25 years since Bakero's legendary goal against Kaiserslautern
A miraculous goal from the midfielder in the last minute of the game saved Barça from elimination in the European Cup the season they would claim their first ever title in the competition
José Mari Bakero’s goal in Germany is one of the most famous in the Club’s entire history. The midfielder’s late, late effort hauled FC Barcelona back from the brink of elimination in the tie with the Bundesliga side and kept them on course for their first ever European Cup title.
On 23 October 1991 top German outfit FC Kaiserslautern came to Camp Nou in the first leg of their tie with the blaugranes and lost 2-0, Txiki Begiristain scoring both goals that evening for Johan Cruyff’s team.
If anyone thought that the tie was over at that point, then they could not have been more mistaken. The second leg was played in the Fritz Walter Stadion on 6 November 2016, precisely 25 years ago to the day.
A goal from Hotic before half time gave Kaiserslautern hope and when the same player levelled the tie just three minutes into the second half, Barça were visibly rattled. Things would get worse. A strike from Goldbaek on 76 minutes handed the Germans a 3-2 aggregate lead and the blaugranes appeared to be on their way out of the competition.
With just a minute left on the clock, Barça were awarded a free kick inside the Kaiserslautern half. Ronald Koeman, later to be the hero of the final against Sampdoria at Wembley, launched the ball into the box in hope more than expectation. Then, the miracle fans were praying for came to pass. Bakero, one of the smallest players on the pitch, managed to sneak in between Kranz and Scherr, the two German centre halves to head home a goal that made it 3-3 on aggregate and handed Barça a place in the final group stage on away goals.
After the final whistle, Bakero was phlegmatic in victory: “There is no such thing as a miracle, we simply fought right to the end.” For his part, coach Johan Cruyff was honest in his post-game reaction: “We played our worst game of the season but the luck was with us at the decisive point.”