Bayern keen on celebrating in style

2015-02-27 14:07
Bastian Schweinsteiger (AP)

Berlin - Bayern Munich celebrate 115 years of existence when they host Cologne Friday and officials at the German powerhouse are confident the future will bring yet more glory.

"Over the last couple of years we've won every title possible in football," chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge wrote in the club magazine on Friday. "We have an extremely good and likeable team.

"And on the bench sits the coach (Pep Guardiola), for whom top clubs around the world envy us - just as much as our exceedingly solid financially situation that we have worked hard for with serious economic management ... But we know that satisfaction means stagnation. We now have to go the next steps."

Later Friday Bayern host Cologne looking to extend their eight-point lead over Wolfsburg at the top of the Bundesliga. Though the players and officials insist they are taking nothing for granted, a 25th German championship looks inevitable.

That is a remarkable achievement for the club founded in a cafe in the city's Schwabing district in 1900 by a small group of footballers. They surely could not have imagined the impact the club would have not only on German but world football in the decades to come.

Though Bayern were German champions in 1932, that was their only national title before the creation of the Bundesliga - from which, with the founders preferring city rival 1860, they were initially excluded.

After two seasons Bayern earned promotion to the top flight and with future legends such as Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Mueller in place, the foundation was there for the club to dominate.

A first Bundesliga victory arrived in 1969 while three consecutive European Cup triumphs 1974-76 confirmed the team as a continental power. On the international stage Bayern supplied several players who helped West Germany to the European Championship in 1972 and won the home World Cup two years later.

Winning the modern Champions League in 2001 and 2013 while dominating the domestic scene has helped Bayern build a huge membership of 255 000, allowing president Karl Hopfner to describe it as "the biggest club in the world" in an interview with the club homepage.

Hofner has been involved with Bayern since 1983 and has witnessed first hand the explosion of football's commercial side.

"When I first started with FC Bayern, the club had the glory years in the 70s behind them and was a very successful football club," he said. "But the commercial development was only introduced a few years later. What's happened here at Saebener Strasse through our own funds - without credits, loans, or mortgages - is an incredible accomplishment."

Since the turn of the century, Bayern have brought nine Bundesliga titles to Munich from 15 available. Borussia Dortmund, widely considered their closest and strongest rivals, managed only three in the same period.

Dortmund are a club with a rich history and tradition of their own which is more than capable of matching Bayern. But unlike Bayern, the Ruhr side lack the global reach needed to compete at the highest level every single season.

"The balancing act between tradition and culture on the one hand and the development of new business fields on the other which we have thus far mastered remains our great challenge," Rummenigge said.

"FC Bayern must continue to excite the people in Munich, but in Beijing as well.

"Thanks to the quality of our staff we are extremely well-positioned to do so. FC Bayern has two fantastic teams - the players, who are on the pitch, and the staff, who work for our success behind the scenes every day."

Read more on:    bayern munich  |  bundesliga  |  soccer


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