FC Bayern Munich

Nicknamed as ‘FC Hollywood’, Bayern are one of the giants of European football, let alone the Bundesliga. Founded in 1900, it is the most successful German football club ever. The club has won 29 league titles, 19 German Cups, five European Cups/UEFA Champions Leagues, one UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, one UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup, two Intercontinental Cups, and one FIFA Club World Cup. 

Bayern Munich was founded in 1900 by Franz John. Although the club won its first national championship in 1932, its most sustained period of success has come since the 1960s. Bayern is one of only three clubs to have won the European Cup three times in a row, which they achieved from 1974-1976, under the captaincy of Franz Beckenbauer. They are also fourth on the all-time winners’ list, behind Real Madrid (13 wins), AC Milan (7), and Liverpool (6). Since the inception of the Bundesliga, Bayern have been the most successful team by far, winning 28 titles, including seven consecutive wins since 2013. Bayern is also the only German team to have achieved a continental treble by winning the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal and the UEFA Champions League in the same season in 2013.  

Bayern have played their home games at the Allianz Arena in Munich since the 2005-06 season, which, with a seating capacity of 75,000, is the second-largest football stadium in Germany. Previously, they had played at Munich’s Olympiastadion for 33 years. Bayern have local rivalries with 1860 Munich and FC Nurnberg, along with a notable rivalry with Borussia Dortmund since the mid-1990s on account of both teams’ success. The team’s colours are red and white, while the team’s crest also has a blue and white pattern from the flag of Bavaria, the state where Munich lies in Germany.

The club’s motto, ‘Mia san Mia’, is the Bavarian version of the German phrase ‘Wir sind Wir’, or ‘We are who we are’. According to the club, this represents the club’s winning mentality and never-say-die attitude on the pitch, with a complete will to win and succeed. Bayern are notable for having a long history of solidarity with other clubs, having financially helped out the likes of Hansa Rostock, St. Pauli, Kaiserslautern, and even rivals 1860 Munich and Borussia Dortmund over the years when they have faced monetary crises. Bayern have historically preferred to develop and buy the best German players, and have thus always had a core of players representing the national side. 

Currently, the first-team is managed by Hans-Dieter Flick, a former player for the club who has also been assistant manager of the German national football team. Flick joined the club in July 2019 as assistant coach to Niko Kovac and was named as the head coach when Kovac left the club in November 2019. This season, Bayern lead the Bundesliga after 25 games, at which point the current season was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The current club captain is goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who also fulfils this role for the German national team.