FC Bayern: The historic treble (2010 to 2013)

In 2009/10 FC Bayern appointed Louis van Gaal as head coach. He had just won the Dutch Eredivisie with AZ Alkmaar and he was not the only new face at Säbener Straße in the summer of 2009: Arjen Robben arrived from Real Madrid and Mario Gomez made the switch from VfB Stuttgart to the Bavarian capital.

Van Gaal also opted to use home-grown talent, handing largely unknown youngsters Thomas Müller and Holger Badstuber their chance in pre-season. The duo went on to become great players over the following seasons and established choices for FC Bayern and Germany.

After a mixed start to the season Bayern upped their game week by week to thrill the fans with attractive, attacking football. That approach culminated in FCB winning another league and cup double in 2010. Bayern missed out on a possible treble with a 2-0 defeat to Inter Milan in the Champions League final in Madrid, but despite that, the season went down as one of the most successful in the club’s history.

2009 also saw Uli Hoeneß take centre stage. After 30 years as general manager he took over as president in November 2009 as the successor to Franz Beckenbauer, who was made an honorary president.

The 2010/11 season started with Bayern winning the Supercup, reintroduced by the Deutsche Fußball Liga (DFL). FCB beat Schalke 2-0, but unfortunately it was the only trophy won in the whole season. The DFB Cup run ended with a defeat to Schalke in the semi-finals and FCB were knocked out of European competition with a last-16 loss to Inter Milan in the Champions League.

And the Bundesliga campaign also failed to go to plan. The German record champions were in danger of missing out on a Champions League spot. Head coach Van Gaal was relieved of his duties in April 2011 and his assistant Andries Jonker took over as caretaker coach, leading FCB to a third-place finish. That ensured a slot in the qualifying rounds for the Champions League.

In the summer of 2011 Jupp Heynckes took over as head coach at FC Bayern for the third time in his career. The 66-year-old put the German record champions back on track straight away with 2-0 and 1-0 victories over FC Zürich, ensuring a place in the Champions League group stages. The Reds coasted through the group with some breathtaking performances. Basel (round of 16), Marseille (quarter-final) and Real Madrid (semi-final) were all unable to stop FCB reaching the 2012 Champions League final at the Allianz Arena.

The great triumph of winning the final in Munich failed to materialise. Although FCB dominated the emotional 90 minutes of the game against Chelsea, the score was 1-1 at full-time. Extra-time and penalties followed, with the English side coming out on top in the shootout.

The disappointment for Bayern was immense after missing out on the dream of winning the Champions League at their own ground. The first season under Heynckes ended with three second spots as FCB finished runners-up to Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga and the DFB Cup.

The fact that the season after the trio of second places was the most successful in the club’s history can be regarded as typical FC Bayern. Matthias Sammer, who took over as sporting director from Christian Nerlinger, exemplified the thirst for success at the club.

The season began with a Supercup victory against double-winners Borussia Dortmund. The dominance of the team, called ‘Super Bayern’ by the end of the season, was evident throughout the campaign. The 23rd Bundesliga title was secured on Matchday 28. In the end, Heynckes’ team clocked up 91 points to finish 25 points ahead of second-placed Dortmund. Other new records included 29 wins, a goal difference of +80 and only 18 goals conceded.

It was clear Bayern were determined to lift the Champions League trophy this time round when they inflicted a 7-0 aggregate win on Barcelona in the semi-finals (4-0 in Munich; 3-0 in Barcelona). The lost final in Munich was followed by a final at Wembley where Arjen Robben produced a man of the match performance. The Dutchman, centre of controversy in the summer, netted the winner on 89 minutes in the 2-1 victory in the all-German final against Borussia Dortmund. The fifth European triumph marked the end of a 12-year barren run in the Champions League.

The DFB Cup also provided a chance to gain revenge on the holders, albeit at the quarter-final stage. A 6-1 win against VfL Wolfsburg in the semi-final was followed by the final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin on 1 June against a passionate and determined VfB Stuttgart side. The Swabians were unable to spoil the Bavarian party in the end as FC Bayern became the seventh European and first German club to win the treble.

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