Neven Subotic felt like he was "in Disneyland" as he returned from injury to score an 86th-minute winner in Borussia Dortmund's under-23 match against SV Rodinghausen.
Subotic, 27, made his comeback on Wednesday eight months after featuring in the 2-1 Europa League win at Tottenham in mid-March.
The Dortmund defender endured a difficult spell which included thrombosis in his arm, a collapsed transfer to Middlesbrough and surgery to remove one of his ribs as a result of the thrombosis.
- Florian Groeger (@RN_Florian) November 23, 2016
He returned to first-team training earlier this month, and on Wednesday returned to the pitch in the under-23's 1-0 fourth tier win at Rote Erde, next to the Westfalenstadion, in front of 987 fans.
"It's like you imagine Disneyland," Subotic told reporters after the match. "Everything's just fun. Every battle for the ball, every long ball, every loss of the ball, Gegenpressing, storming up front. Every act is just wicked. I just missed it big time.
"I shed a few tears, also because I saw a people who wouldn't usually come to an amateur match but were here today. That means a lot."
- Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) November 23, 2016
It had initially been planned that the defender would leave the pitch at the hour mark, but Subotic did not feel like letting go.
"It was anything but a perfect day. My car broke down on the way here," he said. "My boots were a size too small. I was prepared like I played the Champions League final. I rested at midday, but then it went downhill from there," Subotic said.
"But once you're on the pitch, everything's forgotten. And I am delighted I was able to crown my performance. They asked me at the hour mark whether I wanted to continue, and I said yes because when you have the flow and you're in Disneyland, you just don't want to go home."
Subotic is under contract at Dortmund until 2018.