Munich welcome home defeated Bayern team

Bayern Munich's players were given a hero's welcome when they returned to the Bavarian city yesterday to parade the two trophies they have won this season.

Although the Champions League title could not be added to the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal crowns, the atmosphere remained one of jubilation, particularly when Franck Ribery took to the microphone.

The Frenchman signed a new five-year contact with the club just prior to the Champions League final and he told the fans yesterday that he had done it just for them.

"I love all the Bayern Munich fans," he said, giving a speech entirely in German for the first time since he joined the club two years ago.

"I am staying here because of the feeling the fans give me when they call my name when I am on the field.

"I think we had a fantastic season. We lost yesterday, but who cares!

"I am staying five more years."

Coach Louis van Gaal also praised the fans for turning out in their numbers, despite the defeat to Inter Milan in the Champions League final.

"This is incredible!" he said. "Our fans are the best in the world.

"There are so many fans here after losing a cup final, and they aren't disappointed. They are mentally stronger than I am."

Van Gaal believes Bayern can go one better next year.

"We have another chance next season," he said. "In fact, we don't only have a chance - with fans like these and with these players, we could even do it."

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