Bayern celebrate double at Marienplatz
Arjen Robben, Franck Ribéry, Rafinha and their team-mates appeared on the Town Hall balcony at Munich's Marienplatz at 14.55 to celebrate a successful season together with their fans. The Brazilian had the honour to hold the championship shield in front of 15,000 fans. Niklas Süle soon followed with the DFB Cup Bayern had won about 17 hours beforehand, when they beat RB Leipzig in the final.
The party for the 12th double in the club's history was greeted by glorious sunshine in the Bavarian state capital but marred a little by the farewell of three longstanding Bayern pros. "It's especially difficult when a part of the family breaks away," said Uli Hoeneß, but "of course it's a nice thing for the three to say goodbye with a huge success like this."
Ribéry moved to tears
Franck Ribéry, the longest-serving Bayern pro boasting 24 titles, the most of all players, was the first to address the fans: "It's been a great 12 years together. We've won everything together. It'll remain forever," said the Frenchman, moved to tears. Arjen Robben soon had a personal message for the fans: "Mia san Mia -- and I'll always be one of you."
But then then the focus was on the double party again. Moderator Stephan Lehmann announced each player to collect their accolades from the fans. Thomas Müller sang a personal serenade, whereas Manuel Neuer struck up "Double winners, double winners, hey, hey" together with the fans.
The title applies to Niko Kovac in two ways. "16 years ago we stood here too, but in another role," the 47-year-old declared, spurred on by "Niko, Niko" chants. Kovac celebrated the double as a Bayern player in 2003, "16 years later we can celebrate the double as coaches," said Kovac, who is the only man in German football to have achieved this. But the coach knows the success would have been impossible without the fans' support: "You've always supported us. We wouldn't have achieved it without you."
Bayern's second living room
Dieter Reiter also acknowledged the Bayern fans at Marienplatz: "The atmosphere is superb, as always when Bayern clinch the championship title," said the Mayor of Munich, who revealed he was mocked by his Dortmund counterpart during the season. Rivals Borussia Dortmund were leaders for a long time. The avowed Bayern fan was all the more pleased the German record champions turned the tide and celebrated on the Town hall balcony.
Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called the place where Bayern celebrated silverware for the seventh year in a row "Munich's prettiest balcony" and "FC Bayern's second living room." Bayern aim to celebrate more triumphs in the future, as Hasan Salihamidzic announced: "I'd like to greet Dortmund and Mr Watzke in particular. 12,000 to 15,000 fans are here today. The fans have given us an incredible party. More fans will come here next year."