What was the biggest victory in football

Highest victory in the Bundesliga : Del'Haye: "There was no manipulation"

The final of the 1977/78 season in the Bundesliga was thrilling as rarely as ever. Before the last match day, 1. FC Köln were tied with Borussia Mönchengladbach at the top. The Cologne were ten goals better and had to compete in the relegated St. Pauli. Gladbach received Borussia Dortmund in the Düsseldorf Rheinstadion.

Mr Del’Haye, Mönchengladbach's 12-0 win against Dortmund is the Bundesliga’s biggest win. Nevertheless, he was not enough for the title because Cologne were three goals better in the end. How often have you had to defend yourself against accusations of manipulation?

Not often at all. Honestly.

Is there anything wrong with such allegations?

Of course not. Take a look at our 1-0. We kicked off, the ball comes out to the right, I'll go through, cross, goal, 1-0, Heynckes. You can practice this a thousand times in training - it never works. How are you supposed to manipulate that? Cologne's 5-0 at St. Pauli smells a lot more like manipulation.

How so?

St. Pauli was relegated back then, but was a force at home. All home games took place at Millerntor, except against Cologne. The people of Cologne had previously bought 25,000 tickets, more than there are places there.

So St. Pauli had to move to the large Volksparkstadion.

Exactly. Afterwards, Cologne wanted to return 20,000 tickets because there weren't enough interested parties. Nevertheless: There was no manipulation, on either side.

The speculations also arose because Otto Rehhagel, the coach of Borussia Dortmund, is said to have said that he would prefer Gladbach as a champion to Cologne.

That wasn't particularly clever ...

... and with Peter Endrulat Rehhagel has set up a young goalkeeper who has not made a happy figure.

I have a different opinion. Of the twelve goals, perhaps two could be prevented. But Endrulate's career was over.

Still, it wasn't enough. Did you seriously believe that you could still catch up with Cologne over the goal difference?

We knew that we would have to score eleven goals - if Cologne won 1-0.

A more theoretical consideration.

No, our race to catch up had already started in the weeks before. On the penultimate match day we won 6-2 at HSV. And there have also been phases in which we were actually masters.

The goal in the first minute: was that a kick?

We played in front of 50,000 people in the Rheinstadion. The atmosphere was the kick.

In addition, the Cologne team had problems in Hamburg. It was 1-0 up to the 60th minute.

We knew what it was like there. We have been informed of the interim status by the bank. Of course, we took every chance we had to score, although there were also longer phases in which we didn't score - right before and right after the break.

Jupp Heynckes scored five goals in his last game, Calle Del’Haye two ...

... I think that was the only time in my career ...

... only Allan Simonsen, Europe's footballer of the year, never scored.

He went into the game battered at the time. Afterwards there were people who said: If Rainer Bonhof had played, we would have won 15-0. That's nonsense.

When did you realize: it wasn't enough?

We noticed from the fans what was going on in Hamburg. People had their transistor radios with them. The disappointment with the ranks carried over to the field.

Did you know that the great Borussia era would come to an end with this game?

We didn't think about that. It was rather the disappointment of having been so close to becoming a champion for the fourth time in a row - which nobody has managed to date. We were celebrated by our fans as if we had won the title.

Borussia was the first master of hearts.

You could say that. But in the statistics, we only appear second.

Was that 12: 0 your biggest win or your biggest defeat?

I don't see that as a defeat. On the contrary. Twelve to zero in one game - that's an experience I wouldn't want to miss.

The interview was published in August 2003 in Tagesspiegel, on the occasion of the 40th birthday of the Bundesliga.

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