Review of “Finalissima” – A 93rd minute for eternity – Sport
In Basel, of all places, FCZ could become champions on Sunday. Memories of the spectacular «Finalissima» 2006 are awakened.
A point win in the classic would be enough for FC Zurich on Sunday to definitely secure the championship title. 16 years ago, the people of Zurich had already had the chance to win the title in St. Jakob Park. However, the starting position was much worse back then.
The FCZ traveled to the “Joggeli” on May 13, 2006, three points behind. And became champion in a spectacular way. While Basel were already preparing their championship shirts on the substitutes’ bench, Iulian Filipescu made it 2-1 in the 93rd minute. Not just an unforgettable goal, but also the first and last for the Romanian in the FCZ jersey. To this day, Filipescu enjoys legendary status among FCZ supporters.
Follow the classic between Basel and FCZ on Sunday from 4:00 p.m. live on SRF Zwei.
Dzemaili can crown FCZ return
Two champions from 2006 will be there again on Sunday: Blerim Dzemaili and Alain Nef – albeit in different roles now. At that time, Dzemaili was playing his third professional season at FCZ. Another followed in the city club dress before the 21-year-old launched his adventure abroad with a move to Bolton Wanderers.
Various positions in Italy followed, including 3 years at Napoli, a detour to Turkey to Galatasaray Istanbul and a short one to Canada and an even shorter one to China. The now 36-year-old has been back at FCZ since last summer. And is one of the indispensable veterans there. “We became champions in the 93rd minute, you don’t forget that easily. It was my first championship title with FCZ and it was really something very special,” Dzemaili remembers 2006.
Nef this time on the sidelines
Another person who also witnessed the “Finalissima” up close is Alain Nef. The 40-year-old, who has played almost 250 Super League games for his regular club in his career, has been part of the FCZ coaching team since last summer.
16 years ago, Nef had to sit on the substitutes’ bench against FCB. However, because César was injured, the defender was substituted on in the 6th minute. And promptly delivered the cross to Alhassane Keita’s opening goal after half an hour.
During his career he had never had comparable feelings and emotions as in the aforementioned classic against Basel. “The constellation was such that we had to win. Then comes the 93rd minute, the very last action. Things are pouring down on you, you can’t really believe it, »Nef describes the moment.
The FCZ does not have to win on Sunday this time. The championship title can only be taken from Zurich in theory. And yet a victory in St. Jakob-Park would not only close a circle for Dzemaili and Nef.