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Tearful farewell

Bayern board honours Hitzfeld, Kahn and Co.

Before Bayern’s final match of the season against Hertha Berlin the club formally bade farewell to longstanding captain Oliver Kahn and coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, as 69,000 spectators in the sold-out Allianz Arena rose from their seats to applaud the duo. Hitzfeld was overcome by his feelings and made no effort to hide his tears. Hertha’s general manager, former Bayern favourite Dieter Hoeness, also presented gifts to Kahn and Hitzfeld on the pitch.

Former German international goalkeeper Kahn ended his professional career with his 557th Bundesliga match. The 38-year-old joined Bayern in 1994 from his home town club Karlsruhe and went on to win eight league championship titles and six German Cups, as well as the UEFA Cup in 1996 and the Champions’ League and Intercontinental Cup in 2001.

Hitzfeld’s second farewell

It is the second farewell to Bayern for Hitzfeld, who earlier stepped down as coach in 2004. The most successful club coach in German football history completes his 18-month second spell in charge with another league and cup double, and following this summer’s European Championship, the 59-year-old will take over as coach of the Swiss national side.

To thunderous applause, Bayern also said farewell to goalkeeping legend Sepp Maier, who at 64 is retiring from his position as head goalkeeping coach. Three other members of the backroom staff – assistant coach Michael Henke, goalkeeping coach Bernd Dreher and fitness trainer Zvonko Komes – were also honoured, along with Germany international Jan Schlaudraff, who is moving to Hannover 96 after just one year in Munich.

Final whistle for Markus Merk

It was also the final blast of the whistle for Markus Merk, for many years Germany’s top referee, who at 46 was taking charge of his 339th and final Bundesliga match and was also honoured by representatives of both clubs and of the German Football League.

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s coaching titles:
Intercontinental Cup 2001
Champions’ League 1997*, 2001
German League Championship 1995*, 1996*, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2008
German Football Federation Cup 2000, 2003, 2008
League Cup 1998, 1999, 2000, 2007
Swiss League Championship 1990, 1991
Swiss Cup 1985, 1989, 1990

Oliver Kahn’s medals:
European Championship 1996
Intercontinental Cup 2001
Champions’ League 2001
UEFA Cup 1996
German League Championship 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008
German Football Federation Cup 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008
World Cup runner-up 2002, World Cup third place 2006

* with Borussia Dortmund