Timo Konietzka (l.) went down in history as the man who scored the first ever Bundesliga goal. - © © Ferdi Hartung
Timo Konietzka (l.) went down in history as the man who scored the first ever Bundesliga goal. - © © Ferdi Hartung

How it all began: Timo Konietzka's legendary Bundesliga-opening goal


The Bundesliga has passed the 50,000-goal mark. What better time, then to take a look back upon the remarkable career of the man who scored the first of them – Timo Konietzka.

That maiden goal will never be forgotten, but it will never be seen either. Konietzka needed just 58 seconds of the newly-formed Bundesliga to become a legend. On August 24, 1963, he scored the first goal in Bundesliga history – but no photographer recorded the moment.

The striker was playing for Borussia Dortmund at SV Werder Bremen. There were no television cameras inside the ground and, as the Lünen native later recalled, "The photographers were all behind our goal, because they were all expecting Bremen to score."

- © imago / Horstmüller

"Jockel Bracht said I looked like the Russian general Timoshenko, and from then on everybody called me Timo." - Timo Konietzka

- © imago / Sven Simon

Max Merkel brought him into his lower league – Oberliga – team, and late in the summer of 1960 the then-22-year-old scored the winning goal on his Oberliga debut against Aachen. Konietzka played 110 games for BVB before the Bundesliga was formed and contributed to Dortmund's success with his goals. Together with his strike partner Jürgen 'Charly' Schütz he formed one of the most prolific forward partnerships in the Oberliga West.

The duo also established a penalty kick routine of their own. It was something that Konietzka liked to call one of his greatest sporting successes, eclipsing even his championship titles and nine caps for West Germany: Schütz would simply nudge the ball from the penalty spot and Konietzka would run into the penalty area to score. It was a legitimate goal but it still left opponents and referees alike looking puzzled, according to Konietzka. "We were the first to do it like that," he said of the routine that was later copied by the likes of AFC Ajax's Johan Cruyff.