The 50,000 Bundesliga goals scored over the past 54 years have gone hand-in-hand with ecstatic highs and devastating lows – and they have created heroes and villains throughout the colourful history of Germany's elite football clubs. With the goal counter to ticking past the milestone 50k, bundesliga.com takes a closer look at some of the strikes that have gone down in Bundesliga folklore.
It was the ultimate do-or-die moment.
FC Bayern München had gone into their final game of the 2000/01 season with a three-point lead over FC Schalke 04. The Bavarians – defending champions under Ottmar Hitzfeld, and qualified for a UEFA Champions League final that they would win four days later – only needed a point at Hamburger SV to secure their third consecutive Bundesliga title, the 16th overall.
Watch: Andersson's dramatic title-winning free-kick for Bayern:
At the Parkstadion in Gelsenkirchen, meanwhile, Schalke had to get the job done against lowly SpVgg Unterhaching. The Royal Blues had a brief scare when they went 3-2 down midway through the second half, but a quick-fire double from Jörg Böhme and an Ebbe Sand effort put them into a 5-3 lead in the 89th minute.
Schalke went into Matchday 34 with a better goal difference than Bayern, and now they had the three points in the bag. But they needed their rivals to lose in order to be crowned champions.
Step forward Sergej Barbarez. In the 90th minute, the Bosnian international headed in Marek Heinz's excellent cross to give Hamburg a 1-0 lead at the Volksparkstadion. Cue scenes of pandemonium back in Gelsenkirchen, where Schalke were suddenly minutes away from a first Bundesliga title since 1958.
It looked to be all over. When the Barbarez goal went in, the television commentator at the Hamburg-Bayern game dramatically announced, "The German Champions for the year 2001 are called... Schalke 04!" The Bayern bench were shell-shocked. The ghosts of the 1999 Champions League final defeat to Manchester United FC suddenly seemed to have surfaced, as the Bavarians watched the Bundesliga title slip through their fingers.
And so to the do-or-die moment.
In the third minute of injury time, Hamburg keeper Mathias Schober gathered up a back-pass, and Bayern were awarded an indirect free-kick inside the area. One final chance. If they scored, they would win the title – if not, the crown would go to Schalke.
Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn was up there in a flash – of course he was – enjoying a push and a shove with the Hamburg defence. But this wasn't to be his moment. That would come a few days later at the San Siro, with his penalty shoot-out heroics against Valencia CF.
Instead it was Patrik Andersson who ensured himself a place in Bayern legend. Stefan Effenberg touched the ball forward, and the Swedish defender drilled it low past the wall, past the goalkeeper and into the back of the net. It was the only goal he would ever score for the club.
The Bayern bench erupted, and so did their fans. The news filtered through to Gelsenkirchen, where joy immediately turned to despair. Andersson and the Bavarians had broken Schalke's hearts – and indeed, the German media would later dub the Royal Blues the "Meister der Herzen" – Champions of the Heart. But it was the television commentator, fatalistic, who summed it up best: "So sind sie," he muttered, almost to himself, when Bayern levelled. "That's what they're like."
There have certainly been more spectacular goals than Andersson's, in Bundesliga history, and plenty of players who scored a great deal more often. But of the 49,999 strikes to date, few can claim to have had such a dramatic, emotional impact as his last-gasp title-winner of 19 May 2001.