2019 to 2021
Change at the top and 6 trophies in one year
At the start of the 2019/20 season, Niko Kovač sadly failed to build on his success from the previous season, which led to the club parting company with the coach by mutual consent in November 2019. Hansi Flick took over, initially on an interim basis, with the team in fourth place in the Bundesliga. The World Cup-winning assistant coach did such a good job that his contract was extended until summer 2023 in spring.
There was also a change at the top of the club – and it signified the end of an era. Uli Hoeneß had already announced in August 2019 that he would not stand for re-election as FCB president on 15 November. Herbert Hainer was chosen as his successor by members at the AGM, while Hoeneß was named honorary president after 40 years with the club. “There will never be life without FC Bayern for him, and he’s always welcome here. I wish my friend Uli all the best,” praised then CEO and long-time companion Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
120th birthday and coronavirus disruption
From his home on Tegernsee, Hoeneß watched as FCB quickly got back on track under Flick. Bayern thrilled with brilliant attacking football and a solid defence. On Matchday 20, they climbed back to the top of the table and could celebrate the club’s 120th birthday in suitable style. On 8 March, the Reds wore a special retro shirt to mark the occasion and beat Augsburg 2-0 at the sold-out Allianz Arena. Sadly, the match was memorable for another reason as it was Bayern’s last home fixture in front of a crowd for a long time, with the coronavirus pandemic causing a break in play shortly after this match.
For just over two months, not a ball was kicked. Flick kept his side fit with cyber training and it proved to be worth it. On May 17, it finally got going again and Bayern returned with a 5-2 win over Union Berlin. The remaining eight league matches also ended in comfortable victories, securing the Bundesliga title and the first trophy of the year. The next one came in the DFB Cup following a 4-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen. In the Champions League, the second leg of the round of 16 tie against Chelsea still needed to be played. After a 3-0 away win in the first leg before the break, the Reds eased into the next round with a deserved 4-1 win at home in early August. From the quarter-final onwards, all remaining matches were staged in a one-legged knockout tournament in Lisbon due to the coronavirus pandemic. And Bayern got off to a blistering start.
Title after title and some special awards
First, Barcelona were completely overpowered and sent home with an 8-2 scoreline. Bayern had sent out a statement and justified their status as favourites. In the final, Kingsley Coman headed his team to a 1-0 victory against Paris Saint-German. Bayern lifted the Champions League trophy for the sixth time, sealed the second treble in the club’s history and started a hunt for records.
An 8-0 thrashing of Schalke acted as a perfect start to the new campaign. And there was soon another title to celebrate after a 2-1 win (after extra time) in the UEFA Super Cup against Sevilla. The next one followed with a 3-2 victory over Borussia Dortmund in the domestic Supercup. There was also numerous well-deserved awards for Bayern and their players, such as Manuel Neuer being crowned The Best FIFA Men’s Goalkeeper and Robert Lewandowski being recognised as The Best FIFA Men’s Player, becoming the first man to win FIFA’s top award while playing for Bayern.
Fighting spirit and character to win 6th title
In the league, however, the busy schedule because of coronavirus was beginning to take its toll. Flick’s side were no longer dominating opponents as much and were conceding far more goals, but the team showed impressive character. In almost every game, they came from behind to get a result.
Unfortunately it didn’t work out in the DFB Cup and Bayern were knocked out in the second round after losing on penalties to Holstein Kiel. Instead the Bavarians showed what they’re about in the FIFA Club World Cup, where they claimed their sixth title within a calendar year, something that only Barcelona have achieved before in 2009. Flick and his team made history, but they didn’t want to settle for that. In the Champions League, the holders performed well again but were knocked out by PSG in the quarter-finals on the away goals rule. The 1-0 win in Paris was sadly not enough following the 3-2 reverse in the first leg.
Fifth star for FCB – Magical record for Lewandowski
In the Bundesliga, Neuer and Co reclaimed top spot in the last match before Christmas and stayed there until the end. The title was wrapped up on Matchday 32. It was FCB’s ninth in a row, the 31st German league title in the club’s history and the 30th in the Bundesliga. It means that from the 2021/22 season, the team will wear five stars on their badge. The standout performer was Lewandowski, who scored an incredible 41 goals in the season, beating Gerd Müller’s fabled record of 40 which had stood for almost 50 years.
A few weeks before the end of the season, Hansi Flick had announced his desire to terminate his contract early, and the club agreed to his request. In 19 months at the helm, he’d brought Bayern an almighty seven trophies. FCB recruited young, Bavaria-born Julian Nagelsmann from RB Leipzig as Flick’s successor. And there was another big change at management level, too.
End of an era: Kahn replaces Rummenigge
Upstairs, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge left his position as CEO early to make way for Oliver Kahn. “It’s the strategically sensible and logical solution,” explained Rummenigge, who was due to step down in January 2022. Together with Uli Hoeneß, he made FCB one of the biggest clubs in the world with a high international standing. Oliver Kahn and president Herbert Hainer now want to continue that with the new coaching team. “We want to continue to make the club as successful in the future and develop it,” said the former goalkeeping star when he took office in July 2021.