Party and songs on the balcony
A moved Philipp Lahm, Franck Ribéry deputising as host and a singing head coach: FC Bayern celebrated their 27th championship title in style on Saturday evening. Two and a half hours after the presentation of the Meisterschale at the Allianz Arena the German record champions celebrated with thousands of fans on Munich's Town Hall balcony.
"It's a great day! It's a fantastic honour to be German champions," Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in his address to the Marienplatz crowd, speaking of "a good year. If you're champions for the fifth time in a row it's extraordinary. We'll paint the town red tonight!"
Lahm says thank you
Ribéry in particular lived up to the chairman's words in style. The Frenchman grabbed the microphone, calling up Philipp Lahm, Xabi Alonso, Tom Starke and Hermann Gerland for a worthy farewell. "I love you. Many thanks, and so long," said Alonso. "Nothing can top retiring like this," added Starke.
A visibly moved Philipp Lahm addressed the fans. "It's always special to be here. Everyone knows it's my home city," the Bayern skipper said, thanking the fans, his coaches, the staff and all his team-mates after 22 years at the club. "They and they alone made it possible for me to have a career like this. Many thanks for everything! To everyone who's accompanied me on my way in some way or another. Everyone at this club has grown dear to me."
Chants and songs
The fans celebrated their Philipp with chants, dedicating a song to him after a build-up by Thomas Müller ("We happen to have prepared something for you"): thousands sang Lahm's favourite song Weus' d a Herz hast wia a Bergwerk (You have a heart as deep as a mine) by Rainhard Friedrich. "It was a borderline case when Thomas addressed me with these nice words," Lahm told FC Bayern.tv Live when asked about his feelings.
Not only Uli Hoeneß was "absolutely delighted" with the atmosphere at Marienplatz. "I'm convinced it's an exception that we only have one title this year," the Bayern president told the fans: "With this team and with this spirit it'll be possible to achieve more."
"We want to win many more titles together," stressed Carlo Ancelotti in his brief address: "We're all German champions! Mia san mia!" The FCB head coach crowned his first appearance on the balcony with a special performance, grabbing the microphone to sing an Italian song: I migliori anni della nostra vita (The best years of our lives), a proper conclusion to a wonderful party on the balcony.