Created on 19-05-2017 at 16:10 PM by Redaktion
A final blow of the whistle by Carlo Ancelotti brought to an end the last training session ahead of the season finale against Freiburg (Saturday at 15:30CEST, coverage available via our live ticker and web radio), the last session of the campaign and, above all, the last training session in the careers of Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso. To honour both of these great footballers, who will hang up their boots after this weekend, the FC Bayern staff at Säbener Straße gathered to form a guard of honour for the duo.
Together with Tom Starke and assistant coach Hermann Gerland, who will remain at the club in other roles, the retirees were applauded on their way back to the changing room. “It was a very emotional day,” Ancelotti said afterwards in his press conference. “I’m proud to have coached them, but I’m also a little sad because we’re losing two hugely important players.”
“Want to win”
Both players are though available to him on Saturday as the champions see out the season at home to Freiburg. Even with the title secured, the Italian still wants the retiring duo to leave with a gift. “It’s the final match for Lahm and Alonso, and we want to win it. We’re playing against a strong team still fighting for Europa League football,” the 57-year-old explained.
The team from southwestern Germany are currently sixth and would secure at least seventh place with a draw, which could be enough to secure Europa League qualification. It means Christian Streich’s side will be highly motivated for their trip to Munich. “We want to show why we are where we are,” stressed the coach, who is only without midfielder Onur Bulut for the game at the Allianz Arena.
Secure the Torjägerkanone, then celebrate
A win will still have significance for Bayern: Firstly, it would be the first campaign since 2007/08 that the record champions end a Bundesliga campaign unbeaten at home and would move FCB onto 82 points – the fourth-best total in the league’s history. There is also still the matter of Robert Lewandowski’s push to be the Bundesliga’s top scorer. The Pole is currently top of the pile with 30 goals, just one ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
“Lewandowski has had a fantastic season, and we’re all hoping he can finish as the top scorer,” said Ancelotti crossing his fingers for his striker. It would be another reason to celebrate before Lahm is handed the Bundesliga Meisterschale. And everyone has been looking forward to the trophy celebrations for some weeks now. Only Ancelotti has a few reservations.
“I have a problem because I can’t run – my knee is broken!” the coach grinned when asked about his inevitable Weißbierdusche. But his players need have no fears of repercussions if they do soak him. “Everything is allowed – I’m ready!”