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Amos Pieper the 'penalty hero'

Amos Pieper will never forget these pictures and these moments. Penalty number 18, the score at 7-7. If the 19 year old who is responsible for organising the defence and defending scores from the spot, then BVB will be German Champions.

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And that is how it happened: Pieper sends Bayern goalkeeper Ron Thorben Hoffmann the wrong way - 8-7. The game is over, BVB have successfully defended the title.

Borussia's head of defence sprints to the right corner flag, a whole throng of players jump all over him. The quiet and modest Amos Pieper, not the 'hero' type at all, is the match winner. Later on he commented in a dry manner: "I have missed quite a few penalties in training. But I told the Head Coach: if you need me, I'll be there." And he was there. Just at the right time.

They always need him. Because Amos Pieper is the "ever-present" in Borussia's U19. He played 24 out of 26 games in the Bundesliga, and seven out of eight games in the UEFA Youth League. Generally he plays the full 90 minutes. He missed two games in the Championship (against Leverkusen and Wuppertal) because he was shown the red card away to RW Esses because of a late tackle. Academy Coordinator Lars Ricken was full of praise for the central defensive pairing when he said: "Amos and Luca Kilian kept it all together. Without those two the team would not have been so successful."

„I missed quite a few penalties in training“

His team mates, his coaches and the management always have nothing but good things to say about the way he behaves. When Dario Scuderi suffered a serious injury in Warsaw, Pieper considered it to be his duty to share a room with him that night. Ricken grins: "he probably suffered more and slept less than Dario. Everyone was happy for Amos that he decided the game with his penalty."

Pieper revealed at a later stage that he tried to "block out everything, the crowd, the noise and the cheers from the South Stand. I felt like I was in a tunnel and I was fully focused on this one penalty." he grinned when he added: "but of course it is a different kettle of fish to take a penalty in front of 35 000 spectators than doing this on the training ground." He crowned his time as a Youth and Junior player with the win in the final against FC Bayern. Now he is preparing for the next step up. First of all that will mean Borussia's U23 and being part of the extended professional squad. Wilfried Wittke

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