Lars Bender had a superb football career.
The German midfielder started his football career at 1860 Munich before moving to Bayer Leverkusen in 2009.
Bender went on to become a legend at The Company’s Eleven.
The tough-tackling midfielder midfielder featured 342 times for the club over a 12-year spell, scoring 27 times.
Unfortunately, the last few years of Bender’s career were riddled with injury and he called time on his career last year at the age of just 32 years old.
Bender spent the back end of his last season as a footballer on the treatment table.
But he was determined to have one last hurrah and he was on the bench for Leverkusen’s final game of the season against Borussia Dortmund.
Leverkusen were trailing 3-0 when Bender entered the fray in the 89th minute, replacing his identical twin brother, Sven, who was also making his last ever appearance in professional football.
Leverkusen were given a penalty and Bender was given the opportunity to score a goal for the final time.
And Roman Burki, Dortmund’s goalkeeper, was not going to stop that from happening. What happened next was just brilliant and you can view it again below…
In Lars Bender's final game of his career, he came off the bench to take a last minute penalty.
Once Roman Burki saw who was taking it, he stepped aside and let Bender score before celebrating with him ❤️ pic.twitter.com/PNZBAtleyT— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) May 24, 2021
Bender’s penalty could easily have been saved by Burki but he stood in the middle of his goal and watched it fly past him.
The Swiss goalkeeper then congratulated Bender in what was a truly beautiful moment and one he will never forget.
It will always be a great example of why football is known as ‘the beautiful game’. Huge respect to Burki for his outstanding fair play.
It was a special send off and the perfect way for Bender’s professional football career to come to an end.