A pair of East Germany internationals who each won a bronze medal at the 1972 Summer Olympic Games in Munich, forward JUERGEN SPARWASSER (left) as well as club captain and defender MANFRED ZAPF, lift the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup for FC MAGDEBURG after defeating the competition’s defending champions from Italy, AC Milan, in early May of 1974 at the largely empty Feyenoord Stadion in Rotterdam.
It must stand forever as the most spectacular single season for any club team in the football history of the old Deutsche Demokratische Republik.
Not only did FC MAGDEBURG finish atop the 1973/74 Oberliga standings to post a second domestic championship in three seasons, the squad steered by trainer HEINZ KRUEGEL also upset mighty Italian club AC Milan to win the old UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup and become the very first (and last ever) East German outfit to ever capture what was then one of three major European trophies available.
Appropriately enough, the leading scorer for club that season, JUERGEN SPARWASSER, also supplied the only goal of the historic 1974 FIFA World Cup match in Hamburg pairing the D.D.R. opposite the Bundesrepublik Deutschland at the Volksparkstadion.
Eventual Oberliga season champion FC MAGDEBURG line-up before a jam-packed crowd recorded as 35,000 at the modest Ernst Grube Stadion in the Deutsche Demokratische Republik just prior to the start of the second leg of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup semi-final tie with visiting Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon in late April of 1974; goals from Pommerenke and Sparwasser would give FC Magdeburg a 2-1 victory for the match and a 3-2 triumph on aggregate.
FC MAGDEBURG (left to right) — Manfred ZAPF (capt), Ulrich SCHULZE, Juergen SPARWASSER, Wolfgang ABRAHAM, Wolfgang SEGUIN, Axel TYLL, Juergen POMMERENKE, Klaus DECKER, Detlef RAUGUST, Detlef ENGE, Martin HOFFMANN
Sparwasser had finished third in the Oberliga with 12 goals on the 1973/74 season and had added another three vital strikes in Europe, including the pivotal tie-winners against Czechoslovakian club Banik Ostrava and Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon; the 26-year-old would be joined in the Startelf of East Germany for the famous game at the Volksparkstadion in late June of 1974 by attacking partner MARTIN HOFFMANN, the 19-year-old who stood second on FC Magdeburg with nine Oberliga goals while notching a pair in the Cup Winners’ Cup, himself.
21-year-old JUERGEN POMMERENKE finished third on FC Magdeburg with eight goals in the Oberliga and was joined on the D.D.R.’s FIFA World Cup squad by fellow midfielder WOLFGANG SEGUIN, the 28-year-old who accounted for back-breaking second goal against AC Milan in Rotterdam. 27-year-old sweeper MANFRED ZAPF was dependable, as always, and added a Cup Winners’ Cup medal to an Olympic bronze won at Munich in 1972. The exact same circumstance applied for 23-year-old midfielder AXEL TYLL.
26-year-old goalkeeper ULRICH SCHULZE, whose lone career cap for East Germany would arrive in October of 1974 for a European Championships qualifier against Iceland, was ever-present and solid between the sticks for FC Magdeburg during the 1973/74 Oberliga season.
Juergen POMMERENKE 26/8, Wolfgang SEGUIN 26/3, Axel TYLL 26/3, Klaus DECKER 26/0, Ulrich SCHULZE 26/0, Juergen SPARWASSER 24/12, Martin HOFFMANN 23/9, Manfred ZAPF 23/1, Hans-Juergen HERMANN 21/5, Wolfgang ABRAHAM 18/2, Siegmund MEWES 16/4, Detlef ENGE 14/0, Helmut GAUBE 8/0, Juergen ACHTEL 8/0, Detlef RAUGUST 7/2, Wolfgang STEINBACH 6/0, Bodo SOMMER 5/0, Norbert PYSALL 4/0, Joerg OHM 3/0, Peter KOHDE 1/0
trainer — Heinz KRUEGEL