Bayern Munich greats Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben bowed out on a high as the club won the DFB-Pokal for a ninth domestic double in 19 years by beating RB Leipzig 3-0.
The pair, both late substitutes, played little part in the actual result which owed everything to two goals from Robert Lewandowski either side of Kingsley Coman’s individual effort.
Lewandowski, the competition’s highest scorer this season with seven, also took his individual tally in German Cup finals to seven as Bayern won it for the 19th time in their history.
Leipzig never looked like securing their first major trophy once their dominance of the opening 15 minutes ended.
Manuel Neuer, back in the side after six weeks out with a calf problem, was the first goalkeeper to be tested when he tipped Yussuf Poulsen’s powerful header on to the underside of the crossbar in the 11th minute.
But Bayern struck with their first shot on target in the 29th minute, with Lewandowski superbly converting a twisting, stooping header when David Alaba’s cross arrived slightly behind him.
Ibrahima Konate then headed off the line after Coman had rounded goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi having sprinted on to Mat Hummels’ defence-splitting through-ball, although an offside flag went up rather late.
Lewandowski should have doubled the lead on the stroke of half-time but was too slow to react and the ball hit his body after being fired in and Gulacsi blocked.
Minutes into the second half Neuer raced to the edge of the area to save a one-on-one with Emil Forsberg while Hummels’ drive forced Gulacsi to dive low to his right.
Lewandowski directed a looping header wide before Robben was introduced for his farewell appearance after a decade at the club.
With 12 minutes remaining Coman’s clever piece of control set him up for the second goal and Lewandowski scored his second late on, allowing Bayern fans to also bid farewell to substitute Ribery, who is ending his 12-year association with Bayern.
Departing Bayern Munich legend Arjen Robben explained that politics at Real Madrid forced him to leave the club and join the German giants.
It was believed that the growth of superstar Cristiano Ronaldo led to Robben getting phased phasing out of the team but the Dutchman pointed out that there were more contributing factors.
“It became difficult for me because of the change of president at Real,” Robben told Goal and SPOX.
“I actually felt very comfortable there and played very well, but when politics come into play and you do not get a real chance, you have to make a decision whether you want to keep fighting or to go and continue your career elsewhere.
“It was not just Ronaldo. Perez returned as the club’s president. He then bought Ronaldo, but also Kaka, [Karim] Benzema and Xabi Alonso.
“Real spent so much money and we were told that they needed to make a bit of money back on outgoing transfers.
“For me it was a shame, because I had a very good relationship with the former coach Manuel Pellegrini. In addition, I had perhaps the best pre-season of my career.”
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.”
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.”