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Fond farewells

Bon voyage Jupp, Poldi, Willy and Massimo

The last match of the season at the Allianz Arena is always a time for farewells. Saturday’s showdown for second place with VfB Stuttgart was no exception: prior to kick-off in the duel with Bayern’s south German rivals, board members Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Uli Hoeneß and Karl Hopfner wished all the best to Jupp Heynckes, Lukas Podolski, Willy Sagnol and Massimo Oddo.

“Even I’ve never been sent on my way by a club after only four weeks,” caretaker boss Heynckes quipped on the eve of his final match in charge at FCB. The 64-year-old stepped in at short notice to replace Jürgen Klinsmann for the last five matches of the season, with the task of ensuring Bayern earned a place in the Champions League group phase next term. The 2-1 victory over Stuttgart, the fourth win for Heynckes in five matches, meant it was a case of mission accomplished for the experienced coach.

Merci, Willy Sagnol

A wave of regret and a long chant of “Willyyyyyyyy” echoed from the Allianz Arena stands as Willy Sagnol formally took his leave after nine seasons in Munich. The former France international was forced to call time on his illustrious career at the end of February due to injury. The 32-year-old scored eight goals for Germany’s most successful club in 276 competitive appearances.

Sagnol was the last of the 2001 Champions League winners still at the club, and also won the Intercontinental trophy, five Bundesliga titles, the DFB Cup four times, and the League Cup three times. “I collected far more honours than I thought I would,” Sagnol reflected.

Bye bye Poldi, ciao Massimo

Lukas Podolski also received a magnificent bouquet, marking his final outing for FCB before returning to Cologne after three seasons. Poldi played 71 times for the Bavarians in the Bundesliga, scoring 37 goals. He was part of the team which won the domestic double in 2007-8.

Last but not least, 2006 World Cup winner Massimo Oddo arrived in Munich on loan from AC Milan last summer as back-up for Sagnol. The Italian provided four assists in his 18 Bundesliga appearances. Oddo’s loan deal applied only to this season, and will not be extended. joins all Bayern fans in saying thank you to the four, and all the best for the future.