Saturday marked the end of an era as Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso played their final professional matches.
The Bayern Munich pair both received a rapturous reception before the Bavarians’ season finale at home to Freiburg.
The Allianz Arena rose to its feet to celebrate the careers of two football heroes. Lahm collected 22 major trophies in his career, while Alonso won titles in Spain and Germany and the Champions League for two different clubs.
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Football could do with more players like Lahm and Alonso. Dependable, loyal and incredibly hard-working, both will be sorely missed.
At least both went out on a high. Bayern have now won five Bundesliga titles in a row, their dominance confirmed with a 4-1 win over Freiburg.
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Alonso took just four minutes to record an assist, finding Arjen Robben on the right and watching as the Dutchman cut inside and curled an effort home.
Arturo Vidal doubled Bayern’s lead in the second half and two late goals from Franck Ribery and Joshua Kimmich completed a comfortable win.
Lahm's emotional farewell
Carlo Ancelotti allowed Lahm and Alonso to receive standing ovations by substituting both off before full-time.
The scene as Lahm left the field for the final time was brilliant. He have his captain’s armband to Thomas Muller before being congratulated by all of his teammates.
The 33-year-old then waved goodbye to the crowd and hugged Ancelotti. It was a lovely moment.
Check it out below.
Video: Lahm is subbed off in final ever match
Watch: Lahm lifts the trophy
Then, the moment fans were waiting for. Lahm lifting the Bundesliga trophy for the eighth and final time.
Lahm doesn't want to go into coaching
The former Germany international comes across as someone who would make a fine coach. Indeed, Pep Guardiola called him the “most intelligent player I have ever trained in my career” in 2013.
So it might come as something of a surprise to learn that Lahm has no intentions to go into coaching.
"I don't know what'll happen in 10 years but at the moment I can't imagine that I'll ever want to be a coach,” he told Bayern’s official website.
“Standing on the pitch every day and going through the tiny details of the game -- I don't think that's for me.
"I retired from the national team with the feeling that it was the right time to call it a day after the tournament. And it's the same now.
“I’ll have to see how my life pans out and what happens from week to week. First of all I'll go on holiday with my family and just live for the moment.''
What are your best memories of Lahm? Let us know in the comments section below!
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