Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION
Munich awash in victory beer
Team, supporters celebrate 23rd German title
MUNICH, Germany -- Tens of thousands of Bayern Munich fans lined the city streets on Saturday to celebrate their side's 23rd German championship.
Bayern, which wrapped up the title with six games to spare on April 6, was presented with the Bundesliga trophy after beating Augsburg 3-0, prompting scenes of jubilation marked by confetti, loud music and traditional wheat-beer showers.
Jupp Heynckes has been widely credited with masterminding Bayern's record-setting season -- no side has been as dominant in 50 years of the Bundesliga -- and his players took turns to douse the 68-year-old coach with beer.
"Normally you need nimble legs and I don't have them anymore," Heynckes said. "If you try (to escape) and you're not well trained you can pull a hamstring and I didn't want that. So I put up with the beer showers."
Players, coaches and training staff then made their way through the city centre to the famed Marienplatz, where the trophy was presented to fans from the town hall balcony, according to the traditional title celebrations.
"It's clear to me from your enthusiasm that you're famished, that it feels like it's 10 years since you were here," Heynckes told supporters. "We will do everything we can to achieve what we're all dreaming of."
Bayern faces Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League final at Wembley on May 25, and Stuttgart in the German Cup final in Berlin a week later.
It will be Heynckes' last game in charge, with former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola taking over for next season.
Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said the players would not go too wild with the celebrations considering the titles still to be won.
"I'm giving it full gas (but) the team will celebrate with the handbrake on," Rummenigge said.
For now, the club is happy to reclaim the trophy it last won in 2011.
"We had a drought for two years," Bayern captain Philipp Lahm said. "But now we're back where we belong -- right at the top of the Bundesliga."
-- The Associated Press
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