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Today, 50 years ago: the Olympiastadion opens, and the dawn of the Bayern Munich dynasty

The day the German football world would never be the same.

Paul Breitner strikes past the Schalke keeper’s outstretched arms as defenders look on
Paul Breitner doubles the advantage for Bayern in the 40th minute
Photo by Hartmut Reeh/picture alliance via Getty Images

From Udo Muras for Sport1: a fond look back at a most significant 50th year anniversary. On June 28, 1972, Bayern Munich played their first game at the newly-opened Olympiastadion — their new home until 2005 — ushering in a Bundesliga title and the dawn of a new era in Germany.

The full article, in German, is well worth the read; we’ll excerpt and summarize here.

It was a big moment for German football. West Germany had finished third at the World Cup two years earlier and, just ten days prior, had defeated the Soviet Union 3-0 in Brussels to win the 1972 European Championship. Within a month, the Olympiastadion was due to feature in the 1972 Summer Olympics, where it would eventually host a Poland-Hungary final. (That year and that stadium would also see the Germans reach but lose the Philosopher’s Final to Greece.)

The timing, then, was a lucky confluence of events. Bayern had been slated to finish the season in their old haunts, the Grünwalder Stadion, but the Euros pushed the final game of the season to June 28. By then, the new stadium was ready, and permission for use was granted. By additional stroke of fortune, the Bundesliga title was up for grabs that day.

Writes Muras on the frenzy:

Bayern president Wilhelm Neudecker had probably seen it coming [...] What he had not reckoned with was the rush.

So, Bayern had to put up a sign on Säbener Straße the week before the game: “The ticket allotment of our advance booking office for the game against Schalke has been used up. Further requests are futile.”

A mistake that would not happen again, the president assured [...] Although Bayerischer Rundfunk broadcast the game live, the stadium was completely full with officially 79,032 spectators.

The same was true for Bayern’s coffers, which for the first time in their club’s history recorded a revenue in the millions: 1.1 million marks!

This would be the day Bayern secured their second-ever Bundesliga title, in the season in which Gerd Müller set the scoring record that would remain unbroken for 49 years (enter one Robert Lewandowski). It would be the day a young Uli Hoeneß clinched the team’s 100th league goal of the season, followed by Franz Beckenbauer’s 101st — a record still unmatched (Hansi Flick oversaw 99 goals in 2019-20 and 100 in 2020-21).

And it can be remembered as the day the reign of Bavarian red truly began.


Bayern (4-2-3-1): GK Maier; Breitner — Beckenbauer — Schwarzenbeck — Hansen; Roth — Zobel; Hoffmann — Hoeneß — Krauthausen; Müller; manager Udo Lattek

Schalke 04 (4-3-3): GK Nigbur (70’ - Pabst); Kremers — Fichtel — Rüssman — Huhse; Scheer — van Haaren — Lütkebohmert; Kremers — Fischer — Libuda; manager Ivica Horvat


Bayern: 31’ - Hansen (Asst: Roth); 40’ - Breitner (Asst: Müller); 69’ - Hoffmann (Asst: Müller); 80’ - Hoeneß (Asst: Beckenbauer); 90’ - Beckenbauer

Schalke 04: 55’ - Fischer (Asst: Scheer)

(Per Transfermarkt)

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