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Reunion with Diarra

Bordeaux captain started in FCB reserves

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Bayern’s only previous meeting with Girondins Bordeaux in European competition came back in 1996. It was a significant clash, namely that season’s UEFA Cup final. Munich won 5-1 on aggregate, to the delight of a 12-year-old lad by the name of Philipp Lahm. “I watched the first leg at the Olympic stadium and the return on TV,” the Germany international recalled.

“Bordeaux had a great team at the time, with the likes of Zinedine Zidane, Christophe Dugarry and Bixente Lizarazu,” continued Lahm, who would later play alongside Lizarazu for Bayern. “I learned a lot from him,” the full-back acknowledged. The French champions’ superstar these days is Yoann Gourcuff, and the club captain is a certain Alou Diarra.

The Girondins skipper is another player well-known to Lahm, as the pair operated together for the Bayern reserves. Diarra scored five goals in 41 third division appearances for the FCB second string between 2000 and 2002, but missed out on the step up to the senior squad. “At the time, he was competing with Owen Hargreaves for the same position, but Owen got a chance with the first team and took it,” reported Lahm.