Reds celebrate double triumph and ‘great season’
At around two in the morning, party animals Thomas Müller and David Alaba jumped up from their seats. They took to the stage and grabbed microphones, singing along with the Austrian band Seiler und Speer. "It was a hard match last night," they sang in Bavarian. "It's obvious I won't be coming home soon." The crowd went wild. Smartphones recorded the moment for posterity. The party was on.
"We'll paint the town red tonight," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge had just declared in his address to the post-match banquet, giving the go-ahead for a long night. After the hard-fought DFB Cup triumph which completed an 11th league and cup double for FC Bayern, the chairman spoke of a "great season. We can be proud of this team. They've amassed titles galore in the last few years and they're always committed, not only when they're out on the pitch. The players show great character, both on and off the field. They're great representatives of FC Bayern!"
The illustrious guests at Deutsche Telekom's Berlin HQ included DFB President Reinhard Grindel, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann, former Federal Interior Minister Otto Schily and host Timotheus Höttges, Deutsche Telekom AG chairman. The gathering followed Rummenigge's call. The crowd danced and celebrated till dawn. Even Rummenigge took to the floor. Some enjoyed cigars. The night yielded a huge array of pictures of the DFB Cup and the championship shield.
"It's a great end to the season," said Müller, who like all the players drained his remaining reserves of energy in the small hours. It had taken 120 thrilling and demanding minutes as well as penalties to seal the double in the cup final against Borussia Dortmund. "I'm dead but proud," an exhausted Thiago commented shortly after the final whistle, speaking on behalf of everyone in the Bayern camp.
"This double is wonderful. We've had a fantastic season," summarised Manuel Neuer, describing the Bavarians' performances this term as "worthy of an A grade." The World's Best Goalkeeper played a decisive role in Saturday's triumph, saving Sven Bender's penalty. In addition, Borussia's Sokratis missed from the spot, whereas four of the five Bayern penalty-takers scored. Only Joshua Kimmich saw his effort denied by Borussia netminder Roman Bürki, but the cup proved more than adequate consolation. The youngster carried the coveted trophy to the celebration.
"All credit to our opponents. They too have had a fantastic season and pushed us to our limits today. But at the end of the day our team were this one penalty better," said Rummenigge. Müller summarised: "We kept Dortmund's quality in check and were very dominant. It was an outstanding performance. We only lacked venom in front of goal."
Pep Guardiola was moved to tears after his last match and his seventh trophy as Bayern coach. "I'm very, very satisfied. We displayed enthusiasm and character and dominated possession. Borussia had their moments, but we had the better chances." Everyone agreed that the victory was ultimately deserved. The Bayern stars celebrated their coach on the turf, started a conga in front of the FCB faithful and popped the corks in the changing room.
Late in the evening the players sat with their families and friends, recharging their batteries with asparagus, veal filet and crêpes. They celebrated through the night, fulfilling Müller's and Alaba's instructions, who sang along with Seiler und Speer: "You just don't go home, home, home..."