FC Bayern München Blog

Mia San Mia (We Are Who We Are)

Champions League heroes of 2001: where are they now?

Kahn celebrates the Champions League victory

On 23rd May 2001 in San Siro, Milan, a towering 1.93m tall Mauricio Pellegrino stepped up to take the decisive penalty kick in the Champions League final. The first six penalties were taken, and Linke had just scored in the seventh kick, which meant that Pellegrino needed to score his spot kick. As the anticipation engulfed the whole stadium and the millions watching on televisions around the world, Pellegrino ran up to the ball and gave a hard left-footed shot towards his left. Oliver Kahn dived to his right and saved. History was written as Bayern Munich were crowned European champions. Almost eleven years have passed since that day, and we’re going to look at what the heroes of that season have since been doing in their lives.


Oliver Kahn, the hero of the night, became an FC Bayern legend before retiring at his favourite club in 2008. Now 42 years old, Kahn is working on TV shows and is an analyst for the German national team with ZDF.

Bernd Dreher, just like Kahn, remained a goalkeeper at FC Bayern until 2008. Being older than Kahn, he set a Bundesliga record for the oldest active player. He is now 45 years old and working as a goalkeeping coach with Schalke 04.

Stefan Wessels left FC Bayern in 2003 and travelled a lot, playing for 1. FC Köln, Everton, VfL Osnabrück, FC Basel and finally Odense Boldklub where he is still playing, aged 32.


Thomas Linke left FC Bayern in 2005 to play for Red Bull Salzburg, but returned back two seasons later to play with FC Bayern II, where he retired in 2008. He is now 42 years old and is the sporting director at FC Ingolstadt 04.

Willy Sagnol was captain when Bayern played with my fave kit ever

Willy Sagnol was forced to retire early due to knee injuries in 2009. He is still 34 years old and is currently working as a manager with the French national team, in a position related to the selection process.

Samuel Osei Kuffour left FC Bayern for Roma in 2005, being later loaned out to both Livorno and Ajax. He last played for Asante Kotoko before retiring in 2009. Very recently he played his farewell match. Now 35 years old, Kuffour lives in the Ghanaian capital Accra, where he is working in real estate. In his spare time, he still plays football with former Bundesliga professionals Anthony Yeboah and Charles Akonnor.

Patrik Andersson‘s magic 2001 season was his last for Bayern as the following season he went off to Barcelona before retiring with Malmö FF in 2005. He has turned 40 and is is currently employed as the Scandinavian scout of Manchester United.

Lizarazu used a rude shirt number for his second spell

Bixente Lizarazu left FC Bayern for a while but returned back to play with the #69 shirt before finally hanging up his boots in 2006. After retirement, Lizarazu got involved in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He competed in a Jiu-Jitsu competition in Europe in 2009, where he became European champion in the Blue Belt Senior 1 Light Division. He is now 42 years old.

Sebastian Backer had a professional contract with FC Bayern in the 2000/2001 season but never played for the senior team. He left FC Bayern the following season, playing for MSV Duisburg, Eintracht Braunschweig, SC Fürstenfeldbruck, SV Heimstetten and ASV Dachau, where he is still playing, aged 31.


Hasan Salihamidžić won everything with FC Bayern and went off to Juventus in 2007 for a new challenge. He is currently back in the Bundesliga, playing for Wolfsburg. Being a 35 year old, he is close to retiring.

Mehmet Scholl during his farewell

Mehmet Scholl was married to Bayern Munich. Loved by all, he hung up his boots in 2007. Since then he has managed Bayern Munich U13s and FC Bayern II. He stopped for a while in order to get his coaching license and will return as FC Bayern II coach from next season. Now 41 years old, he also works as a TV expert.

Thorsten Fink was relegated to FC Bayern II but remained loyal to the club, retiring in 2006. Now 44 years old, he has become a coach and managed Red Bull Salzburg (first their reserve team and later their senior team), FC Ingolstadt 04, FC Basel and is currently the Hamburger SV manager.

Michael Tarnat left Bayern Munich in 2003 to ply his trade in England with Manchester City before returning back to the Bundesliga with Hannover. After he retired in 2009, he joined Bayern Munich as a talent scout and has now turned 42.

Jens Jeremies retired at Bayern in 2006 after experiencing knee problems. Later it emerged that his career was ended due to lack of hospital hygiene following a knee surgery. Now 37 years old, Jeremies is the founder of “Der Jugend Ihre Zukunft” (“The Youth Their Future”), an institution which helps children and young people in social need and gives them long-term prospects for the future.

Stefan Effenberg, a great captain

Stefan Effenberg, the captain on the night of the great victory, left Bayern in 2002 turning up for Wolfsburg and Al-Arabi, where he retired in 2004. He has appeared a few times as a commentator. In March he will get his coaching license and he has been hinting he would like a job at Bayern.

Ciriaco Sforza signed for 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 2002, playing until 2006. Now 41 years old, he is currently managing Grasshopper-Club Zürich in Switzerland, where he previously managed FC Luzern.

Owen Hargreaves left Bayern Munich in 2007 after a lot of pressure from Manchester United. Almost retiring due to injuries at the relatively young age of 30, he has recently signed for Manchester City where he is currently playing.

Michael Wiesinger left straight after becoming a European champion, joining rivals TSV 1860 Munich, Wacker Burghausen and SpVgg Weiden. He hung up his boots in 2008. Now 38 years old, he has managed FC Ingolstadt 04 (first their reserves and then their senior team) and is currently managing 1. FC Nuremberg II.

Strunz retired too early

Thomas Strunz retired in 2000, so he was unfortunate enough not to be in the team that won the Champions League. Later, his wife left him for Stefan Effenberg. Aged 43, he currently works as a TV pundit for channel Sport 1.

Sławomir Wojciechowski left Bayern in 2001, playing for a number of different clubs. At 38 years old, he is still playing at Olimpia Grudziądz.

Andrew Sinkala also left Bayern Munich in 2001, playing for 1. FC Köln and SC Paderborn 07. He is currently back playing in the Bundesliga with FC Augsburg, aged 32.


Elber, legendary striker

Giovane Élber left Bayern Munich in 2003 when Makaay joined the club. He played for Lyon, Borussia M’gladbach and Cruzeiro. He was working as a scout for Bayern until September 2010 and was the one to recommend Breno to Bayern. Now 39 years old, now and then he works as a TV expert.

Paulo Sérgio left in 2002, playing for Al-Wahda (U.A.E.) and Bahia before retiring in 2003. He is now 42 years old and keeping a low profile. A year ago, he scored a spectacular overhead kick for Bayern Munich against Real Madrid in an all-stars match.

Carsten Jancker left Bayern in 2002, playing Udinese, 1. FC Kaiserslautern and Shanghai Shenhua, before retiring with SV Mattersburg in 2009. Now 37 years old, he has since managed SC Neusiedl 1919 (U14s and as a forward coach) and SK Rapid Wien U15s

Alexander Zickler was riddled with injuries and left in 2005 for Red Bull Salzburg, later joining LASK Linz where he retired only last season. Like Jancker, he is now 37 years old.

Roque Santa Cruz left Bayern in 2007 and the now-30 year old breathed new life into his career, signing for Blackburn and Manchester City, where he was since loaned out first back to Blackburn and then to Real Betis.

Antonio di Salvo left Bayern Munich in 2001, playing for Hansa Rostock, 1860 Munich, and Kapfenberger SV, where he retired in 2010. He earned a B coaching license and in the summer of 2011 returned to Bayern as assistant coach of the U17s. He is now 32 years old.

Berkant Göktan, like di Salvo, left Bayern in 2001, playing for Galatasaray SK, Beşiktaş J.K., 1. FC Kaiserslautern, TSV 1860 München and Muangthong United, where he last played in 2010. Now 31 years old, he is still without a club.


Ottmar Hitzfeld had a number of stints as Bayern coach and last managed the Rekordmeister in 2008. Now 63 years old, he is the coach of Switzerland where he is doing well, inflicting Spain’s one and only defeat in the 2010 World Cup.

Ottmar Hitzfeld after winning the Champions League

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  • Element says:

    GREAT MEMORIES, Great Blog

    thanks 🙂

    but there are 2 mistakes

    1-“. He is now 42 years old and is sporting director at FC Ingolstadt 04′s sporting director.”

    2-Jens Jeremies is 37 years old not 47

  • KAHN says:

    Fantastic article!!!!!

  • Aequitas1987 says:

    The day when Effenberg becomes coach would be a scary day for all our players lol.

    • johndear says:

      i’m waiting for that day!!!!