That came as a surprise: Sven Bender had just committed a foul when he had to leave the field. It was a junior game in the spring of 2005, he played like his brother Lars for 1860 Munich and he flew down with yellow and red. Which was a minor scandal. Because a few minutes earlier, Lars had riveted an opponent, but the referee could not tell the twins apart and showed Sven the yellow card – final warning. „I said to the referee “, Sven Bender recalled in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, „it wasn’t me, it was him! And Lars also said: That was me. The referee didn’t believe us. Shortly afterwards I made my first foul – bang, I was yellow-red. For ONE foul! ”Which is at least surprising. So that a Bender twin really only committed one foul in a game.
This text is about two men who probably broke their bones more often than scored goals and who were even more often mistaken for one another. From Lars and Sven Bender, who will end their careers this summer. And so we don’t get it wrong: This text is about two very good footballers.
„The two will grab it “
Of course, the yellow-red card story didn’t hurt the Bender twins any further. In Munich, with the lions, after all, they knew what they had in these two talents. Ernst Tanner, at that time the junior coordinator for the sixties, hid his rhetoric from a bet: „Now when I say the boys are going to be national players, they’ll all think I’m crazy. ”Not without telling me: „The two will grab it, you can take poison on it. ”
What is at least interesting, this confidence, because everyone seems to assume that the Benders play primarily in the Bundesliga because they really wanted to. Her medical records alone testify to this: Sven Bender has suffered 55 injuries since 2007, the flu-like infections already factored out, his twin brother Lars also has 55 injuries – how could it be otherwise. Smaller aches and pains such as fiber tears and muscle hardening, of course, complicated lesions such as syndesmosis ligament tears and bone marrow swellings and those fractures that make you sick from reading. In 2011, in the Champions League group game against Arsenal, Sven Bender, already playing for Borussia Dortmund, collided with Thomas Vermaelen and broke his jaw on both sides. The doctors stabilized his face with two titanium plates. There are heavyweight boxers who end their careers more lightly. Eight weeks later, Bender was back on the field.
Full of tunnel prints
Something like that can only be endured if you are hard on yourself. As if one last proof was needed, his teammate Nuri Sahin said of Sven Bender: „He goes into duels with his head that I wouldn’t even go into with my foot. ” And Jürgen Klopp assured: „I’m really happy that I’m neither the father nor the mother of the Benders. ”Sven had just suffered his third broken nose. And Lars, who may have been lagging behind in terms of the number of injuries, was probably already wondering what could go wrong next without completely jeopardizing his own career.
And so it is of course nonsense to claim that the Benders played in the Bundesliga for so long because their will and their will to give up themselves would have ensured that. By 1860, both had caught the eye for their serene, almost flawless play under pressure. 1860 coach Walter Schachner once said: „Just look at Lars’ shin, it’s full of studs. ”And as if that weren’t enough souvenirs, they were decorated with Fritz Walter medals. Just to not only play under pressure in the Bundesliga, but also to ensure the pressure.