Lahm: I've experienced a lot there
Philipp Lahm has experienced some great Champions League games in his long career, including three finals and 12 semi-finals. Last Wednesday he made his 104th appearance for FC Bayern in Europe’s elite club competition, making him the club’s all-time record appearance maker in the competition – one above Oliver Kahn.
“You always want to test yourself against the best and throughout my career I’ve been able to do that,” said Lahm, reflecting on this milestone. If you add his seven games for VfB Stuttgart, the 33 year-old has made a total of 111 appearances in the Champions League – more than any other German player!
Old Trafford, Camp Nou, San Siro and Bernabéu: Lahm has wonderful memories of Europe’s greatest stadia and fate has it that he’ll have one last crack in Madrid before retiring. The defensive specialist has already played against Real three times in Spain’s capital, and in total there’s no team that Lahm has faced more times in the Champions League. Tuesday will be his eighth duel with the Spanish giants, and he also played in Madrid for the final in 2000 when Bayern lost 2-0 to Inter Milan.
“It’ll be nice to play at the Bernabéu again. The atmosphere there is always great. I’ve experienced a lot there,” commented the 2013 Champions League winner immediately after the draw. It was where Bayern qualified for the final in 2012, for example. Lahm knows it will be his last visit as player to this stadium, which is why it’ll be a “much more intensive” experience than previous occasions.
Experience to fall back on
That’s not the only reason why it’ll be a special game. Lahm will give his all to ensure that’s only his last game at the Bernabéu and not his last in the Champions League. To do that, Bayern must overturn a 2-1 defeat from the first leg. “We can win in Madrid,” said the record appearance maker confidently.
His vast experience could be an advantage for his side as the full-back still remembers the last away game against Madrid well. “In the first leg in Madrid two years ago, we dominated them but then got his on the counter. We need to avoid that this time,” he warned, adding: “We have a strong team and we know we can score away from home too.” Everything suggests it’ll be another memorable night for Lahm on European football’s greatest stage.