Bayern Munich is a name synonymous with glory. A glance at their trophy cabinet reveals a story of greatness and superiority that has seen the Bavarian giants firmly establish themselves as one of the most successful football clubs of the world, winning every honour possible.
Bayern Munich have won several dozen titles, played countless hours of magnificent football, and tasted success across the globe. They have won the Bundesliga 30 times, eight on a trot since 2012, the DFB Pokal 20 times, and the Supercup nine times. Their exploits have not been restricted to Germany as they claimed the European crown six times, and the Europa League once.
In the 2019-20 season, Bayern broke records by winning the continental treble – the Bundesliga, the DFB Pokal and the Champions League – and also claimed the UEFA Super Cup and the FIFA Club World Cup.
But how did a team that had been disbanded twice due to the World Wars, faced deep financial struggles and once lost their president due to anti-Semitism, put its tumultuous past behind to become one of the most decorated football teams in not just Germany but all of Europe.
Bayern’s dominance in the current era can be attributed tothree distinct factors.
Bayern Munich, in the modern era of football, are among the most elite teams in terms of finances. The current Bundesliga champions generated a revenue of €646.2 million in the last season, becoming the highest revenue generator in German football and third in the world, only behind FC Barcelona and Real Madrid, according to Deloitte’s annual report on the richest football clubs of the world.
This has enabled the heavyweights to flex their financial muscles, luring some of the best talents from across the world and even from their rivals. Most recently, the Rekordmester acquired the services of the promising 22-year-old center-back Dayot Upamecano from RB Leipzig for a whopping €42.5 million, their third-highest transfer fee of all time.
Bayern have also roped in Mats Hummels from Dortmund, Niklas Sule from Hoffenheim, and Leon Goretzka from Schalke in the last four seasons while bolstering their squad and also debilitating the opponents.
While the big bank balance has helped Bayern secure some high-profile deals, their excellent scouting network has made shrewd business over the years. The team got hold of the then 18-year-old Canadian wonderkid Alphonso Davies from the Major League Soccer team of Vancouver Whitecaps and he went on to become the Bundesliga Rookie of the Season for 2019-20.
The management did good business by expertly negotiating the signing of Leroy Sane from Manchester City for less than half his market value. From an asking price of over €100 million a season ago to finalising the deal at around €50 million, the Die Roten got themselves a bargain.
The German giants have also used the loaning system advantageously, often getting their hands on remarkable talents such as James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, Philippe Coutinho from FC Barcelona, and Douglas Costa from Juventus.
The rich history and reputation of Bayern also help in getting the biggest names to join their ranks, with the most important one being Robert Lewandowski from chief rivals Borussia Dortmund for a free transfer.
The club’s motto “Mia san Mia”, which translates to “We are who we are” resonates strongly with its squad, coaches, management and fans.
“Mia san Mia stands for the complete will to succeed,” explained Bayern star Thomas Müller.
The rich history and the trophy-laden cabinet of Bayern are connected to this vision of being nothing but the best.
“The best footballers always play for Bayern. Everyone gives it their all in training. Anyone who can’t get on with the idea is in the wrong place… There’s nothing that’s more important.”
The belief is held strongly by the club’s stakeholders. For instance, even when Bayern dominated the league for three years under Pep Guardiola, the manager faced flak for failing to lift the European title.
Bayern Munich is a club built on this win-all philosophy, which has, so far, brought immense success to them. And it won’t be a surprise if the current team, which boasts a fine blend of grand signings and homegrown talent, goes on to win more silverware and add more pages to their already rich history book.