A day off. The sun bathes the city in golden light, the sky is blue and white. And Felix Magath is standing on the street in a light blue T-shirt and is on the phone. And on the phone.

People take a quick look and then move on. Isn’t that his conditioning guru over there? You probably want to go eat fish right away. He waits at the entrance, patiently.

“May I speak to you briefly?” I may. Mumbling the name more than saying it. Then the real reason: He is “a hero of my childhood”. But Felix Magath looks there. Confused, interested.

Yes why? 1977 in Amsterdam. European Cup Winners’ Cup, the final. HSV versus RSC Anderlecht. The big chance after what I remember as a mixed season. Well, back then sixth place in the Bundesliga was still mixed for the Rothosen. First, second, those were the times.

So, the final. Schorsch Volkert with a penalty in the 80th and – yes, Magath in the 90th HSV is the European Cup winner. In the 2nd minute, Peter “Eiche” Nogly had sabered the striker Arie Haan, so that he kept looking around the whole game and didn’t hit anything…

Today he is there, Felix Magath. And is visibly surprised that someone remembers it. Of course. My father, a big HSV fan, took me with him. Me! To the Krasnapolsky Hotel. Where the HSV was also staying – and celebrated in the evening.

With us. Caspar Memering, Rudi Kargus, Peter Nogly, Kuno Klötzer, Felix Magath, who was still called “Krabbe” and not “Sir Felix” at the time. A great time.

He smiles. The fist as a farewell. I say: “I just wanted to wish you luck.” Hertha against HSV – it’s definitely not easy for him either.