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Van Gaal praises players for Bundesliga title win


* Rummenigge plots Ribery’s stay
BAYERN Munich’s coach Louis van Gaal insisted that his players deserved all the credit for winning the Bundesliga title in his first year in charge.

A 3-1 win at Hertha Berlin at the weekend ensured that Bayern ended the season with a five-point advantage over second-placed Schalke and Van Gaal, who was not spared the obligatory shower of beer after the final whistle in the Olympiastadion, praised his team.

“Every title is obviously incredible, especially when it happens in your first year, and to be the first Dutch coach to win the Bundesliga makes me proud, but I have not done it alone – I have a great team,” he said.

“The players believed in me from the very beginning and we always believed that we would do it together, and this is the result.”

And as Bayern’s Chairman, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, revealed on Sport1 television yesterday that Van Gaal proved he was not kidding when he said he was a “party animal” recently. Rummenigge reported: “I was leaving the party at 4a.m and Louis wanted to take the players to a nightclub then.”

The Bayern players were given the day off training yesterday, but took part in a procession from the club’s training ground to the city centre, where they showed off their silverware from the balcony of the town hall.

However, they will be back to work today as they look to complete part two of what could be an historic treble. They face Werder Bremen in the final of the DFB-Pokal next week before going to Madrid for the final of the Champions League against Inter Milan a week later.

Meanwhile, Rummenigge is confident that Franck Ribery will agree to extend his contract with the German champions. Ribery still has a year left to run on his current deal at the Allianz Arena but if he does not sign an extension, the club may feel compelled to sell rather than lose him on a free next summer.

Rummenigge is due to begin negotiations with the French international in the coming days and is optimistic that an agreement will be reached. Rummenigge told Sport1 television: “I would stick my neck out and say that Ribery will not only be playing for Bayern Munich next year, but also beyond.

“I am quite optimistic. We have good chances as we head into negotiations.”

Reaching the finals of both the Champions League and DFB-Pokal has boosted Bayern’s hopes of keeping hold of the 27-year-old, who joined the club for 25 million euros in 2007.

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