed them the trophy after Rangers had a goal disallowed in normal time. The stadium, packed to the rafters with a crowd of nearly 70,000, saw Bayern lift their first European trophy.

So, there you have it. Bayern fought hard and made the final; each round was a test much like Germany's 2014 World Cup campaign. And that trophy would lead the way for many more in the future in Europe.

*Thanks to Wikipedia

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