You never go so completely. Many a fan had tears in their eyes.
Leverkusen, Saturday evening at 7.28 p.m.: Less than two hours after the final whistle of the last game of the season in Dortmund (1: 3), between 100 and 150 supporters received the team bus at the BayArena. The fans had come to say goodbye to the twins Lars and Sven Bender (32) once again.
There were fireworks and chants for the Bender brothers, who are now going into “football retirement”. Lars Bender, the long-time captain, had been named honorary captain by the club. There was now an honorary captain’s armband from the fan umbrella organization “NK12”. There were also other gifts such as beer and fan articles. The Ultras had hung their banner from the Union game with the inscription “Thank you Lars” on the fence by the parking lot.
Both players sent emotional farewell words to the fans. Among other things, Sven Bender, who followed his brother from Dortmund to Leverkusen in 2017, said: “I have grown fond of the club and fans.”
The fact that Lars Bender did a lightning attack after his meniscus operation and seconds later was also allowed to convert the foul penalty to 1: 3, was a moving farewell after twelve years under the Bayer cross. It was his 27th goal in a 342 competitive game for Bayer.
He now wants to “first take a break, sit back and drink a couple of decent wheat beers,” said Lars Bender, who came to Bayer from 1860 in 2009, after the game at Sky. “We deserve it and there are many People who are waiting to toast with us. “
You will miss the Benders very much in Leverkusen. Replacing them – athletically as well as personally – will now be the great task of the club leadership …