Bayern Munich′s Mehmet Scholl Plays Farewell Match | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 15.08.2007
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Sports

Bayern Munich's Mehmet Scholl Plays Farewell Match

Mehmet Scholl, one of Bayern Munich's most loyal soccer players and a gifted midfielder, whose career was hampered by injuries, will play his last match Wednesday. A future in bowling might be next.

Scholl cheering after scoring a goal

Will Scholl get to score in his final game?

Scholl will hang up his cleats Wednesday night when his official farewell match with Bayern Munich against Barcelona is over.

Mehmet Scholl

Mehmet Scholl is the son of a Turkish father and a German mother, who later remarried

From then on, he will go to indie-rock concerts and possibly pursue a career in bowling -- a sport often associated with pot-bellied men drinking beer.

Players past their prime could have also featured in his farewell match -- had "Scholli" chosen to invite former teammates and friends. But that does not suit the 36-year-old, who won an unprecedented eight Bundesliga titles with Munich along with five German cups, the Champions League, the Intercontinental Cup and the UEFA Cup.

"I want to present the fans a serious game, not one between former soccer greats," he said, adding that he looked forward to playing one last time against the likes of Ronaldinho, Thierry Henry.

Gifted, but nursing on the bench

Bayern players empty a bucket of water on Scholl's head

Scholl might get another cold shower on Wednesday

Scholl, who made his Bundesliga debut in 1990 at SC Karlsruhe before playing 15 years in Munich, was one of Germany's most gifted midfielders.

But a series of injuries prevented his career from really taking off, especially at national team level. Scholl never played at the World Cup, his biggest success in 36 caps being the Euro 1996 title.

Never a team leader, Scholl nonetheless always found his place beside the likes of Stefan Effenberg, Lothar Matthäus and Oliver Kahn at Germany's top club.

Funny guy

Munich general manager Uli Hoeness, who regularly renewed Scholl's contract by one year, said that Scholl "represented the fun side of soccer" throughout his career.

Scholl once famously said that he was afraid "of war and Oliver Kahn."

Oliver Kahn

Is Oliver Kahn really that scary?

Kahn and Scholl are a world apart in almost every aspect in life.

They won't even be discussing playlists on Wednesday, with Scholl calling the likes of German indie-rockers Sportfreunde Stiller his friends and selecting songs for popular compilation albums.

Canadian band Hidden Cameras will provide the music on Wednesday in the Allianz Arena and later in the evening at the farewell party.

From then on, Scholl said he plans to leave the scheduled soccer life of training sessions and travel behind.

"I will go to concerts, spend time with friends, do whatever I feel like doing," he said.

The next dream sport

An older man at bowling

Will Scholl join the ranks of elderly bowlers?

Hoeness once hinted at a future for Scholl in Munich's youth sector, but nothing has been finalized. Scholl is reportedly seriously considering playing in the club's bowling team.

"Believe me, it is a dream sport," he once told the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily.

Scholl named as his biggest achievement "to have played football for 15 years around this circus (in Munich) and not been eaten up in this shark's pool.

"The biggest farewell gift is that the fans love me the way I am, that they respect me, the fans of other teams as well," he said. "That makes me very happy."

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