Champions League opponents: Bayern Munich

Champions League opponents: Bayern Munich

A closer look at FC Barcelona's first opponents in the group stage of the 2021/22 Champions League

A new edition of the UEFA Champions League is just around the corner, and FC Barcelona will be starting Group E against a club that has won this competition six times in the past, Bayern Munich.

 

WHERE ARE THEY FROM?

With a population of around one and a half million, Munich is the third largest city in Germany and the capital of the region of Bavaria (Bayern in German).

The venue for the 1972 Olympic Games enjoys a stunning setting on the northern reaches of the Alps and is consistently ranked as offering one of the highest standards of living in the world. Companies based here include BMW, Siemens and Allianz, and its Oktoberfest is one of the most famous cultural events on the planet.

HISTORY

Bayern Munich was founded in 1900, just one year after FC Barcelona, and also like the Catalans does not only have a football team, but also other sports, including basketball, handball and even chess.

The club was not included in the original Bundesliga in 1963, but soon rose to become by far Germany’s biggest and most successful team, winning far more titles (31) than anyone else, and six European Cup/Champions Leagues, including three in a row in the seventies, when captained by the legendary Franz Beckenbauer.

Their most recent victory was just two years ago, in 2019–20.

Bayern have never dominated German football more than they have in the last decade. They have just won an incredible ninth consecutive Bundesliga trophy.

THE STADIUM

Bayern have played at the Allianz Arena since 2005, when it replaced the Olympic Stadium. This was originally as a groundshare with neighbours 1860 Munich, but Bayern are now the sole tenants of the stadium.

Bayern has 291,000 official members, which is even more than FC Barcelona, and 4,433 official supporters’ clubs. Until Covid-19 came along, the 75,000 seats at the Allianz Arena had been selling out for every game for years and with 10 million fans spread all around the country, their away games are invariably sell-outs too.

Originally built for the 2006 World Cup, the Allianz hosted the Champions League Final in 2012 and will do so again in 2025.

allianz arena

LAST TEN YEARS IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE

2011/12: Runners-up (lost to Chelsea)
2012/13: Champions (beat Dortmund)
2013/14: Semi-finals (lost to Real Madrid)
2014/15: Semi-finals (lost to FC Barcelona)
2015/16: Semi-finals (lost to Atlético Madrid)
2016/17: Quarter-finals (lost to Real Madrid)
2017/18: Semi-finals (lost to Real Madrid)
2018/19: Round of 16 (lost to Liverpool)
2019/20: Champions (beat PSG)
2020/21: Quarter-finals (lost to PSG)

THE SQUAD

Most capped internationals
Robert Lewandowski (Poland, 123), Thomas Müller (Germany, 106), Manuel Neuer (Germany, 104), Joshua Kimmich (Germany, 60), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Cameroon, 57), Marcel Sabitzer (Austria, 54), Benjamin Pavard (France, 38), Leon Goretzka (Germany, 36), Leroy Sané (Germany, 35), Kingsley Coman (France, 33), Niklas Süle (Germany, 33), Lucas Hernandez (France, 28), Corentin Tolisso (France, 28), Serge Gnabry (Germany, 27), Alphonso Davies (Canada, 24)

New signings 2021/22
Omar Richards (Reading), Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig), Sven Ulreich (SV Hamburg), Marcel Sabitzer (RB Leipzig)

Top scorers 2020/21 (all competitions)
Robert Lewandowski (48), Thomas Müller (15), Serge Gnabry (11), Leroy Sané (10), Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (9)

THE BOSS

Aged just 34, Julian Nagelsmann is the new man in charge at Bayern after Hans-Dieter Flick left to take the German national team job. Injury prevented Nagelsmann from becoming a pro footballer, so he turned to coaching instead and particularly gained notice for guiding Hoffenheim into the Champions League for the first time ever.

This earned him a move to RB Leipzig, who he took to the Champions League semi-finals two seasons ago.

LAST SEASON

Bayern led the Bundesliga for most of the season and eventually won it with three games to spare. Robert Lewandowski set a new record for goals scored in a season with 41.

Having won the Champions League the previous season, Bayern added the Club World Cup (v UNAL of Mexico) and the European Super Cup (v Sevilla) to their list of conquests.

However, they crashed out of the 2020/21 Champions League to PSG at the quarter final stage and in the German Cup suffered a shock second round exit on penalties to Holsten Kiel.

THIS SEASON

After being held at Borussia Mönchengladbach on the opening day, Bayern have won their next three Bundesliga matches, including an impressive 4-1 win at RB Leipzig on Sunday. That leaves them second in the table behind Wolfsburg, who have a 100 per cent record.

Bayern also beat Dortmund 3-1 to win the DFL-Supercup, and got off to a flying start in the German Cup by beating Bremer SV 12-0.

PREVIOUS MEETINGS WITH BARÇA

1995/95 UEFA Cup Semi Final
Bayern 2 Barça 2 (Oscar, Hagi)
Barça 1 (De la Peña) Bayern 2
Bayern won 4-3 on aggregate and went on to beat Bordeaux in the final

1998/99 Champions League Group D
Bayern 1 Barça 0
Barça 1 (Giovanni) Bayern 2
Bayern qualified and went on to lose to Man United in the final; Barça failed to advance

2008/09 Champions League Quarter Final
Barça 4 (Messi 2, Eto'o, Henry) Bayern 0
Bayern 1 Barça 1 (Keita)
Barça won 5-1 on aggregate and went on to beat Man United in the final

2012/13 Champions League Semi Final
Bayern 4 Barça 0
Barça 0 Bayern 3
Bayern won 7-0 on aggregate and went on to beat Dortmund in the final

2014/15 Champions League Semi Final
Barça 3 (Messi 2, Neymar) Bayern 0
Bayern 3 Barça 2 (Neymar 2)
Barça won 5-3 on aggregate and went on to beat Juventus in the final

2019/20 Champions League Quarter Final (in Porto)
Barça 2 (Alaba og, Suárez) Bayern 8
Bayern went on to beat PSG in the final

Barça's overall record v Bayern
P 11; W 2; D 2; L 7; F 16; A 26

 

Força Barça
Força Barça

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