FC Porto's hero of the 1987 European Champion Clubs' Cup win against FC Bayern München, Rabah Madjer says "anything is possible" as the Portuguese champions meet Manchester United FC for a last-four place.
Article top media content
It is a goal FC Porto supporters will never forget. With time running out in the 1987 European Champion Clubs' Cup final and FC Bayern München winning 1-0, Rabah Madjer produced a moment of magic to back-heel the ball beyond Jean-Marie Pfaff and into the net. Four minutes later the Algerian set up Filho Juary and Porto claimed the trophy for the first time.
If Porto's triumph that year was a surprise, it was no more so than in 2004 when José Mourinho's unfancied side knocked out Manchester United FC en route to beating AS Monaco FC in the final. No wonder then that Madjer, a cult hero in Porto, believes the Portuguese champions can do it again as they prepare to meet United once more in the quarter-finals. "Anything is possible," he told uefa.com. "Porto won in '87, and then again in 2004. Porto are a serious club, one of the biggest in Europe; they've proved themselves. They have their objectives, just like Manchester United or Chelsea. As a former FC Porto player I wish them lots of luck – and why not win another Champions League?"
Porto fans recently voted Madjer's back-heel as "the most beautiful, historic and mythical goal" in the club's history and the Algerian was back in the spotlight recently as the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour reached Algiers on the second step of its African tour on 11 and 12 March. "It's a great cup competition, and since I won it with Porto, [Algerians] have had a special relationship with the cup as well," said the former African Player of the Year, speaking in his capacity as Algeria's UEFA Trophy Tour Ambassador. "That final against Bayern was the first time Porto had been in a European Cup final. For me it was a voyage of discovery too, because I never thought I'd be playing in a European Cup final.
"I'll always have fantastic memories, and I'll never forget that day," said Madjer, who played three seasons for Porto between 1985 and 1988. "Before the match, everyone was nervous. Bayern were big favourites to win. I remember our goalkeeper, [Józef] Młynarczyk saying to me: 'Rabah, I'm scared about tomorrow, it's going to be a hard game.' I said: 'What are you saying? We've beaten big teams before and now it's a final. It's 50-50. Tomorrow we'll win 2-1.'
'Happy and proud'
"And God heard me. We won 2-1, played a great game, I equalised with a back-heel and set up the second goal with a move down the Germans' right, dribbling past some defenders then pulling the ball back to Juary. We scored the second goal and we were champions of Europe. I couldn't believe it. And then I was lifting the European Champion Clubs' Cup. That will always be in the history books. And the back-heel … All over the world when someone scores with a back-heel they call it a Rabah Madjer back-heel and that makes me happy and proud."
The third leg of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour took place in Cairo on 28 March. The tour will conclude in South Africa with stops in Cape Town (10-12 April) and Johannesburg (17-19 April).