Bayern looking to win second FIFA Club World Cup title
2019/20 an astonishing season for the Bavarians
Five titles in six months
A simplified description of Bayern Munich’s 2019/20 season reads as follows: records, records and more records.
The Bavarians set benchmark after benchmark during the 56th Bundesliga campaign and crowned the season with a historic achievement by winning a treble comprised of Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League trophies for the second time after first doing so 2013. Not only that, they went on to add two more pieces of silverware to their collection with domestic and European Super Cups.
Bayern are aiming to turn that quintuple into a sextuple at the beginning of February at the FIFA Club World Cup Qatar 2020™. We take a look back on an unbelievable year for the record German champions.
Hansi Flick takes charge
Bayern’s course was arguably set when they appointed Hans-Dieter ‘Hansi’ Flick as head coach. Prior to that the 55-year-old had been assistant to Niko Kovac, who was dismissed following a 5-1 defeat away to Eintracht Frankfurt at the start of November 2019.
Seven months after Flick took the reins, Bayern lifted the league title for an eighth successive year, sealing the championship with a win away to Werder Bremen on Matchday 32 with two games to spare.
Flick has led his side to victory in 88 per cent of all Bundesliga matches contested since his appointment (21 of 24), giving him the best winning ratio of any coach in the league’s history.
Robert Lewandowski hit 34 goals to finish as Bundesliga top scorer for a fifth time, all in the last seven seasons. Gerd Muller is the only other player ever to have earned the top scorer’s accolade on at least five occasions, doing so seven times.
The DFB-Pokal came next, with Bayern beating Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 at the start of July to lift the trophy for the 20th time. David Alaba gave Bayern the lead with a direct free-kick before Serge Gnabry doubled their advantage shortly afterwards. Manuel Neuer teed up Lewandowski to make it 3-0 with a long-range strike, and although Sven Bender pulled a goal back for Leverkusen with a header from a corner, Lewandowski put the outcome beyond all doubt with a late fourth.
UEFA Champions League
Flick’s side had a flawless record in Europe in 2019/20, winning all 11 of their games and scoring 43 goals while conceding just eight – an unprecedented achievement in the competition’s history. The finals tournament in Lisbon was effectively a victory parade for Bayern, who humiliated Barcelona with a historic 8-2 thrashing in the quarter-finals before defeating Paris Saint-Germain in 1-0 in the final.
Kingsley Coman became known as Bayern’s ‘Mr. Lisbon’ after the Frenchman scored a 59th-minute header from Joshua Kimmich’s cross in a hard-fought title-decider on 23 August 2020. Manuel Neuer subsequently made some spectacular saves to preserve his side’s lead and help seal the club’s sixth European triumph.
“They had an unfair advantage: Manuel was in top form and has elevated goalkeeping to a new level,” said then PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel afterwards of the Bayern captain’s performance. The victory was the German side’s 21st consecutive win in all competitions.
After a short summer break, Bayern won their next title in their first competitive outing of the new season by beating league runners-up Borussia Dortmund 3-2 in Munich to seal their eighth German Supercup triumph. Corentin Tolisso put the hosts ahead early on in a game played behind closed doors, before Thomas Muller extended their lead just after the half-hour mark. However, Julian Brandt pulled a goal back for Dortmund shortly before the interval and Dortmund’s star striker Erling Haaland equalised early in the second half.
Yet Bayern emerged victorious once again thanks to Kimmich’s 82nd-minute winner, the Germany international scoring as he fell to the ground to ensure his side earned their next trophy at the expense of their long-standing rivals.
European Super Cup
The Champions League holders eventually got the better of their UEFA Europa League counterparts Sevilla in extra time of an intense and hard-fought European Super Cup. Substitute Javi Martinez scored the winner in the first half of extra time to hand Bayern a 2-1 victory.
“I always try to give 100 per cent and give everything I’ve got whenever I play for Bayern ,” said Martinez afterwards. “I showed that today. I always want to help the team, and I did so with a goal today. It’s a dream.” Lucas Ocampos had initially put Sevilla ahead with a 12th-minute penalty, which Leon Goretzka later cancelled out.
Incidentally, Martinez also scored the winning goal in Bayern’s 2-1 victory over Chelsea in the 2013 European Super Cup.
The Best 2020
The Best FIFA Football Awards™ were also dominated by Bayern – or at least the men’s prizes were. Lewandowski and Neuer respectively picked up The Best Men’s Player and The Best Men’s Goalkeeper honours, while Flick was in the final three for The Best Men’s Coach.
Furthermore, in Lewandowski, Thiago (now of Liverpool), Alphonso Davies and Kimmich, four Bayern players were included in the FIFA FIFPRO Men’s World11.
FIFA Club World Cup
The Club World Cup Qatar 2020 will take place from 1-11 February 2021 in Doha, where Bayern are aiming to take possession of the crown for the first time since 2013. European clubs have had that honour 12 times since the inaugural competition in 2000, while teams from South America have done so on four occasions. Which confederation will win it for the last time in its current format?
The final will be held at the Education City Stadium on 11 February. The complete match schedule is available for download here. The draw to determine the match pairings will take place on 19 January 2021 at 16:00 CET in Zurich.