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Makaay: 'Saying goodbye has been very hard'

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Makaay: 'Saying goodbye has been very hard'

Postby FCBayernNews » Fri Aug 17, 2007 1:54 am

16.08.2007

At a quarter to six on a warm Wednesday evening, Roy Makaay took to the Allianz Arena turf one last time, the same pitch where he scored so many goals and celebrated so many victories with Germany's most successful club. The 32-year-old accepted the microphone, ready to deliver a farewell address to the crowd, but the 69,000 erupted in a cacophony of noise and prevented the Dutch ace from speaking. The applause only ebbed a little after the third or fourth "thank you!" from the player.

"I'd like to thank the board for allowing me to play here at one of the best clubs in the world for four full years,“ Makaay declared in a distinctly quivering voice. The man who was cold steel personified in front of goal finally allowed his emotions free rein. "My family and I had four fantastic years in Munich. Saying goodbye has been very hard, but I'm also delighted to be going back to my home country after ten years abroad,“ he told a by now hushed south terrace.

<b>Second only to Müller</b>

Makaay arrived from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer of 2003 for the then record transfer fee of €19 million. His total of 78 goals in 129 Bundesliga appearances, an average of 0,6 goals per game, makes him the second most deadly goal-getter in the history of the club after the legendary Gerd Müller (0.85). Roy's goals helped Bayern to back-to-back doubles in 2005 and 2006.

His open and honest manner made him a true crowd favourite. "He was an extremely important player for Bayern Munich, and always an exemplary character on and off the field," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in praise. Makaay occasionally seemed not to be on the field for 89 minutes, before striking a winner with his first intervention of note, earning him the nickname 'The Phantom' from the German press.

<b>Roy hopes Bayern win trophies</b>

After Bayern signed top strike duo Luca Toni and Miroslav Klose in the summer, Makaay elected to pursue a new challenge back in his home country with Rotterdam giants Feyenoord. "I wish you and the club the success you richly deserve, and a few more trophies to savour very soon," the Dutchman concluded, before setting off on a lap of honour, a bunch of flowers clutched in his right hand.

Roy Makaay stepped off the Allianz Arena pitch at five to six, making his way high up into the VIP stand to join his wife, his two children, his parents, his parents-in-law and a clutch of friends. He took his seat and watched his former team-mates pit their wits against the might of Barcelona, the first time Makaay has watched a match at the Allianz Arena from the stands.
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