The History of Bayern Munich

Bjorn Koch

Bayern Munich is by far the most successful soccer club in Germany. With a record 22 league titles, including 15 of the last 26, and four European Cups, Bayern has been one the the elite teams in the world for many years. They are one of only three clubs to have won all three European trophies.

Despite the continued dominance of Bayern Munich over the years, the club is still not one of the more storied franchises. Bayern Munich was actually formed by members of a gymnastics club back in 1900. The club was not even one of the founding members of the Bundesliga back in 1963.

During Hitler’s regime, the club struggled to maintain its relevance. Bayern almost went bankrupt in the late Fifties and this resulted in the clubs absence from the inaugural season of the Bundesliga. Instead, the DFB selected their rivals, 1860 Munich.

Bayern Munich was eventually promoted to the Bundesliga two years later. The squad was extremely young and included three men that would forever shape the club and country. These three men — Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller — helped lead Bayern dominate the sport, accumulating a number of trophies over the years. Between 1966 and 1976, Bayern Munich won four titles, four German Cups, a Cup Winner’s Cup (1967), the Intercontinental Cup, and three consecutive European Cups (1974 – 1976).

The club had several good years throughout the Eighties, but things eventually took a turn for the worse. In 1992, Bayern finished only five points off relegation, which was unthinkable for a club of their size. A year later they lost to Norwich in the UEFA Cup in 1993. Bayern Munich was at an all time low.

Beckenbauer took over the for several years, leading the club to their first title in four years. But it was not until Ottmar Hitzfeld took over in 1998 that Bayern Munich reasserted themselves as the dominate team we have become accustomed too. They won four titles in Hitzfeld’s six years with the club. Bayern was able to get their hands on a Champions League trophy in 2001, beating Valencia on penalties.

Allianz Arena

Following Hitzfeld’s reign, Felix Magath and Bayern Munich won consecutive doubles in 2005 and 2006. During this time, Bayern Munich also found their new home in Allianz Arena, which opened in the summer of 2005.

While Bayern continued to collect titles, the club actually regressed in Europe. In fact, they did not even get past the quarter-finals from 2002 until 2010, when their new coach Louis van Gaal led them to the finals.

Jupp Heynckes returned to the club in 2011 but at this time Dortmund had become the new power in Germany. Bayern Munich played well, but two trophyless seasons and second place finishes, in both league and cup, behind their rivals were a tough pill to swallow.

Pep Guardiola replaced Heynckes going into the 2013-2014 season. During his first season, Guardiola won the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal, the UEFA Super Cub and the FIFA Club World Cup. Currently in his third year with the club, Bayern Munich is searching for their third consecutive Bundesliga title and Guardiola has his sights on the triple — Bundesliga, German Cup and Champions League titles.

Written by

Bjorn Koch is a businessman, world traveler, lover of fine dining and soccer fanatic. Born in Germany, where he fell in love with Bayern Munich, Bjorn currently resides in Boston, MA.