A look behind the scenes: how Franck Ribéry’s artful shot came about
Michael Lauerbach drums on the steering wheel of his MAN. He keeps getting off the coach and looking over from the car park on Säbener Straße in Munich to the training grounds. The FC Bayern Munich coach driver is used to waiting for his team. But today he is a little nervous. The shoot for FC Bayern Munich’s Brückenschuss clip is about to start. For everything to work, Michael Lauerbach has to drive the coach at a steady speed – this is the only way to assess how the ball will fly later. Michael Lauerbach is sure of one thing: “Maintaining the same speed won’t be a problem for me.” But the schedule is tight and his driving skills will play an important role.
Driving the FC Bayern Munich team is a dream job for him. Michael Lauerbach is also particularly proud of his team coach: “The coach holds the road really well. It handles like a dream round bends. Nothing can throw us off.” The pros travel to every Bundesliga match, DFB Pokal game, and Champions League battle in this coach. In 2013, FC Bayern Munich caused a sensation: it was the first German team to win the treble. The Bayern Munich players were also driven to these finals in their team coach – so the coach is also perfect for breaking records.
The extras are also quite excited before filming starts: Many of them are Bayern Munich fans and will soon be able to see their idols live on the coach. Moritz Cejnar is one of the extras. He is certain of one thing before the cameras start rolling: “Our Bayern players will outdo the Dortmund boys.” The 23-year-old is at every home game that the record champions play. Today he will meet Manuel Neuer, Franck Ribéry, David Alaba, Diego Contento, and Mario Mandzukic for the first time. He waits in front of the coach with a few friends so that he will be able to see the players when they come. Meanwhile, other extras are playing sheepshead on the coach to pass the time – just like the Bayern Munich players often do on their trips back home.
Once the team’s pro training is over, the players are accompanied to the coach by a crowd of people. It is the fall midterm vacation and many children want to get as close as possible to their team. But before shooting can start, the players have to be briefed by director Jan Litzinger. “We are on a tight schedule but we’ll manage it.” Just have fun,” he tells the pros. Manuel Neuer and his teammates don’t need to be told twice.
In order not to hold up traffic, the police blocked off a road especially for the shoot. A stuntman was there to keep the players on the moving bus safe. A safety harness is put on Manuel Neuer so that he can lean out of the door very far. He doesn’t think the stunt is crazy: “Being a goalkeeper is a job that’s a bit crazy itself. People say that left-winger and goalkeeper are the craziest positions. I said right away that we’d do it.”
The stuntman also wants to help Franck Ribéry: he hangs on wires from the coach in order to catch Ribéry’s ball and to serve as additional protection for him while the bus is on the move. But that is too boring for Franck Ribéry. He wants to shoot hard so the stuntman has to move. The Frenchman grabs a ball during every break and plays with it or balances it on his head – he is quite obviously having fun on the shoot. He was quite rightly crowned Europe’s soccer player of the year: not only is he a famous player, but he is also an important ambassador for the joy that soccer brings.
Following his perfect shot, Franck Ribéry slaps Michael Lauerbach’s hand – he knows just how important the driver is. The players cheer and hail Manuel Neuer. They are delighted to have managed everything despite the tight schedule. But what’s more difficult: blocking a penalty kick or the coach shot? “Well that depends on who’s shooting. I think Franck has an excellent and well-placed kick. If it makes it to the rear door, it won’t be a problem for me,” says Manuel Neuer. “To start off with, it didn’t look like we were going to make it. But in the end it took a good turn and we managed to secure a victory,” jokes David Alaba. The Bayern players did not need many takes for the shot – after all, if you can win three titles in one year, you can easily manage a truly skilled shot after training.
The clip is FC Bayern Munich’s friendly challenge to Dortmund – MAN looks forward to seeing how the rivalry develops on the pitch too.
No matter how long the journey, passengers on board this stylish coach reach even far away destinations safely and comfortably, all while guaranteeing maximum economy and minimum environmental impact.
More information about MAN’s cooperation with Bundesliga clubs