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FC Bayern: Ten moments that stand for the FCB season



Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski, Julian Nagelsmann

FC Bayern Munich is threatened with the first season without a title in eleven years: the season that ended on Saturday had a lot of excitement and sporting crises to offer – and everything looked so good in the meantime. We show ten moments that stand for the FCB season.

In the Bundesliga, Bayern are one point behind BVB after matchday 33. In the DFB Cup, the Munich team failed in the quarterfinals at SC Freiburg (1:2), in the Champions League it was also in the quarterfinals (0:3, 1:1 against Manchester City).

FC Bayern, moments of the season: Robert Lewandowski moves to Barça

“I can confirm that I discussed with Hasan and made a decision that I will not renew my contract with Bayern Munich,” said Robert Lewandowski after the final game of the 2021/22 season in Wolfsburg. Before the game, Hasan Salihamidzic himself had already confirmed that the striker did not want to accept Bayern’s offer. Nevertheless, Brazzo referred to Lewandowski’s contract, which ran until 2023, and made it clear: “Our position is clear.”

One of the reasons for the goalscorer’s thoughts of changing: Julian Nagelsmann. Lewandowski is said to have often complained to the coaching team because he didn’t like exercises in training and Nagelsmann increasingly turned away from Hansi Flick’s former game idea in the second half of the season. It was also a thorn in the side of the Pole that he was only offered a one-year contract and was also dealing with Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.

Lewandowski increasingly let his frustration run free, in training he seemed more and more frustrated and forced his exit. On July 16, after weeks of public debate, this was fixed – Lewy went to FC Barcelona. And after eight years, Bayern were without a world-class goalscorer.

Robert Lewandowski: Goals and Assists for FC Bayern

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FC Bayern, moments of the season: First sporting crisis

Tension without Lewy? First of all, not: Bayern won the first three league games with a goal difference of 15:1, the offensive was booming. But then there were three draws in a row against Gladbach, Union and Stuttgart – as well as a 0-1 defeat at FC Augsburg. Four league games in a row without a win, that was last in 2001.

Nagelsmann explained shortly afterwards that he “didn’t want to” visit the traditional Oktoberfest. Kahn became clearer: “Of course we are all dissatisfied, in a bad mood.” But the ex-goalkeeper also had Nagelsmann’s back: “We are totally convinced of Julian.”

The coach announced for the upcoming international break that he wanted to think a lot: “I think about everything. About me. About the situation. About everything.” It wasn’t the first phase of weakness under Nagelsmann, which lasted several weeks – and it shouldn’t be the last either.

FC Bayern, moments of the season: FCB completes perfect Champions League preliminary round

The fact that Bayern can play very nice and successful football even without Lewandowski was not only shown by the start of the season. In the Champions League dead group with FC Barcelona and the later finalists Inter Milan, Bayern did not lose a point (18:2 goals). What’s more, Barça and Inter haven’t scored a single goal in four games. After the final 2-0 at home against Milan, Bayern were rightly among the favorites for the title in the premier class – and should confirm that again later in the round of 16 against PSG (1-0 away, 2-0 at home).

FC Bayern, moments of the season: Manuel Neuer’s interview

At the beginning of December, Manuel Neuer broke his lower leg on a ski tour and forced his club to become active on the transfer market. Just over a month later, Bayern Munich’s goalkeeper coach and Neuer’s intimate, Toni Tapalovic, who had worked in Munich for more than a decade, was fired.

“Differences about the way of working together” were decisive for this. Tapalovic is a friend and close confidant of Neuer – a fact that has been a thorn in Nagelsmann’s side for a long time. The coach is said to have been bothered by the fact that internal information from the coaching cabin was brought to Neuer and thus to the entire team via Tapalovic. In addition, the Croatian is said to have found it difficult to follow Nagelsmann’s instructions.

Current and former players reacted in surprise, and at least one was upset. The injured Neuer left in an interview not agreed with Bayern with the Süddeutsche Zeitunggive free rein to his frustration about the decision: “I had the feeling that my heart was being ripped out, that was the craziest thing I’ve experienced in my career.”

FC Bayern, moments of the season: “Softened pack!” Julian Nagelsmann insults referees

After a 2-3 defeat in Gladbach on matchday 21, BVB and Union Berlin caught up with leaders Bayern on points – and Nagelsmann freaked out. “That’s a joke, is he kidding me, or what?” the coach yelled after the game on the way to the referee’s cabin – and then: “My God, my God. A washed-up pack!”

Referee Tobias Welz sent FCB defender Dayot Upamecano off after just eight minutes after a questionable emergency brake. Nagelsmann apologized and was sentenced to a fine of 50,000 euros for his violent words.

Salihamidzic also responded emotionally to the debate about Nagelsmann’s freak out and the playful lead in the Bundesliga: “It annoys me! It annoys me! All discussions are unnecessary. I wish that our coach would be left to work in peace!”

FC Bayern, moments of the season: Julian Nagelsmann is released from the press

On the evening of March 23, Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano was the first to report Nagelsmann’s impending separation. Other media followed. A day later it was official, Thomas Tuchel took over from the record champions. The damage to the image of those responsible at Bayern was enormous: with a point behind Dortmund in the league, all three titles were still within reach even after the bloodless defeat against Bayer Leverkusen a few days earlier.

On the other hand, the fact that Nagelsmann had to experience his expulsion from the press caused severe criticism. The Bavarians defended their approach and swore stone and leg that they hadn’t put the information through themselves – Nagelsmann simply couldn’t be reached on his vacation. However, his consulting agency had a different version ready…

FC Bayern, moments of the season: It used to be more Mia san Mia

The criticism of Bayern, previously mainly of a sporting nature, spread to the entire club and especially the board. Right at the front: Lothar Matthäus, who shot against Oliver Kahn and Co. almost every day in various media activities. The club had become “cold and lifeless”, “the Mia san mia is sometimes trampled on.”

Hours before the league summit against BVB, Kahn and Matthäus finally faced each other on Sky. In a fierce battle of words, Kahn fired against the reporting (“Maybe one or the other is suffering from memory distortion”). Record national player Matthäus countered in the half-time break: “I know that Oliver Kahn is lying. He just wants to distract attention from his problems and then he attacks me.”

Bayern won 4-2 against BVB in Thomas Tuchel’s first game and were top of the table again. But there was still no sign of calm around the club.

FC Bayern, moments of the season: Sadio Mané beats Leroy Sané

In the CL first leg at Manchester City, Bayern were shown their limits after a decent start and lost 3-0. In retrospect, maybe not a sporting oath of disclosure, considering that Real Madrid even conceded a 0: 4 packing at City a few weeks later.

Nevertheless, emotions naturally ran high among the players – and Sadio Mané literally went overboard: The attacker gave Leroy Sané a bloody lip in the dressing room after the game, which of course came out. For Mané it was the negative climax of a completely messed-up season, he was suspended for one game and, according to media reports, was fined over 300,000 euros.

FC Bayern, moments of the season: FCB probably lost the championship against RB Leipzig

The Bayern engine stuttered again and again under Tuchel, but because BVB acted just as shaky away, the Munich team stayed on course for the eleventh championship trophy in a row with a two-point lead. With a 6-0 win against Schalke, the last stumbling block in RB Leipzig awaited on matchday 33. In the Allianz Arena, Bayern went into the break with a 1-0 lead. Final score: 1:3.

What followed was not the first, but the team’s most epic collapse of the current season. For the first time, Tuchel did not protect his team in a remarkable press conference, but mercilessly listed all the mistakes for minutes. – No Trapattoni yet, but still with one or the other statement that you won’t soon forget:

  • “I’m very good at explaining and proving all the things we did wrong today, but I don’t know where it all came from. It came from absolutely nothing.”
  • “We’re going to turn everything upside down. Of course, I’ll watch this game again and try to understand how we were able to take such a glaring step backwards.”
  • “It’s incomprehensible, you don’t even know where to start anymore.”

Incidentally, a supervisory board meeting was originally scheduled for May 22nd, in which the many problems of the club were to be discussed. This was finally postponed to May 30th, the whole club should “focus on the sporty in the decisive phase of the championship race”.

Everything seems possible, up to the dismissal of CEO Oliver Kahn and sports director Hasan Salihamidzic. It would be another moment in this Bayern season that you would certainly not have expected a year ago.