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'Phenomenal'

Bayern Legends full of praise for Liverpool trip

The Legends of Bayern and Liverpool soaked up the famous Anfield atmosphere one last time as they completed a lap of honour. The two sides had played a 5-5 draw in their charity match and the applause of the 54,000 fans was still ringing out for minutes after the final whistle.

“Indescribable,” was Alexander Zickler’s reaction. “It was my first time in Liverpool. I never thought a game like this could sell out,” continued the 2001 Champions League winner, whose two goals contributed to an all-round successful event. “I think it was a great deal of fun for the spectators and ourselves. Scoring a goal in a game like this makes it even nicer.”

Celebrated like the home team

Even the journey to the stadium was impressive for the Bayern Legends. Thousands of people filled the streets around Anfield and the party from Munich were greeted like the home team as their team bus arrived. Smartphones were pulled out to record these special moments.

“The stadium, the pitch – it was phenomenal,” praised Marcel Witeczek. “Sadly I never got to play here during my career. To experience it now in front of a full house with old acquaintances is a real joy,” added the 1996 UEFA Cup winner. The rendition of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ shortly before kick-off made the Bayern side realise, if they hadn’t already, why Anfield is such a fabled stadium. “It’s obviously a unique experience and extremely enjoyable,” commented goalkeeper Uwe Gospodarek.

Kvarme denies first German win

Perhaps the impressive atmosphere explains why the match started so badly for Klaus Augenthaler’s men. Goals from Dirk Kuyt, Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler gave the Reds a quick 3-0 lead. “The first quarter of an hour wasn’t great from us,” analysed Zickler. “We were too open and didn’t close the space down the flanks, which caused us problems,” said captain Lothar Matthäus. “We put that right. After that, we were tighter and things worked better.”

Luca Toni, a brace from Zickler and Paulo Sergio turned the game around for Bayern in the space of 15 minutes, before Fowler equalised on the stroke of half-time with his second goal. “You’re still ambitious and you don’t want to lose,” explained Witeczek. And Zickler agreed: “You’re not playing for points but there’s obviously a bit of pride a stake.” It looked like being a first ever win for a German team at Anfield after Xabi Alonso’s free-kick midway through the second period, but Björn Tore Kvarme’s goal shortly before full time ensured the final score of 5-5.

The former professionals proved that they’ve still got it, both on and off the pitch. After a communal dinner at the stadium, everyone reconvened for a big post-match party at the team hotel where the players celebrated long into the night, laughing and talking about their great careers. And although some of the players were feeling their muscles after the game, in the end everyone was in agreement: the trip to Liverpool was well worth it and the Legends game at Anfield was a special occasion. “We’re very pleased, we’ve had a lot of fun,” concluded Paulo Sergio.

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