25.05.2021Bayer 04

Bender documentary on YouTube on Thursday

As a farewell to the twin brothers Lars and Sven Bender, Bayer 04 Leverkusen have produced a documentary entitled 'BENDER - Die Unzertrennlichen' (Benders – The inseparables) – an anecdote-rich trail from Brannenburg via Rio to Leverkusen. Numerous contemporaries such as Rudi Völler, Jupp Heynckes, Jürgen Klopp, Horst Hrubesch, Joachim Löw plus Simon Rolfes, Stefan Kießling, Kevin Volland and Fernando Carro share their thoughts. Lars and Sven Bender join with them to look back at their impressive careers. The documentary will appear on the Bayer 04 YouTube channel on Thursday, 27 May.

The brothers never wanted to be special. "We only really wanted to play football," said Lars Bender. Even if the twins never saw themselves as something special and behaved accordingly: Their common path is undeniable. "It doesn't happen every day that you manage to get the top has a pair of brothers and stay there for so long," declared Sven Bender looking back at 15 years in professional football.

In the spring of 2021 be carried on as they always have: together. After starting out at TSV Brannenburg and SpVgg Unterhaching, they both played for 1860 Munich and also spent the last four years together at Bayer Leverkusen with Sven also playing for Borussia Dortmund for eight years. Together they made 865 appearances in the top two divisions in Germany, played for their country, won the silver medal side-by-side at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and played their way into the hearts of fans and their coaches with their self-sacrificing style of play. "It was always one of their strengths that they always thought about the team and worked for the team. I was able to rely on both of them at all times," declared the former DFB coach Horst Hrubesch in describing the values of the duo. Hrubesch not only made it to the 2016 Olympic Games final with the Benders but the trio also won the U19 European Championship in the Czech Republic in 2008.

They slid in, directed proceedings, threw themselves in the way and scored important goals for over a decade. "We used to watch the Bundesliga on television when we were kids and dreams of being on the pitch one day or holding up a trophy. We wished for it, hoped for but I would never have dreamt that everything would turn out as it has," said Sven Bender looking back. And a special time is also coming to an end for last: "I played for the two sides who were my favourite clubs as a child."

"proud of being at leverkusen for twelve years!"

In the documentary, the Germany coach Joachim Löw reveals why he only took Lars and not Sven Bender to the European Championship in 2012 thereby making possible Lars Bender's spectacular goal against Denmark. Apart from the sporting experiences of the brothers, their not that common down-to-earth quality becomes clear – taking a holistic view and thinking outside the box. "Both have their own personality, their own character – they've always kept it real. And that has always impressed me," admits Jupp Heynckes.

Lars Bender played for the Werkself for a total of twelve years. "Particularly during his most successful periods, Lars again and again received offers from other big clubs – obviously including Bayern Munich," reports Rudi Völler. Lars Bender admits how he dealt with the increased attention on himself around the time of the European Championship in 2012 and why he is happy that he stayed in Leverkusen to this day. "The fact I played so long for one club makes me very proud." And it makes him into a living Leverkusen legend. "He has the Bayer Cross in his heart," said Rudi Völler about the long-serving number 8 who has recently been named as an honorary captain.

Emotional farewell despite Coronavirus Pandemic

Now it is all over. 15 years in professional football have left their mark. "We only have one body," they say in unison. The two of them have accepted that a farewell in front of tens of thousands of spectators is out of the question due to the coronavirus pandemic. But there was an emotional farewell in the end. The documentary shows that first hand.

The following have their say: Martin Feicht (TSV Brannenburg), Rudi Völler, Fernando Carro, Simon Rolfes, Stefan Kießling, Jupp Heynckes, Jürgen Klopp, Horst Hrubesch, Walter Schachner, Marco Kurz, Wolfgang Schellenberg, Julian Baumgartlinger, Kevin Volland, Timo Gebhart, Torben Hoffmann and Florian Weber (Sportfreunde Stiller).



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