Michael Hofmann, Torben Hoffmann and Timo Gebhart react to the announced career end of Lars and Sven Bender.
The ex-lions remember their will and their sacrifice most of all.
- With Lars and Sven Bender, two identifying figures leave professional football. Their story began in 2002 when they both came to TSV 1860 Munich at the age of 13. Within a few years they played their way into the hearts of Löwen fans with their down-to-earth manner and football passion. Highlights included, such as in 2008, when the now 32-year-old was just before the quarter-final cup sensation against FC Bayern. In the same year they celebrated the U19 European Championship wearing the national jersey. Two years earlier, in 1860, the Benders won the German B-Junior Championship. Timo Gebhart scored the 2-0 winner in the final against Dortmund. For the native of Memmingen, it was “only a matter of time” until the careers of the two would gain momentum: “Back then you could already seethat the two were destined for bigger things. ”The rest is known.
Michael Hofmann on the Bender twins: "They were rough diamonds"
Michael Hofmann will miss the “good and honest boys” in the Bundesliga. “These are humanly fine boys who can now look back on an outstanding time at the end of their careers. These are characters that you unfortunately don't find so often nowadays, ”emphasizes the legend of TSV 1860. Hofmann knows what he's talking about, he played with the brothers between 2005 and 2009. Even at a young age they stood out for him: “The Benders were extremely talented. Even then, they had a clear focus. Those were rough diamonds. "The Leo legend is pleased that he was able to help the twins at the beginning of their careers with" one or the other tip ":" I was always impressed that they did not forget me despite their world career. There is still a connection with the guys. That shows methat you came across as good in your daily work. "
From the 2006/07 season, the twins were more regular with the goalkeeper on the pitch.
In the following season, at only 18 years of age, the two were already part of the regular staff of the 1960s.
The play facilities and the mentality of the “Bender Twins” inspire the current goalkeeping coach from Türkgücü Munich.
“Both have good basic technique and a strong physique.
In addition, they show a team-oriented mileage and courage to go into all duel situations.
They always gave 100 percent and were very hard-working. ”Whether and how the two of them will aim for a career as a coach after leaving professional football is still in the stars.
But one thing is certain: they will give 100 percent for every activity.
Torben Hoffmann with an anecdote from 1860 times
Torben Hoffmann also stood side by side on the pitch with the two defensive specialists. In the five years up to her departure in 2009, the central defender often had Sven next to and Lars in front of him. As a result, the 46-year-old was one of the few who was able to give the twins the most: “They both always accepted advice and were eager to learn. They trained to their limits and at an early age they were very focused on what set them apart from one or the other. "
Today's “Sky” expert will never forget one experience: “In a meeting in 1860, the coach gave young Sven the role of head of defense. Immediately afterwards Sven came to me and said: 'Torben, you are the experienced and the head of defense. You still give the commands. That reflected how they are. "With this, Hoffmann describes the respectful and humble character that the Bender brothers developed and maintained at an early age:" I found it impressive that he gave that away at his age. That was a typical Bender action. "
Today's sports reporter Hoffmann was particularly impressed by absolute will: “They knew exactly what they wanted and clearly worked for it, which impressed me relatively early on. In the end, I wasn't surprised that they made such a development and such steps. Talent is one thing, but willingness is another. And that was clear to both of them right from the start. ”The only point where Torben Hoffmann is saddened is the“ medical record that runs like a red thread through their careers ”.
They have sacrificed themselves for success and in doing so endangered their health: “Both of them always went ahead.
Despite their numerous injuries, they kept going and not afraid.
Because the will to win has always been there. ”In recent years, they have increasingly felt the receipt for this, the logical consequence: end of career at the age of 32.
“When the Benders were on the pitch, the respective club was always better in terms of the points average.
And that actually speaks volumes, ”laughs Torben Hoffmann.
Timo Gebhart: "It's a good feeling to have the boys behind you"
Timo Gebhart is someone who, at the same age as the Bender brothers, played for the Lions between 2005 and 2009.
Gebhart, who is 15 days older, can “only tell good things” about the Benders.
“At that time you could already see that both were crazy.
They always give everything, are always positive and an extreme benefit for every team, ”enthuses the Memminger.
In addition to the club, the three also played in the DFB's national U-team.
As a result, the midfielder has come to appreciate them both on and off the pitch: “The boys are extremely funny and always laughing.
You could do anything with them.
They are very strong in character.
Really good guys. ”Gebhart left the Sechzger in the same year as the brothers for Stuttgart.
The trio shone at 1860: “I was number ten.
The Benders were always behind me and kept my back free.
I did everything at the front, they kept tight at the back.
It was always a good feeling to have the boys behind you, ”emphasizes Gebhart.