Created on 11-07-2015 at 17:55 PM
They came from Berlin, Hamburg, Nuremberg, Ebersbergand and of course Munich on Saturday, all heading for the Arena in the north of the city for the Allianz Team Presentation. An amazing total of 68,000 fans packed the stadium for the preseason event. “It’s magnificent and I think it’s tremendous,” declared Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. The Bayern family gave their heroes a rapturous welcome, although there was a tinge of regret due to Bastian Schweinsteiger’s absence.
“I can understand the fans feeling certain emotions,” Rummenigge stated. The Bayern chairman took to the microphone to tell the full story behind the vice-captain’s switch to Manchester United, and pledged to stage a testimonial match for Schweinsteiger at the end of his playing career. “The door will always be open to him,” said Rummenigge to warm applause.
And once the players, including injured trio Franck Ribéry, Holger Badstuber and Jan Kirchhoff, began emerging one-by-one out of the tunnel into the pitch, the crowd broke into frenetic cheers. It was the first time Pep Guardiola has had his complete squad together this season, as the group included new signings Douglas Costa, Joshua Kimmich and Sven Ulreich, and the internationals who were returning to work for the first time since their summer holidays.
Half a million euros for a good cause
During the exhibition training session that followed, Manuel Neuer, Mario Götze, Robert Lewandowski, Jérôme Boateng, Robert Lewandowski, Mehdi Benatia, Juan Bernat and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg were spared any onerous burden as they performed gentle runs and passing exercise. The rest of the squad laid on a fine spectacle with shooting drills and a practice match.
The sunny afternoon’s entertainment was rounded off by the family festival on the Esplanade in the shadow of the Allianz Arena, performances by star DJ Robin Schulz and pianist Lang Lang, a game of penalty prize against Manuel Neuer, the presentation of the Bundesliga-winning FC Bayern women’s team, and a contest between the FCB All-Stars and Inter Forever, Inter Milan’s veterans’ team.
The 68,000 fans hailed their heroes and also contributed to a good cause, as the impressive total of €502,835 from ticket sales was earmarked for Allianz für Kinder (Allianz for Kids), a charity supporting more than 200 regional projects for needy kids and youths in Germany. Thank you, Bayern for a successful Team Presentation!