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Gerland’s maiden title

‘It’s just unbelievable and terrific’

It is Franck Ribéry’s second Bundesliga title, Martin Demichelis’s fourth, and Bastian Schweinsteiger’s fifth – but for Hermann Gerland, the longest-serving stalwart among all the playing and coaching staff, it is a very first national triumph. Louis van Gaal’s 55-year-old assistant, who has spent most of his time at the club in charge of the reserves, made his maiden appearance on the Munich Town Hall balcony on Sunday, raising the championship shield aloft, and accepting tumultuous applause from the thousands gathered in the Marienplatz below. caught up with ‘Tiger’ Gerland as he stepped from the balcony, a broad grin across his face.

Interview: Hermann Gerland: How do you feel after appearing on the Town Hall balcony for the first time?
Gerland: “Well, I have been on a balcony in front of a crowd of fans before, after my last game in charge at Bochum, when we finished cup runners-up in 1988.” But this time you were there with a trophy in your hands.
Gerland: “It’s just unbelievable and terrific. From the start of the season, I was utterly convinced we’d win the league. And I never lost sight of that, even when we were having a few problems at the start. I was always convinced we’d be up here on the balcony at the end of the season.”