Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery salute their final moment at Bayern Munich

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Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben

Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben felt mixed emotions as they signed off their glittering Bayern Munich careers by winning a seventh successive Bundesliga title.

The duo came off the bench in the second half and put an exclamation mark on a 5-1 final-day thrashing of Eintracht Frankfurt at the Allianz Arena, with Ribery netting the fourth in the 72nd minute and Robben the last six minutes later.

After 12 years with Bayern, Ribery said: “My whole family, my children, my wife, my parents, my wife’s parents and my cousins came from France for this special moment.

“It was hard, but the main thing today is that we are champions.

“This is my last big moment here in the Allianz Arena with my colleagues and the fans. I was not only here two to three years, I was here 12 years at Bayern. What we did is just amazing.”

Robben, a 10-year veteran who had spent over four months on the sidelines through injury before finally returning earlier this month, said: “After such a game many, many emotions pass through your whole body, which you cannot describe in words. That’s something you just have to experience.

“But the best part for me is that many of the guys I played with in my time with Bayern were here today. I fought for five months to come back, and today was just the reward for it.”

After Kingsley Coman scored inside four minutes Bayern were given a minor scare when Sebastien Haller levelled five minutes after the break.

The response, though, was emphatic as David Alaba restored Bayern’s lead in the 53rd minute, with Renato Sanches making it 3-1 five minutes later prior to Ribery and Robben wrapping up the win and the title.

Proud coach Niko Kovac said: “Thanks to my team and our fans, we did a great job. We have achieved something incredible.

“We were nine points behind (runner-up Borussia Dortmund) in the fall – congratulations to my boys. I’m totally happy, but also drained.”

Robert Lewandowski, who clinched a fourth top-scorer trophy despite not adding to his 22 goals for the season, admitted to feeling emotional for Ribery and Robben.

“Before the match I saw the families of Arjen and Franck, I have to say, I nearly cried,” said Lewandowski.

The Poland striker added: “That was an endgame for us. We knew that today we not only had to win but to show who is the German champion.

“We played really well, had fun and scored a lot of goals. Even if the season was not so easy, we deserve to be German champion.”

Bayern Munich stars celebrate

Bayern Munich stars celebrate

Eintracht Frankfurt coach Adi Hutter naturally offered his “congratulations” to Bayern but was proud of his players given the season they have enjoyed.

Hutter said: “My players are completely squeezed like a lemon. That was game number 50 at a high level.

“We have finished seventh, reached the Europa League semi-final, had great nights.

“Many players have developed, so you can balance very, very positively this year. In my view, an absolutely positive conclusion. I’m very proud.”

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Bayern Munich set for revolution as their golden era comes to an end

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Franck Ribery and Niko Kovac

Bayern Munich’s seventh successive Bundesliga title win on Saturday marked both the end of a golden era and the dawning of a new age.

The 2019 title crowned what has been a glistening decade of success for Bayern, as iconic players such as Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben picked up yet another gong in their final season at the club.

Yet it also heralded the emergence of a new generation under coach Niko Kovac, with the likes of Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry establishing themselves as first team regulars.

As they look ahead to next season, Bayern are not only on the verge of a generational shift, but also of what club president Uli Hoeness has called “the biggest investment programme in our history”.

Bayern have already completed the signings of World Cup winning French defenders Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez for €35 million euros and a club record €80 million respectively.

RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, Ajax defender Matthijs De Ligt and Schalke goalkeeper Alexander Nuebel have all also been linked to the club in recent months.

Though Hoeness said on Saturday that Bayern would not break any more transfer records, they are expected to make several more signings, with CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge setting his sights on a new winger.

“Because we are losing Robben and Ribery, we need another good alternative alongside (18-year-old Canadian) Alphonso Davies,” Rummenigge told Bild newspaper last month.

That alternative could be Chelsea talent Callum Hudson-Odoi, for whom Bayern made an unsuccessful bid last January.

The first choice successors to Ribery and Robben, however, will be 22-year-old Kingsley Coman and 23-year-old Serge Gnabry, whom Hoeness has described as “the biggest surprise of the season”.

Kovac divides opinion

Other stars of Bayern’s golden decade have also seen young players emerging behind them this season.

Niklas Sule, 23, has muscled past Mats Hummels and Jerome Boateng to become first choice centre-back, while Thomas Muller has faced competition from newcomer Leon Goretzka.

In a recent interview with Munich newspaper TZ, president Hoeness said the young players’ success was proof that Bayern had begun their overhaul at just the right time.

“We have gone through a transition at the highest level. We already have five or six young guys in the team and we will add a few more,” he said.

Leon Goretzka

Leon Goretzka

How much the successful transition is down to coach Niko Kovac, however, remains a bitterly divisive question at Bayern.

Despite winning a gruelling title race in his first season at the club, it remains to be seen whether the Croatian will be the man who leads Bayern into the new era.

Hoeness has repeatedly backed Kovac, while CEO Rummenigge has remained sceptical, telling Sky TV that “nobody has a job guarantee at Bayern”.

The coach has been unable to shake off reports that senior players are disgruntled with his leadership.

He was defiant on Saturday, saying he was “convinced” that he would see out the remaining two years of his contract.

“I talk to my bosses, and you get a feeling for the direction things are going in. I think I have interpreted them correctly,” he said on Saturday.

Whether Kovac stays or not, the winds of change are blowing through Munich, with departures also looming at boardroom level.

Rummenigge is set to be succeeded by former Bayern captain Oliver Kahn in 2021, while Hoeness recently told the club magazine that the day when he gives up the presidency is “not far off”.

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How Bayern Munich legends Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben signed off from Bundesliga in style

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Robben and Ribery made their final appearances at the Allianz Arena.

Bayern Munich had a perfect day in the final Bundesliga game of the season, as they wrapped up a seventh straight league title and in the process, allowed two club legends to sign off on their time in the German league in style.

Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben both came off the bench to score the last goals of the league campaign for the German champions, who edged Borussia Dortmund to the title by beating Eintracht Frankfurt 5-1. Both are set to leave the club after the season-ending DFB-Pokal final next Sunday, and they couldn’t have dreamed of better finishes to their time in the famous red shirt.

Here’s a look at how the ‘Robbery’ duo performed in FC Hollywood’s title-clinching win.

KEY STATS

ROBBEN

Goals – 1

Assists – 0

Shots – 4

Shots on target – 3

Passing accuracy – 80%

Dribbles – 0

Chances Created – 0

Minutes – 24

RIBERY

Goals – 1

Assists – 0

Shots – 1

Shots on target – 1

Passing accuracy – 89%

Dribbles – 3

Chances Created – 1

Minutes – 30

30-SECOND REPORT

Both players started on the bench in a must-win game for Bayern, something that would have been unthinkable a couple of years ago. It’s a sign of the German champions’ quality that they could afford to make that particular call, as Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry have more than earned their elevation to first-choice status ahead of the veteran duo.

But once Coman and Gnabry had done their job, with the former scoring and the latter producing an all-action display that nearly included a goal as well as Bayern took a 3-1 lead, it was time to give Robben and Ribery their farewell. The Frenchman came on first, and scored a superb solo goal, producing a typically mazy run and clever finish to make it 4-1 before Robben came on and scored a fifth to add to the party atmosphere at the Allianz Arena. A fitting send-off for both.

GOT RIGHT

Robben

Robben’s movement was perfect, not just for his goal in which he got himself into position for a tap-in. There was a late free-kick in which, despite the entire Frankfurt defence knowing Bayern would try to work the ball to the Dutchman. Robben was able to find some space and fire off a shot, though it was charged down.

Ribery

Ribery came on as a second-half substitute and finished with the joint-most dribbles of any player on the pitch. A vintage performance from the Frenchman, whose silky skills were on display for his goal – the dink at the end of a brilliant solo run was sublime.

GOT WRONG

It’s hard to say either got anything wrong. Robben could have had his second goal with a better finish, his shot hitting the trailing leg of Kevin Trapp. And perhaps he could have attempted one final trademark move, but there was no sign of a classic cut in from the right and shoot move. Apart from that it was a perfect day for him and his colleague – even nitpicking wouldn’t be enough to find a flaw in Ribery’s display.

VERDICT

What a way to sign off for both Bayern legends. There is a DFB-Pokal final to look forward to, of course, but this was the duo’s final home appearance at the club where they will be most remembered, and last in the league where they’ve etched their names into history. Robben no doubt would have loved to finish on a century of Bundesliga goals, but that particular magical moment didn’t come, despite his best attempts.

Still, a goal for both, and for Ribery a ninth German league title – most by any player in Bundesliga history. The line “who writes your scripts” comes to mind after a fairytale ending for this famous duo, who came on to give one final vintage Robbery performance in front of their home fans.

RATING:

Robben – 7/10

Ribery – 8/10

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