Iker made a memorable cameo at Hampden Park in Glasgow, as Real Madrid defeated the Bundesliga side with a score of 2-1 to raise Europe’s largest club prize.
A 20-year-old goalkeeper’s memorable performance in 2002 UCL final
Former Bayer Leverkusen defender Jens Nowotny praised Iker Casillas for the 2002 Champions League final, recounting the night that helped bring up the Spaniard’s legend. Iker made a memorable cameo at Hampden Park in Glasgow, as Real Madrid defeated the Bundesliga side with a score of 2-1 to raise Europe’s largest club prize. The game would be remembered as a terrific winning of the first-half of Zinedine Zidane, as the Frenchman healed the ball home, which he dropped from the sky to score one of the highest goals in the history of the Champions League. But Casillas played a role in the European title of Madrid. When Cesar descended with an injury in the 68th minute, the 20-year-old stood up and made a series of saves to preserve Madrid’s victory.
That night the star of Cassilas rose
Casillas enjoyed a distinguished career that included three UEFA Champions League trophies and five LaLiga crowns with Real Madrid, as well as two European titles with Spain and the 2010 World Cup. Speaking to reporters, Nowotny recalled the goalkeeper’s performance on the night that Leverkusen could win his first European title. “We excelled and made a great game,” said Jens. “But that night, the star of Iker Casillas rose. He could go for his goal, and we would have beaten him anyway!” Leverkusen almost completed the fabulous race in 2001-02, as they passed Liverpool and Manchester United “on the way to the finals in Glasgow. “We could keep up with the Galacticos,” said Nowotny. “Not only with Real Madrid, that season we beat Barcelona and Juventus, but we also knocked out Liverpool and Man United from the contest. We had no motive to admire other players.”
Everything is for sale now
Nowotny left football in 2007 at the age of 33, which caused time for a career that began in 1992 and in which he represented Germany in two European and one World Championships. The ex-defender says that the game has changed significantly from his gaming days, saying that the role of money is more vivid than before. “Everything is somehow for sale,” Jens said. “The final of the Spanish Cup is held in Saudi Arabia, and international competitions are inflated so that more and more squads can participate. It is the main idea of a free market economy. Both players and bosses are taking part in this. It’s about money.
“The most honest in modern football, in my opinion, is an ultra, loud fan who would do anything for his club. If a player scores a goal for Leverkusen in his last game and kisses the logo, and then scores for Bayern in the next match and kissing the logo again, I think it’s morally doubtful. “But maybe it’s just an honest way of saying,” I don’t give sh*t what logo is on my chest. I play here for the money.”