'Three great years!' Rummenigge thanks Guardiola
Pep Guardiola still aims to win the DFB Cup with Bayern next weekend, but the club has already bid farewell to the head coach with a grand ceremony at the Allianz Arena. "Dear Pep, I want to thank you on behalf of the whole FC Bayern family. We've had a great time together," said Karl-Heinz Rummenigge shortly before kick-off in Guardiola's last home match against Hannover.
The FCB chairman thanked Guardiola "on behalf of the whole club" for the work that yielded three domestic championship titles, one DFB Cup triumph, the UEFA Supercup and the FIFA Club World Cup. "We've had three great years with you. You've always challenged and supported the team," said Rummenigge, calling the Catalan "a great representative for our club and for the Bundesliga as a whole."
The 75,000 capacity crowd at the Allianz Arena and the team who lined up behind their coach applauded Guardiola. The 45-year-old waved to the fans, smiling radiantly. The video displays showed memorable scenes featuring Guardiola at Bayern. Franz Beckenbauer and Uli Hoeneß embraced the coach on the touchlines.
Legends, flowers, gun salute
The two former FCB presidents had stepped onto the pitch with 23 other Bayern legends, 25 men embodying 25 championship titles. The fans frenetically welcomed the stars, delighted over a reunion with the likes of Oliver Kahn, Lothar Matthäus, Luca Toni, Sepp Maier and Co.
The supporting programme also featured the FCB Women, who celebrated their championship title honoured by gun salutes, brass bands and giant balloons. Match official Knut Kircher finished his career after his 244th league match in more than two decades, received a bouquet of flowers.