Munich - There were standing ovations all round at the Allianz Arena on Saturday afternoon as FC Bayern München’s six 2014 FIFA World Cup winners along with marquee summer signing and the rest of the squad stepped out in front of a heady 65,500 fans for the club's official season-opening ceremony.
“It was mad, crazy, just sheer madness,” said club captain Philipp Lahm. “It's amazing what a reception we received. We just hope that we can make them just as happy over the coming weeks and months - and make sure that there’ll be another few trophies on this table this time next year.” This was pointed out while gesturing at the Bundesliga
, the DFB Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and the UEFA Supercup on their respective podiums. However, at a club like Bayern, there is only minimal time to dwell on last season's successes.
won four of the six trophies for which they competed last season, but along with the UEFA Champions League, the
eluded them, as they lost 4-2 to Borussia Dortmund. The last time they got their hands on the famous trophy was 2012 – a veritable drought for the trophy-hungry Bavarians, and so the fans’ focus was not only on their returning heroes, but on Wednesday’s re-run of last season's encounter in Dortmund, and the chance to win a first trophy of 2014/15. Executive board chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, preferred to allow Pep Guardiola to focus on preparations, and dominated the media spectacle by discussing the return of Lahm, Mario Götze, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Müller, Jerome Boateng and Manuel Neuer. “Everyone at Bayern can be very proud of what they’ve achieved,” he claimed, before going on to highlight that, just like their
of the USA, it was a thrill for fans to see their very own World Cup winners up close and personal.
'Ready to give it all we've got'
Those legends for club and country, after their rapturous presentation, went on to complete 70 minutes of open training for the fans, where there was plenty of focus on the fresh competition for Manuel Neuer,
, in the shape of new signing
. Rummenigge, again, couldn’t be drawn on the Supercup preparations, but intoned that “we have an excellent, experienced coach, and have every confidence that we’ll turn in another outstanding season”. World Cup hero Götze echoed Rummenige’s thoughts. “We’ve had long enough on holiday now,” he said, clearly itching to be back in action. “It’s shaping up to be a fascinating season.” Müller, his colleague in attacking midfield went even further claiming that, “we’re here again, and ready to give it all we’ve got”.
That wasn't to be the end of season-opening festivities though, as fans in attendance were also treated to seeing their former heroes compete in a FC Bayern AllStars clash with Manchester United legends, the proceeds of which were donated to an Allianz-backed charity. Paul Scholes captained the visiting side, which included Denis Irwin, Phil Neville, Ronny Johnsen, Jesper Blomqvist, Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke, all members of the Red Devils side that triumphed in the infamous 1999 UEFA Champions League final. However, this time round the encounter ended in a 3-3 draw, as Giovane Elber, Paulo Sergio and Alexander Zickler found the net for the hosts, giving their fans plenty to cheer about at the end of an unforgettable day out at the Allianz Arena.