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Chairman’s rallying cry

Banquet speech: Let’s do it like in 1999

The atmosphere in the Barcelona suite at the Eurostars-Madrid Tower hotel was not that of frenzied celebration, but nor was it funereal: there was dancing, good food and fine wines. And once Karl-Heinz Rummenigge took the microphone just before 1 am, the mental distress began to dissipate. “We won’t let the season be spoilt by a single defeat,” the FCB chairman declared.

“The team has been fantastic this season. I’m proud of the team, the coach, and everyone at the club.” Just minutes earlier, the 1,000 guests at the post-match banquet, including Bavarian First Minister Horst Seehofer, his predecessor Dr. Edmund Stoiber, Vitali Klitschko, Michael Henke and former players including Roy Makaay, Giovane Elber and Carsten Jancker, had given the playing and coaching staff a rapturous welcome. A standing ovation and long applause greeted the players introduced by resident announcer Stephan Lehmann as “Europe’s second best team”.