Dominance and trophies
The 2013/14 season saw Spanish coach Pep Guardiola succeed Jupp Heynckes. His distinctive style defined FC Bayern, who went on to be extremely dominant on the pitch over the next three years, firmly establishing themselves as one of the top international sides. Under Guardiola, FCB won seven trophies, but the greatest triumph - a Champions League victory - failed to materialise, with three consecutive semi-finals marking the end of the road.
Guardiola made a furious start to his tenure. In August, his team - as the first German representatives - won the UEFA Super Cup, beating Chelsea. With the score at 1-1 after 90 and 2-2 after 120 minutes, the Reds ran out eventual 5-4 winners on penalties. The Munich team then successfully wrapped up 2013 at the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco, where they beat Raja Casablanca 2-0 in the final.
In the Bundesliga, Bayern exceeded their (own) record season of the previous year. On Matchday 27 - earlier than ever before - the club were crowned German champions. It was the first time in Bundesliga history the title had been decided in March. In the DFB Cup final, FCB beat Dortmund 2-0 after extra-time, completing the tenth double in the club's history. In the Champions League, however, they were comprehensively beaten by Real Madrid in the semi-finals (1-0 & 4-0).
Schweinsteiger says farewell
The following season (2014/15) was similar. Despite suffering lots of injuries, the Reds showed themselves to be the superior team, dominated the Bundesliga and were once again crowned champions. In the cup competitions, however, the end of the line twice proved to be the semi-finals. In the Champions League, a 3-2 second-leg home win wasn't enough to overcome the 3-0 first-leg defeat to Barcelona, and in the DFB Cup Bayern lost out to Dortmund (3-1 a.e.t.).
July 2015 heralded the end of an era at Säbener Straße. After 17 years, 20 trophies and 500 competitive games, Bastian Schweinsteiger left FC Bayern for Manchester United. In Munich, however, the team marched on undeterred and set a new starting record with ten victories from the first ten Bundesliga matches. Robert Lewandowski secured himself an entry in the history books in September with five goals in just nine minutes against Wolfsburg. The season ended with the fourth championship in a row - the first time a German team had managed that. With just 17 goals conceded, FCB also set a new defensive record for the Bundesliga.
In the 2015/16 Champions League, Bayern set another new club record by reaching the semi-finals for the fifth time in a row. This time the opponents were Atletico Madrid. The Bavarians dominated the tie but were still knocked out due to the away goals rule. A 2-1 win in Munich followed a 1-0 defeat in Madrid and the dream was over again. After winning the DFB Cup (4-3 on penalties against Dortmund), Pep Guardiola left Munich.
Ancelotti takes over, Hoeneß succeeds Hopfner
In July 2016, a new chapter began with the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti at Säbener Straße. The successful Italian coach, who had won, amongst other honours, the Champions League three times, was given his *Lederhosen*on taking up his duties and immediately won his first trophy in his first competitive game. The German champions ran out 2-0 winners against runners-up Borussia Dortmund in the Supercup.
Other awards went to Jerome Boateng (Germany's Footballer of the Year 2016) and Manuel Neuer, who was voted World's Best Goalkeeper for the fourth time. The return of Uli Hoeneß, who was re-elected president with an overwhelming majority (98.5%) following his imprisonment, was also celebrated. At the same time, Karl Hopfner went into well-deserved retirement after 35 years of service at FC Bayern in various functions (managing director, chief financial officer, senior vice president and finally president).
On the footballing front, Bayern were unstoppable in their pursuit of a record-breaking fifth consecutive championship, and they wrapped up the title with four matches still to play. However, the remaining two competitions ended in disappointment. In the DFB Cup semi-final, Dortmund narrowly overcame FCB 3-2, and the Champions League dream came to an untimely end at the hands of Real Madrid in the quarter-final. Despite injury worries and dismissals in both games, the Reds had the Spanish side on the verge of defeat but succumbed after losing 2-1 in Munich, followed by another 4-2 loss after extra-time in the second leg in Madrid. The referee played a not insignificant role in the tie with some wrong decisions.
Lahm und Alonso say goodbye
The title party at the end of May, however, went out with a bang, and two Bayern players especially were celebrated. Captain Philipp Lahm - after 22 years in FCB colours - and Xabi Alonso ended their world-class careers. "It was all like a dream," said Lahm.
With the opening of the new FC Bayern Campus in August 2017, FC Bayern equipped itself for the coming decades. "This campus should be another foundation for the future of FC Bayern, another trademark of our club", said Uli Hoeneß about the €70 million project in the north of Munich, which is within sight of the Allianz Arena.
At Säbener Straße, where new sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic took up his post at the end of July 2017, the new season began with another trophy. In the Supercup, the record champions, reinforced among others by the Colombian World Cup golden boot winner James Rodriguez, again prevailed against Dortmund. With the score 1-1 at half-time and the teams still locked at 2-2 following extra-time it ended 7-6 on penalties. It was Bayern's sixth success in this competition, making them the outright record winners.
However, the wheels were gradually coming off the Bayern juggernaut, which was reflected in the way the team played and their poor results. After a 3-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League, Carlo Ancelotti suffered the consequences and was dismissed. His successor was an old acquaintance: Jupp Heynckes. The treble-winning coach took over the team until the end of the season and his fourth term in office as Bayern head coach paid off.
Under Heynckes' guidance, the record champions were quickly back to their best and back at the top of the Bundesliga, securing the title as early as Matchday 29. In the Champions League, the Munich men lost out to Real Madrid in the semi-finals after two hard-fought clashes. The coaching legend was also denied another trophy to sign off with in the last game of the season, with Bayern going down 3-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt in the DFB Cup final.
Kovač achieves unique double
Heynckes' successor was already known for some time. Former Bayern player Niko Kovač, whose Frankfurt side had beaten FCB just a few months earlier, got off to a perfect start and lifted a trophy in his first competitive match. Against Eintracht, Lewandowski and Co claimed their third successive Supercup victory through a commanding 5-0 win.
The rest of the 2018/19 season also went very well. The only disappointment came in the Champions League, where FC Bayern were knocked out at the last-16 stage by eventual winners Liverpool. The Munich men were victorious in the cup final this time, beating RB Leipzig 3-0. Meanwhile, there was a dramatic finale in the Bundesliga as Bayern secured the title with a 5-1 win on the final matchday, against none other than Eintracht Frankfurt. Having won the double with Bayern as a player in 2003, Kovač now achieved the same feat as coach -- a first in German football! Matchday 34 also provided a wonderful farewell for three Bayern legend: Rafinha (eight years at FCB), Arjen Robben (10 years) and Franck Ribéry (12 years) appeared at the Allianz Arena for the last time and were honoured in fitting style. "This is a special moment," said the visibly touched Frenchman.