In a story which surprised no one but which was finally confirmed, Bayern Munich announced that they have agreed to a pre-contract agreement with Borussia Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski. Lewandowski will join the Bavarian team in the summer with a contract that will tie him to them until the 2018-19 season.
It is a signing that has been at least 6-7 months in the making given that Lewandowski entered the 2013-14 season in the last year of his contract with Dortmund, and it was well known that he wanted to join Bayern. His signing, aside from strengthening Bayern in terms of depth and quality, also shows something else which many fans outside of Germany are unaware of: Bayern have once again engaged in dirty tactics by intentionally weakening a viable league threat.
In their pursuit and eventual signing of Lewandowski, Bayern flexed its economic clout to purposely weaken a team who poses a threat to their league title aspirations.
They have done this before when Dortmund played a Champions League semifinal against Real Madrid last April as it was “leaked” to Blid that Mario Gotze would join them in the summer after they triggered his release clause. It was clear that the “leak” might have been done to destabilize Dortmund at their finest hour in the last decade.
That was by far an isolated incident in Bayern’s history, though I’ll keep it to the 2000s here. Back in 2007 with Werder Bremen proving to be a pest, Bayern went ahead and signed Miroslav Klose and ensured that he would not be able to challenge them, having taken away their top goalscorer.
In 2001-02 season, after Bayer Leverkusen had finished second in the league and were runners-up in the Champions League, the man who was the heart of those Leverkusen teams, Michael Ballack, was plucked away by Bayern as Leverkusen’s run to challenge them withered.
Before anyone asks just why doing business this way is wrong, keep in mind that Real Madrid have an understood gentleman’s agreement with city rival Atletico Madrid to never pursue or sign one of its players directly. Guess what — they have honored that agreement, all the more highlighting the unsportsmanlike manner in which Bayern go out of their way to weaken league rivals.
Lucas Carreras is a contributing Soccer and San Francisco 49ers writer writer for RantSports.com. You can follow Lucas on Twitter by following him @maldini3fan and you can add him to your network on Google.