Thu, 24 Sep 2020

How Bayern got back to Europe's top table

Xinhua
15 Aug 2020, 11:44 GMT+10

By Oliver Trust

BERLIN, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- While Bayern Munich's semi-final opponent has yet to be found; only a few questions remain after an unparalleled demonstration of force.

Who in Europe can stop this Bavarian football machine that crushed Spanish giant FC Barcelona by 8-2? And: How did the 2013 treble winner develop to Europe's dominant football power?

However, the job though, isn't yet done. Failing to cross the finish line disappointment is going to take hold of the Munich team.

But facts indicate another outstanding season is within reach. German fans feel reminded of the stunning 7-1 of the German team against Brazil at the 2014 World Cup.

The side of coach Hansi Flick scored 39 goals in nine games, more than any other Champions League participant.

Whenever Barcelona and Bayern were crossing swords, the winner later won the cup. Bayern in 1996 and 2013.

Bayern hasn't lost one of its last 29 games, coached by a man who turned from a doubtful case into an invincible winner.

JUPP GUARDIOLA alias FLICK

55-year-old Flick started his mission as a temporary solution on November 4, 2019. Back then, the question was how long would he survive, not when Bayern would return to glory.

A few months later, Flick is praised as one of football's best. Not only media see him as a perfect mixture of 2013 Champions League winner Jupp Heynckes and Pep Guardiola. The Spaniard is still treated as an icon in Munich.

Heynckes was the empathic father figure and player whisperer; Guardiola, the man, inventing dominating football and game improver. Some see a new Juergen Klopp turning up.

The quality of his squad might have helped, but Flick's achievement put all pieces together.

Flick changed the team's approach to an aggressive forwarding game, mostly appointing the same starting eleven.

TEAM-HIERARCHY

The main reason is apparent for Lothar Matthaeus. Flick created a perfect team-hierarchy, the 150 times capped said.

Several performers seem in the best shape in their careers.

Robert Lewandowski scored his 14 goals in this season's campaign and is on his way to breaking Cristiano Ronaldo's 17-goal record.

Thomas Müller scored his six goals in five games against Barca. The Bavarian icon returned to world-class after Flick gave him confidence.

Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka became the side's new midfield leaders.

19-year-old rookie Alphonso Davies replaced full-back David Alaba as if he had never done anything else.

Jerome Boateng came back after his crisis. Alaba turned into the new force as a central.

Communication between coach and team and among players has hardly been that good before, Mueller said. The 30-year-old became the man of the match.

"I am delighted to see the substitutes coming in and playing with the same spirit. That proves how great this squad is," Mueller said.

What is next for Bayern? Most likely, Pep Guardiola, as the Citizens are the favorites against Lyon this Saturday evening.

If anyone can beat Bayern, it is the genius like former Bayern coach, some assume.

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