Defending champion BAYERN MUNICH had finished the first half of the 1973/74 season on top of the Bundesliga table via goal-differential but trainer UDO LATTEK was still not satisfied. Although West Germany international star striker GERD “der Bomber” MUELLER and his fellow 1972 UEFA European Championships titlist, attacking midfielder ULI HOENESS, had combined to score 25 goals between them in the first 17 league contests of the term, the production from the wingers, in particular, left something to be desried. And so, as the Christmas holiday approached, certain Bavarian eyes looked to Scandanavia.
Now, Bayern Munich had already broken the existing Bundesliga record in the summer of 1973 by splashing out 880,000 Deutsche Mark to acquire West Germany international midfielder JUPP KAPELLMANN from 1.FC Koeln. But this massive expenditure did not prevent the Bavarians’ manager ROBERT SWAN from concluding yet another deal, this one with Swedish first division side FF Atvidabergs, to strenghten the regining Bundesliga titlists even further. And so, CONNY TORSTENSSON was signed by Bayern Munich in exchange for the sum of 580,000 DM, still a considerable transfer fee at this point in time.
It had been, after all, Torstensson who had scored two second-leg goals for FF Atvidabergs to give Bayern Munich such a fright in the first round of the UEFA European Cup. The 24-year-old winger was also an integral part of the Sweden national team which had already qualified for the 1974 FIFA World Cup final tournament to be held in West Germany. Torstensson, who ultimately went on to earn 40 caps and score seven goals in his career for Sverige, had been in the Startelf when Sweden defeated Austria 2-1 in a one-game, winner-take-all playoff match in Gelsenkirchen to settle Europe’s Group 1 and formally secure passage at the end of November in 1973.
Torstensson made his debut for Bayern Munich on December 15, 1973, exactly one week after the Bavarians had become Herbstmeister with the dramatic 4-3 victory over Borussia Moenchengladbach at the Olympiastadion. The Swedish international would begin the Deutscher Fussball Bund Pokal second round match with Werder Bremen at the Weserstadion on the bench but was sent on in place of midfielder RAINER ZOBEL eight minutes after the hour. And, it would take Torstensson all of ten minutes to deliver a first dividend on Bayern Munich’s major Winterpause investment.
As it turned out, Torstensson’s strike in the 78th was decisive as visting Bayern Munich dumped Werder Bremen 2-1 and marched on in the domestic cup competition. The pricey Swede’s first-ever goal for the Bavarians had proven itself to be a match-winner, then! Torstensson actually only scored one goal in 16 Bundesliga matches for his new employers, Bayern Munich, over the second half of the 1973/74 season but, then again, the coveted European Cup tournament was an entirely different matter altogether.
There would be more important goals for Torstensson to fire as the calendar year of 1974 began to unfold in earnest … but that would be another Bayern Munich history lesson for some other time.
Tracksuit-wearing winger CONNY TORSTENSSON (left) of 1973/74 Bundesliga and UEFA European Cup champion Bayern Munich walks with Sweden World Cup goalkeeper RONNIE HELLSTROM, who would soon sign for 1.FC Kaiserslautern and spend the next seven seasons as first choice for the West German club, and striker ROLAND SANDBERG (right) of 1.FC Kaiserslautern, who had just scored 19 goals in his first Bundesliga season, during the FIFA Weltmesiterschaft tournament in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland in the summer of 1974.