06 December 2018

#TBT: BIERHOFF AND KING GEORGE'S SHOES

A particular episode of twenty years ago and the beginning of a trend in AC Milan 3-0 Udinese 

BIERHOFF AND WEAH
This was the first year together for the German, who was a key player only two years before the European cup won by Germany and for the Lion King. Oliver had arrived at Milanello from Udinese, together with Alberto Zaccheroni and Thomas Helveg. For his part, George Weah was in his fourth year with AC Milan after the Scudetto-debut and two negative seasons for the Rossoneri. In 1998/99, they were two of the three key players in the attacking positions at the beginning of the season, together with Maurizio Ganz.

THAT AFTERNOON AND THE SHOES...
It was a delicate afternoon in the late autumn sun of San Siro because Zac's Rossoneri had lost considerably and without appeal the previous Sunday: 4-0 to Parma. On the 6th of December 1998, Udinese arrived in Milan and the Diavolo, with 18 points in the standings, wanted a breakthrough. The game ends 3-0 in favor of AC Milan. It was the first time that Weah stepped unto the pitch with his custom shoes: not those of the sponsor, from which he had split. The King George crown was stamped on the Liberian star's boots. Those who knew about it, Bierhoff in particular, had promised to polish them in case he scored.

BIERHOFF TRIES AGAIN
Weah scored a great goal in the 22' of the first half and Bierhoff tried to remove Weah's right shoe while he was celebrating, the one with which he scored. He was unable to do so, but he tried all the same. At that point, Oliver decided to mimic a shoeshiner's elbow movement, as a sign of a festive joke and also respect for the technical skills of AC Milan's Lion King. These scenes would provoke the Friulian fans discontent that would later hold it against Bierhoff. Precisely for this reason, one of the first cases of subdued celebration from a former player after scoring would be that of the German striker in Udinese 1-5 AC Milan on April 18th, 1999.

MATCH DETAILS

AC MILAN 3-0 UDINESE 

AC MILAN: S. Rossi, Sala, Costacurta (87' Ziege), N'Gotty, Helveg, Albertini, Ambrosini, P. Maldini, Bierhoff, Leonardo (81' Morfeo), Weah. Coach: Zaccheroni.
UDINESE: Turci, Bertotto, Calori, Pierini, Navas (75' Genaux), Appiah (56' Sosa), Giannichedda, Walem, Bachini, Amoroso, Poggi (46' Jorgensen). Coach: Guidolin.
Referee: Collina.
Goals: 22' Weah (M), 40' Leonardo (M), 61' Bierhoff (M).

 

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