It was almost inevitable that the superlatives would be thrown about. Just after clinching the Bundesliga with seven games remaining, FC Bayern Munich are being ranked among the greatest teams in the history of football. There’s certainly a lot that’s good about this team. They’re filled with some of the best players in Europe, coached by one of the best managers in the game today, and are one of the richest clubs in the world. But are the Bavarians really the greatest?
Naturally, there are going to be disagreements. Older fans might say that the Real Madrid sides of the late 1950s to the 1960s are the greatest team in the world. Just recently, there were claims that FC Barcelona were the greatest. Some Bayern supporters say that this team isn’t even the best — their teams in the 1970s were far better. But then again, the past is in the past. And this year’s dominance certainly says a lot in the most competitive league in Europe.
Of course, three UEFA Champions League Final appearances in four years says a lot, and it looks like they’ll be going to a third straight appearance, barring a major upset. The fact they’ve broken record after record in two straight years says another. They’ve already scored more goals and won more games than last season. Manager Pep Guardiola had to deal with a lot of criticism early on, but he’s managed to turn things around considerably.
Having Mario Goetze, once their chief rival’s biggest weapon, along with the likes of Bastian Schweinsteiger, Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery and Manuel Neuer, all of whom are among the best in all of Europe, certainly helps. All of the early-season adversity must have built character, and all this while club president Uli Hoeness gets sent to the slammer for tax evasion. Add a Club World Cup title to this, and you’ve got one magical season.
This puts the 2013-14 team well ahead of their 1970s teams, which included Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Muller. That says a lot. The fact that no team has ever won the Bundesliga this early says something. However, calling them the Greatest of All Time is a little premature. This is certainly a special team. But let’s hold off on the superlatives until later. But, if you want to call them the greatest team in the history of German football, go right ahead. This team is on a whole other stratosphere when it comes to the Bundesliga, and rightfully so.