The biggest ever games at the Volksparkstadion

Whether it be the draw of the century, a last minute winner to win the title, or the only inter-German international football match in the history of the sport - the Volksparkstadion has been the venue for many a spectacle. Here are the most unforgettable.

12.05.2010 - Atletico Madrid 2-1 Fulham (AET)

Missed chance at a home final: A final of a major European competition could not be missed off this list, even if HSV fans have bitter memories of the game.  The Rothosen were knocked out in the semifinals to eventual runners-up Fulham after a 0-0 draw in the first leg, followed by a 2-1 loss at Craven Cottage in the second leg. As a result, the final was a meeting between London’s oldest club and historic Spanish side Atletico Madrid. Both teams contributed to what would be a highly entertaining final, but ultimately, the Spanish side would come away with the spoils. Atletico’s hero of the night was Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan, who led his side to their first European title in 48 years thanks to a brace (32’, 116’). The South American celebrated the winner by ripping off his shirt and sliding on the Hamburg turf.

10.06.2006 - Argentina 2-1 Ivory Coast

It was a summer of football in Germany and Hamburg was right at the centre. Four 2006 World Cup group games as well as a quarterfinal were held at the Volksparkstadion. One such game was one of the best games of the tournament - the Group C opener between Argentina and Ivory Coast - in which the 49,480 fans packed out the stadium. Two world class strikers went head-to-head in the form of Didier Drogba and Hernan Crespo, and both got themselves on the scoresheet. Javier Saviola scored the other goal for the eventual winners, who would later meet Germany in the quarterfinals and succumb to the hosts after a penalty shootout.

19.05.2001 - Hamburger SV 1-1 FC Bayern München 

On 19th May 2001, the Volksparkstadion was the venue for one of the most spectacular finishes to a Bundesliga season in the history of the league. Bayern and Schalke had been fighting tooth and nail for the title, and HSV had the chance to tip the scales in favour of one or the other. Bayern needed at least a draw at the Volkspark to come away with the title even if Schalke were to win against Unterhaching. While Schalke led 5-3, Bayern were struggling and found themselves down 1-0 after a 90th minute goal from Sergej Barbarez. With the Bosnian celebrating, it seemed as though Bayern had let their title aspirations slip to the wayside. However, thanks to an indirect free kick being awarded as a result of HSV goalkeeper Mathias Schober collecting a back pass illegally, Bayern crushed Schalke’s title dreams at the last second. Stefan Effenberg laid the ball off, Patrik Andersson smashed it home from eight metres out - his first for the club. The rest is history.

13.09.2000 - Hamburger SV 4-4 Juventus

The biggest home game in HSV’s recent memory came in the Champions League 17 years ago. It was the Rothosen’s group stage opener against a star-studded Juventus side. Carlo Ancelotti’s Italian champions with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Alessandro Del Piero, Edwin van der Sar, Edgar Davids and Co. were considered overwhelming favourites, and a HSV loss was penciled in before the game had even started. HSV proceeded to put up an unforgettable fight, as they came back from 1-0 and 3-1 deficits to go ahead dramatically thanks to a Niko Kovac header in the 82nd minute. The Volkspark went crazy and seat cushions went flying, forcing the game to be stopped for a few minutes to clear the pitch. Juve managed to get an equaliser to make things 4-4, so the game will go down as “draw of the century” in the history books. Unforgettable!

21.06.1988 - West Germany 1-2 Holland

European Championship dreams shattered at the Volksparkstadion: Germany would lose the semi-final of the 1988 European Championship to neighbouring rivals Holland 2-1. The main battle of the game was between Holland icon Marco van Basten and Germany central defender Jürgen Kohler. Like a dog snapping at his feet, Kohler didn’t give Van Basten an inch. However, the striker would still catch him out twice, and twice he would find the net. In the 74th minute, Kohler came into the penalty area a moment too late and gave away a spot kick. Ronald Koeman stepped up to take it and duly equalised after Lothar Matthäus gave West Germany the lead. And in the 88th minute, Van Basten volleyed the ball first time into the far corner in what was a moment of magic. Holland were in the final, Germany were out.

22.06.1974 - East Germany 1-0 West Germany

The legendary “Sparwasser” goal: The only game between two German international sides in the history of football took place at the Volksparkstadion in 1974. Against all expectations, the East German side ran out winners against the reigning European champions and absolute favourites to win the World Cup as well. The hero of the day was Jürgen Sparwasser, who scored the winner goal in the 77th minute, and with it immortalized him in the minds of all East German fans. “If it only said ‘Hamburg, 1974’ on my gravestone I think everyone would know who lied beneath it,” he once said about his famous goal.  The 1-0 loss to East Germany turned out to be the only loss that West Germany would suffer on their way to their second World Cup title.