Bayern Munich wins record 7th straight Bundesliga title

Bayern Munich players celebrate with the trophy after winning the Bundesliga against Eintracht Frankfurt in Munich on Saturday. (Reuters)
Updated 18 May 2019

Bayern Munich wins record 7th straight Bundesliga title

  • Club bounces back to be crowned German champions for the 29th time in history
  • The fairytale farewell for club icons Robben and Ribery saw Bayern end an unusually tight title race two points ahead of rivals Borussia Dortmund

BERLIN: Franck Ribery hailed a “special” moment as he and Arjen Robben both scored in their final game at the Allianz Arena on Saturday to wrap up a 5-1 win over Eintracht Frankfurt and a seventh successive Bundesliga title.

“It was a special moment, but also a difficult one,” Ribery told Sky. “These were my last moments at the Allianz Arena, with the fans and with my team, after being here for 12 years ... There is a time for everything and you have to accept it.”

The fairytale farewell for club icons Robben and Ribery saw Bayern end an unusually tight title race two points ahead of rivals Borussia Dortmund, who beat Borussia Moenchengladbach 2-0.

“You couldn’t write a better finale than that,” said Bayern coach Niko Kovac.

Nine points behind Dortmund in December, Bayern lost just one game between January and May as they bounced back to be crowned German champions for the 29th time in their history.

Robben and Ribery, who will both leave the club at the end of the season, came off the bench against Frankfurt to score Bayern’s fourth and fifth goals and end Dortmund’s hopes of pulling off a final day miracle.




Franck Ribery holds his baby after the match.  (AFP)

Their departure marks the end of a glistening decade of success for Bayern, who are now set for a major squad overhaul ahead of next season, having already signed World Cup winners Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez.

Kingsley Coman gave Bayern a dream start, slotting home a Thomas Mueller through ball after just four minutes. There was brief hope for Dortmund as both they and Frankfurt scored either side of half-time.

After Gladbach dominated the first half, Jadon Sancho smashed in the opener for Dortmund, and Reus doubled the lead after the break.

In Munich, Sebastien Haller bundled in a shock equalizer at a corner just after the break, but Bayern responded furiously, and David Alaba restored the lead in a matter of minutes.

Dortmund’s hopes lay in tatters when Renato Sanches blasted the ball in from close range to score his first Bundesliga goal and put Bayern 3-1 up.

Ribery and Robben each came off the bench to standing ovations in the second half, and Ribery danced through the Frankfurt ranks to seal the title on 72 minutes, before Robben completed a fairytale afternoon with a 78th minute tap-in.

The defeats for Gladbach and Frankfurt saw Bayer Leverkusen sneak into the fourth Champions League spot behind RB Leipzig, as they won 5-1 away to Hertha Berlin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But the unprecedented achievement by football’s costliest squad comes against the backdrop of investigations into City’s compliance into football’s spending rules that could lead to the Abu Dhabi-owned team being banned from the Champions League.


Chinese badminton superstar Lin Dan retires

Updated 04 July 2020

Chinese badminton superstar Lin Dan retires

  • Lin Dan will not be competing in the next Olympics in Tokyo

BEIJING: China’s two-time Olympic champion Lin Dan, arguably the greatest badminton player of all time, announced his retirement on Saturday aged 36.

It means that Lin, who won gold at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Games, will not compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, which were pushed back to next summer because of coronavirus.

The end of Lin’s glorious career comes just over a year after the retirement of his great rival and friend, the Malaysian star Lee Chong Wei.

The duo reigned over the sport for more than a decade and have only relinquished that hold in recent years as their powers waned.

Lin, who had something of a “bad boy” reputation during his younger days and has several tattoos, ends with 666 singles wins and a glut of medals.

“My family, coaches, team-mates and fans have accompanied me through many peaks and difficult troughs,” he said in a post on China’s Twitter-like Weibo that quickly went viral.

“Every forceful jump was a desire for victory.

“I have dedicated everything to this sport I love.”

As well as the double Olympic golds, Lin was also a five-time world champion and a long-time former world number one.

Lin earned the nickname “Super Dan” at the peak of his career.

However, the left-hander’s career has tailed off in recent years as age and injuries took their toll.

He always said that he was determined to reach the Tokyo Olympics, but his ranking of 19 in the world and the postponement of the Games made that dream unlikely.

Lin had always maintained that he would try to make it a last Olympics hurrah in Tokyo in an unlikely bid for a third Olympic gold.

But he said on Saturday his body would not allow him to plow on.

“’Persevere’, I said to myself in every moment of suffering, so that my sporting career could be prolonged,” he wrote on Weibo.

“Rather than simply pursuing rankings as I did when I was younger, in these years, I have been wanting to challenge the physical limits of an ‘old’ athlete and practice the sporting spirit that I will never give up.

“(But) my physical abilities and pain no longer allow me to fight alongside my team-mates.”