Football said goodbye to two legends today: Philipp Lahm and Xabi Alonso.
The Bayern Munich pair played their final matches this afternoon, both calling time on remarkable careers.
Lahm and Alonso made 1,578 appearances combined, winning nine league titles, four Champions Leagues and two World Cups. The feeling that comes with losing wasn’t felt very often.
It ended in the perfect way, too, with Lahm lifting the Bundesliga trophy after Bayern cruised to a fifth straight title.
The league was sealed weeks ago but confirmation came with a 4-1 win over Freiburg. Arjen Robben, Arturo Vidal, Franck Ribery and Joshua Kimmich scored the goals, and the Allianz Arena was delighted to see Alonso record an assist, too.
Both Lahm and Alonso will be sorely missed. You knew what you’d get with both players - 100 percent commitment and hard work - and both were incredibly dependable.
The scene as both departed the field on Saturday was truly emotional. Carlo Ancelotti subbed Alonso off first, in the 82nd minute, and waited five minutes to then sub Lahm off.
Both received high-fives from the entire team and a standing ovation from the Bayern supporters. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.
Alonso joined in with Lahm as the full-back hoisted the trophy together. And the celebrations continued with the on-field beer showers.
The celebrations will no doubt continue long into the night. Here’s hoping that Alonso and Lahm, who will never have to worry about getting into match shape again, go absolutely mental.
Lahm, 33, posted a brilliant tweet after the match, thanking Bayern Munich’s supporters for an “amazing experience”.
Check it out below.
Lahm wrote: “There are no words to describe this afternoon... Thank you for this amazing experience, FC Bayern fans. #MiaSanMia.”
Lahm revealed what he'll miss
The World Cup winner revealed that he will miss the camaraderie that comes with being part of a team.
“One thing I’ll definitely miss is being in a group every day,” he said, per Bayern’s website. “There’s a unique atmosphere and language in a dressing room.
“I’ll miss the staff, the whole team. I’ve been used to being in a team since I was five years old so that’s definitely something I’ll miss. And the banter in the dressing room. I’ve always enjoyed that.”
Farewell, Philipp. It’s been fun.