MUNICH, GERMANY (AFP) - Thomas Mueller hailed Bayern Munich's "phenomenal" achievement after they were confirmed Bundesliga champions for the ninth season in a row on Saturday (May 8).
Robert Lewandowski grabbed a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of Borussia Moenchengladbach at the Allianz Arena in Munich.
Bayern were confirmed champions even before kick-off after Borussia Dortmund's 3-2 win at home to second-placed RB Leipzig earlier in the day sent the title to Munich.
"Nine titles in a row, that's crazy. And I was there each time. I'm very grateful for that," said Mueller, 31, who now holds the joint record of 10 Bundesliga titles with team-mate David Alaba.
"It shows the development of this club over the years. It's phenomenal, it's a huge amount of work every year with a great team."
Head coach Hansi Flick has now won seven titles in 18 months, but will leave to be replaced by RB Leipzig boss Julian Nagelsmann next season.
"That performance was worthy of champions," said Flick.
Mueller scored Bayern's second goal while Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane also got on the scoresheet alongside Lewandowski, who now has 39 league goals this season, one short of Gerd Mueller's all-time Bundesliga record.
"We wanted to show on the pitch that we are German champions," said Lewandowski, who insisted he will "keep stepping on the gas" as he chases Mueller's record with two games left.
Flick says Lewandowski is writing himself into the club's folklore.
"Gerd Mueller was my idol when I was young, but what Gerd Mueller was in my youth, Lewandowski is today," he said.
"If he manages the record, it will have been more than deserved."
Club captain Manuel Neuer admitted it was a "bizarre situation" to be crowned champions while still warming up.
"We were just getting ready, there are a few TVs in the dressing rooms," said the Germany goalkeeper.
"We realised that we had become champions and started congratulating each other."
Thomas Mueller, a one-club wonder who won his first Bundesliga title with Bayern back in 2009/10, said he never dreamed of such success when he joined the Bavarian giants as a schoolboy.
"When you play here as a little boy, you don't think you'll ever play in the first team at FC Bayern. You're just happy when you get tickets for home games," he quipped.