Where Are They Now? Players From Bayern Munich-Manchester United 1999 Champions League Final
Fifteen years after the unbelievable UEFA Champions League final between the European giants Bayern Munich and Manchester United, the two teams clash again this week in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-finals.
There’s no question that the 1999 Champions League final had one of the most dramatic final few minutes in the showpiece’s history.
Mario Basler’s free-kick gave Bayern Munich an early 1-0 lead, and the Germans dominated thereafter. But two goals in the dying moments of the match from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave Manchester United a splendid and historic win at Camp Nou in Spain.
Alex Ferguson gained a knighthood for his accomplishments, as the Red Devils bagged only their second elite European trophy after 31 years since beating Benfica in 1968, while the Bavarians were forced to ponder what might have been.
But what happened to those famous faces from the 1999 Champions League final? We take a look at the men in question.
Oliver Kahn (GK)
The three-time World Goalkeeper of the Year remained the first choice at Bayern until 2008 when he retired from professional soccer. Kahn started working with TV channels and other media sources as a pundit. He turned down a job with Schalke five years ago, and has been reluctant to return to soccer.
Lothar Matthaus (SW)
Infamously substituted in the 86th minute when Bayern were still leading against Manchester United, the following season he left the club and retired in 2001. The former defender spent short spells at Hungary, Red Bull Salzburg and Bulgaria as a coach but struggled to find his feet in coaching. He currently serves as an advisor in Germany.
Markus Babbel (RB)
Following a period at Liverpool, the full-back ended his professional career at Stuttgart. Shortly after his retirement, he was appointed as a head coach at the German club. Poor results saw him sacked, and after a short time with Hertha Berlin, he also coached Hoffenheim briefly. He is linked with the Eintracht Frankfurt job but is currently out of work.
Samuel Osei Kuffour (CB)
Kuffour ended his career with Ghanaian side Asante Kokoto in 2009 after leaving Bayern for Roma in 2005. Since his retirement, he has appeared as a pundit in Germany and his homeland Ghana.
Thomas Linke (CB)
Linke played at Red Bull Salzburg since 2005, after leaving die Roten, before moving to the Bayern amateurs for one final term. He held the job at Salzburg and Leipzig as a sporting director, and now currently works with the German second division side Ingolstadt.
Michael Tarnat (LB)
Tarnat suffered an ill-fated year at Manchester City as the left-back switched from Bayern after 2003. He ended his professional career with a five year spell in 2009 at Hannover. He is currently serving as a sporting director of the Bavarians’ youth department.
Jens Jeremies (CM)
Jeremies suffered five knee surgeries before calling it time on his playing days, spending another seven seasons at Bayern. He went on to found an organization that helps young adults and kids who are struggling socially.
Stefan Effenberg (CM)
The former midfield chief currently works as a pundit in German broadcast and print media, after he left Bayern in 2002 and retired in 2004. Effenberg and his wife – formerly the spouse of Effenberg’s 1999 team-mate Thomas Strunz – had participated in a reality TV show. In 2012, he completed his coaching badges, while his autobiography got scathing reviews for being deliberately provocative.
Mario Basler (RF)
With a surprise free-kick, Mario gifted his side the lead at Camp Nou in 1999 with an early goal. The player went on to become a coach after his retirement in 2004. He is yet to find success during spells in charge of four lower league German clubs.
Carsten Jancker (CF)
Following spells at Udinese and Kaiserslautern, and playing for a short time in China, Jancker was under contract at Austrian side Mattersburg until 2009. He was promoted to assistant coach to the first team in mid-2013, after serving as a coach of the Under 15 team at Austrian side Rapid Wien.
Alexander Zickler (LF)
Zickler stuck around with the Bavarians until 2005 before leaving for Austria. His professional retirement from soccer came in 2010-11, although he still plays occasionally for ASV Taxham to this day. He has even been the assistant coach at the Red Bull Salzburg since 2012 for the Under-16s
Bernd Dreher (SUB)
Following retirement, Dreher worked as a Bayern goalkeeping coach with between 2003 and 2008. From 2009, he had been working with Schalke in the same role before he was fired in 2012, and is currently out of a job.
Thomas Helmer (SUB)
In the summer of 1999, he joined Sunderland before being dispatched to Hertha Berlin. He retired shortly afterwards in 2000. He is an ambassador for a children’s charity, as well as working as a television pundit in Germany.
Thorsten Fink (SUB)
Fink embarked on a coaching career after ending his days as a professional soccer player in 2006 with Bayern’s reserves. He started under Giovanni Trapattoni’s wing at Red Bull Salzburg before becoming the head coach at Basel. He then joined Hamburg in 2011 but was sacked two years later by the Bundesliga club earlier this season.
Thomas Strunz (SUB)
Strunz played until 2001 with the Bavarians before becoming an agent. He was dragged into the public domain after his ex-wife married former Bayern team-mate Effenburg. He worked as a sporting director in 2005 at Wolfsburg, albeit unsuccessfully. In 2008, he moved into the same role at Rott Weiss Essen, but was sacked in 2009. He now balances punditry on radio and television with life as a player consultant.
Hasan Salihamidzic (SUB)
Serving now as a pundit for German television, Hasan left Bayern in 2007 for Juventus and served in Turin, spending four years before departing for his final season with Wolfsburg in 2011.
Mehmet Scholl (SUB)
Scholl retired as one of German football’s most successful players. He coached with the Bayern reserve team after his retirement, but parted ways with the club in 2013 to focus on his punditry commitments.
Ali Daei (SUB)
Since retiring in 2007, the Iranian has turned his hand to coaching. An ill-fated stint in charge of the national team was followed by an appointment at Persepolis, where he left in 2011 before returning last year. He had been a member of FIFA’s football committee from 2007 to 2013.
Peter Schmeichel (GK)
The Dane enjoyed a classic send-off by United as he wore the captain’s armband in his final appearance for the club at Camp Nou. He moved to Sporting Lisbon and his miracle stops helped him win silverware over there as well, before moving back to England for spells at Aston Villa and Manchester City. He retired in 2003 and returned to Manchester United as a club ambassador in recent years.
Gary Neville (RB)
It was injuries that caught up with Gary Neville before he could excel further for club and country, resulting in his retirement in 2011. He is currently working as an assistant coach to Roy Hodgson with the England squad, as well as a pundit for Sky Sports in England.
Jaap Stam (CB)
His United career ended in 2001 with Ferguson deciding the centre-back had lost a yard of pace – a decision he has since admitted was one of the biggest mistakes. Stam continued to play for Lazio and AC Milan before retiring at Ajax in 2007. He then coached FC Zwolle and Ajax partially, and is set to complete his training qualifications in May as the head coach.
Ronny Johnsen (CB)
Although a chronic knee injury affected his spell at United, a formidable centre-back pairing with Stam was seen throughout the treble campaign. He was forced out of the club in 2002 after he spent many spells on the bench and finally retired in 2008 while featuring for Valerenga in 2008. He now works as a television pundit.
Denis Irwin (LB)
Irwin drew the curtain on his 12 year stay at Old Trafford in 2002. After a swansong with Wolves, he can now be found on MUTV as well as doing ambassadorial work for the club. He was named in the Ferguson’s autobiography last year as the only dead-cert in the managerial great’s Man United XI.
Ryan Giggs (RM)
Suspensions for Paul Scholes and Roy Keane made the left winger swap wings for the final. He has by far the record appearances for the club, and still remains part of the first-team at Manchester United. Defying age, Giggs has now moved to a more central role not only in the line-up but even at the club. Giggs does not only play for the club, but even has been a coach with Manchester United since June 2013. At the age of 40, he remained pivotal in the Red Devils recent victory over Olympiakos to reach the quarter-finals this season.
David Beckham (CM)
His United career ended in 2003 and he went to shine at Real Madrid, LA Galaxy and on loan at Milan. Before ending his career at Paris Saint-German last season, he also became the most capped player for England in history. He has since joined forces with a wealthy consortium to buy a new MLS franchise in Miami.
Nicky Butt (CM)
Butt didn’t disappoint in the final after being handed a rare chance to start in central midfield due to suspensions of Roy Keane and Paul Scholes back in 1999. Butt later left the club for Newcastle United where he spent six years, before moving to South China for a while. He hit the headlines in March 2014 for buying non-league club Salford FC with fellow United legends Phil Neville, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs.
Jesper Blomqvist (LM)
He retired after frequent injuries in 2005. Since then, he took the role of an assistant coach at Swedish side Hammarby before leaving by mutual consent. Blomqvist called quits on soccer in 2012 and now focuses on business, as well as making appearances on reality shows.
Dwight Yorke (ST)
Yorke’s profilic debut campaign saw United as the treble winners. He left Manchester for Blackburn Rovers in 2002. Reinvented as a defensive midfielder for Trinidad and Tobago’s 2006 World Cup campaign, it was his final appearance. He is now a prominent television pundit for Sky Sports in England.
Andy Cole (ST)
Andy Cole played a key role on the road to the 1999 final. He was edged out of the club by Ruud van Nistelrooy’s arrival in 2001 and called time on his career in 2008. He dabbled in punditry then picked up his coaching badges on Manchester United’s books. He currently remains as a club ambassador at Old Trafford.
Raimond van der Gouw (SUB)
He left United in 2002 as second goalkeeper. He served his part as a staff member of Roy Keane at Sunderland and has been a goalkeeping coach for Vitesse since 2009.
David May (SUB)
May played zero part in the 1999 Champions League final but retired in 2006 and eventually became a pundit on MUTV and a regular face on the club website.
>Wes Brown (SUB)
While Brown didn’t play any role in the 1999 final, he assisted Cristiano Ronaldo’s opener in the 2008 final by putting in a fine cross. On the receiving end of a couple of injuries throughout his time at United, the setbacks meant he always had to struggle to reach the pinnacle of his ability, and to show his full worth. He now plays at Sunderland after being sold in 2011.
Phil Neville (SUB)
Gary Neville’s younger brother left Old Trafford with his head held high in search of a regular soccer in 2005, landing at Goodison Park under David Moyes. He became the Everton captain until recently, and followed Moyes as an assistant coach at Manchester United, after Sir Alex Ferguson retired at the end of last season.
Jonathan Greening (SUB)
Without making a single appearance for the club in the competition, Greening got a Champions League medal. He left the club in 2001 to pursue first-team opportunities at Middlesbrough, West Brom and Fulham. He is currently a player at Nottingham Forest.
Teddy Sheringham (SUB)
The England international went from strength to strength at Manchester United, and grabbed the equalizing goal in the 1999 final after coming on as a substitute. In 2000-01, he was voted Player of the Year by both the PFA and Football Writers’ Association. Aged 42, he hung up his boots in 2008, and has spent his time since on the international poker circuit.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (SUB)
Solskjaer was named man-of-the-match in the 1999 final after his last minute heroics help United lift the prestigious trophy. After suffering a knee injury in 2007, he managed the Manchester United reserve team, and then left to manage Norwegian club Molde. He was then approached by Cardiff where he’s currently manager. He is in a battle to try to keep Cardiff in the Premier League as the Welsh club currently sit in the relegation zone.