The scenes have become as much a tradition as the presentation of a trophy. In the final home game of the season, Bayern Munich‘s players will gather in front of their supporters and douse each other with huge vats of beer.
It is a riotous celebration, colourful and noisy with pictures over the past decade going viral. Nobody has been spared a soaking during the bierdusche (beer shower), not even Pep Guardiola, whose first year in Munich (2014) concluded with Jerome Boateng drenching him. Now, however, the pageant must stop.
‘This year we have to drink all the beer!’ Joshua Kimmich laughs, in an attempt to find a solution.
Kimmich, the outstanding midfielder who has become a new emblem of the club, can find some humour but the point of this conversation is serious. The resumption of football has been much welcomed yet the landscape is like nothing anyone will recognise.
Bayern, who are careering towards their eighth consecutive Bundesliga, will have to celebrate alone. It will be an alien scene – one with which Liverpool will become familiar in the Premier League – and at odds with everything that professional football should be.
‘I cannot imagine it now,’ Kimmich says, during the course of a 40-minute Zoom conversation. ‘I just know that it is strange that if you win a game in Allianz Arena and afterwards you are not at the south stands and celebrate with your fans.
‘It is strange. If we win the cup, hopefully and the Bundesliga hopefully it will also be really strange. But this title, this trophy they all count anyway. Of course it is better to win it with the fans, but we don’t have the choice now.’
This is how football looks during the course of a pandemic and while Kimmich is delighted to be playing again, the Germany international has provided a fascinating insight into what English football can expect when the Premier League resumes on June 17.