Here is the third commentary he contributed to Spiegel Online. I am assuming that it was written on June 3rd but published today, on June 4th. This feels sort of sad because it really means that this season is over. It means closing one chapter and opening another one, but for me, it has been a wonderful year of football. I want to hold on to it for a little longer.
Surely, there have to be greater and bigger things to come, aren’t there? I am going to remain skeptical about Guardiola’s talent, but I have to admit I like Lahm’s positive outlook.
Bayern has played the most successful season in the club’s history; Philipp Lahm lifted a trophy up in the air three times. In the guest-contribution, Bayern’s captain looks back at the remarkable treble and paints his picture of the future under the new coach, Pep Guardiola.
Guardiola Can Make This Team Even Better
By Philipp Lahm
Everything still feels unreal: the record season, the Champions League victory and now the DFB-Cup. Three weeks, three titles. The treble. Our team wrote the football history, and now the bitter defeats of the previous season can finally be recorded as the necessary steps to this historical success.
Even today I’m grinning at the thought of yesterday’s celebration on the city hall’s balcony. A keyword reaches the microphone, and a chorus of thousands of fans answer you. It truly gives you goosebumps. There are simply no words for the joy that you feel at that moment.
This season has been a special one for FC Bayern, coming to a sensational end in Berlin. Berlin is always a very nice experience. It is a special view when one half of the Olympiastadion is filled with the colors of your own club. This year the atmosphere was unique. Before the winter pause, the DFB-Cup doesn’t really matter at that point, it’s just there, going along.
At first, only the Bundesliga counts and the matches of the Champions League before the winter break. Especially in the first rounds, to be honest, it’s usually less about the sporting challenge. As a football player, one is happier about it if the journey to an away game is not that far. You come back home in the evening and don’t have to stay somewhere else. Especially in the season, in which you play in all the three competitions, you can’t underestimate the value of spending time at home.
Only in February the Cup suddenly becomes important because there are only two games till the final. Because the title becomes a reality. And because then one will most likely take on an opponent from the Bundesliga, this season directly on the biggest rival: Borussia Dortmund.
Prior to this quarterfinal, there would be, of course, a lot written about the 2:5 [loss] in the last final, about which each one of us also remembers “the best”. That was a tremendous stimulus. But we wanted to win the duel for yet another reason. We knew: if we get Dortmund out of the way, we have the best chance to win the title. It was, as it had been often written, the early final.
Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller
No one wanted to surrender the actual final match on Saturday, and I think that this particular season has come to a worthy conclusion with the final appearance and the 3:2 against VfB. The fact that Mario Gomez was in the starting line-up in the Cup Final, scoring two goals, embodies the current FC Bayern. Symbolic for this season.
I have been often asked how it should continue after a possible treble, the biggest possible success. And what it means for our new coach, Pep Guardiola. What can he still give us?
My counter-question is: what’s the biggest possible success? I can reassure all Bayern fans that for us, this is not a season in which we won the treble. We’ll also be hungry [for the titles] next season. Now we want to imitate the team of Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Müller. In 1975, after the first international success, there was also a change of coaches, from Udo Lattek to Dettmar Cramer, and the team was able to defend the title twice.
With Pep Guardiola, we have a chance of playing for the Champions League title once again. He has won it twice with Barcelona. I’m really looking forward to the upcoming years with him as a coach. I am convinced that he can make the team even better. And he can shape an era, as he’s already accomplished it with Barcelona. In the past four years, we’ve played in the Champions League Final three times; that shows something.
Not much will change in our way of playing, the system is now in place. Whether we play with a centre forward or a false 9, that doesn’t make much of a difference. The club has focused on this game philosophy, in terms of the transfer policy as well. Everything fits.
Spain of the Last Five Years
Thus, altogether I’m very, very optimistic about the future. We’ll also try to stay at the European top in the coming years. Now we are the team to beat. An outstanding coach is coming to us, whose reputation shows that he works well with the players.
Our goal must be to become Spain of the last five years, in that [we need to] sustain the current level, to further improve individually and try to dominate the Bundesliga, as well as the European football, from year to year.
The road isn’t going to be easy, but in the challenge lies the excitement. The bigger it is, the nicer it is when in the end one accomplishes all the goals. FC Bayern has the prerequisites and the potential to reach this level of authority in the European football.
(© translation unavis , and a big thanks to Lana. It is forbidden to use this translation, in part or in its entirety, without my permission.)