presented by
Calm before the storm

‘We have unfinished business this season’

Increase font size Text size

With a first round of celebrations out of the way, the Bayern camp has turned its attention to the possibility of hoisting three separate trophies on the next three weekends. Saturday’s 3-1 win against VfL Bochum effectively sealed a 22nd German championship, and although the shield itself will not be presented until after the last match, the players did gather at a Munich restaurant for a spontaneous party.

“The mood was superb. You’ve got to savour moments like these, but we didn’t overdo it. I was home by one o’clock. We still have unfinished business this season,” keeper Jörg Butt revealed to after the impromptu get-together. “We’re still being very well-behaved. We’re thinking about two more trophies,” Martin Demichelis commented, knowing there could be an even more spectacular celebration ahead.

Fired up FCB

Following this Saturday’s final Bundesliga fixture away to Hertha BSC Berlin, captain Mark van Bommel will be presented with the famous league trophy, officially confirming FCB as 2009-10 champions. At the same time, Louis van Gaal and his men have the chance to acclimatise to the Olympic Stadium in Berlin, where they return for the DFB Cup final the following week. Another week later, Bayern are in Madrid for the Champions League final.

“The team is fired up. They have tremendous desire, tremendous passion, tremendous fighting spirit. It's all possible. We could make history,” opined chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge after Munich wrapped up the league title, as near as makes no difference. “We could yet win more,” declared coach Van Gaal, as determined as his players to seal further honours.

Crowning glory to come?

Bayern’s prospects are not bad at all. “The pressure’s off now. We need to keep on training hard and prepare ourselves for the two finals,” said Arjen Robben. “I think we ought to raise a glass or two, although we know we can turn this excellent season into a golden one over the next two or three weeks,” added Bastian Schweinsteiger.

However, the first job will be to refocus after the weekend achievement and summon up the final remaining reserves of energy. After a spell of two games a week and all-or-nothing encounters with Manchester United and Olympique Lyon, Van Gaal handed his players two days off to recover. Van Bommel and Co report back on Wednesday to start preparing for the thrilling run-in.

No limits

“We mustn’t take our feet off the gas,” warned Van Bommel, urging his men to remained focused even at this late stage of the campaign. “If we ease up now, we’ll never pick up speed again.” The season is already a success, but the real party will have to wait until after the Champions League final. “I’ve already said we’ll celebrate all our trophies,” said Van Gaal, describing himself as a “party animal”. And, promised Thomas Müller: “We’ve not set any limits on the celebrations.”