Werder Bremen goalkeeper Tim Wiese took full responsibility for the glaring mistake that handed Juventus a place in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night. "It is completely my fault," he said.
Minutes from glory
The German side were two minutes away from reaching the last eight of Europe's premier club competition for the first time when Wiese, 24, dropped the ball at the feet of Juventus midfielder Emerson, who rolled it into an empty net. This completed a dramatic comeback for the Italian champions, who had trailed 4-2 on aggregate when Johan Micoud gave the visitors a 13th-minute lead, but had then had hope restored by David Trezeguet's second-half strike.
"It is all my fault," said Wiese, who had made his UEFA Champions League debut in the first leg against Juventus, following injury to first-choice Andreas Reinke. "I am very sorry. I don't know how long it will take me to work out what happened. It will take hours, maybe days of contemplation because I cannot understand it. It has never happened before and I cannot work it out.
'A very stupid thing'
"It was my best-ever performance until that happened. I saved almost everything they threw at me and then ... I wanted to make sure I had the ball tucked in securely ... Something like that will never happen again for the rest of my life. What can I say? It was a very stupid thing. I have to sleep on this and try to keep doing a good job. My team-mates and the coach have been very kind and told me I am not to blame, and not to worry because I am a good keeper, but it's tough to take."
Another of Bremen's star performers in Turin, Germany full-back Patrick Owomoyela, was one such sympathetic team-mate. "This was our best player on the night, and I don't know how on earth the ball slipped away from Tim, but nobody blames him because he was superb tonight," Owomoyela said. "It was a truly horrible moment to see it all unfold before my eyes, but we put up a great fight and proved, over two legs, that we are up to the standard of Juventus, who are a great side."
Bremen's Croatian striker Ivan Klasnić was clearly downhearted after seeing his UEFA Champions League dream shattered. "What can I say?" he said. "I feel like crying. It is a tragedy for me and for the team. One mistake has cost us the next round of the Champions League. Werder were better than Juventus for most of the game." Klasnić added that the Bianconeri should now go on to win the competition: "If they can win playing badly, then imagine what they can do when they start playing well."
Meanwhile, match-winner Emerson revealed that his goal was actually down to the awareness of Fabio Cannavaro, who unlike the South American, saw Wiese spill the ball and screamed to alert his colleague. "I didn't even see the goalkeeper's mistake, but Fabio did. He shouted 'Puma, Puma, Puma' [Emerson's nickname] and it was then that I saw the ball and I just drove it in. It was luck, but luck that we deserved."
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