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Review of 2008, part I

Klinsmann, Hitzfeld, Kahn and Getafe

The year 2008 was an eventful and successful one at Bayern. Ottmar Hitzfeld led the club to the 2007-8 domestic double in his final spell as head coach, while his successor Jürgen Klinsmann and his men have finished the year joint top of the Bundesliga with TSG 1899 Hoffenheim. casts an eye back over the key milestones, many of which provoked a powerful emotional resonance and response.

11 January: Just a few days after the announcement that Ottmar Hitzfeld would not be extending his second spell at Germany's most successful club beyond the end of the season, FCB unveil Jürgen Klinsmann as the new man in the top job. The board pull off a sensational coup, as practically no-one had reckoned with the former Germany boss as Hitzfeld's successor. "We were looking for a man with progressive ideas reflected in the football he'd promote, and who can work with younger players. Jürgen combines all these qualities,“ comments general manager Uli Hoeneß.

1 February: Bayern restart their league campaign with a 2-1 win away to Hansa Rostock, pulling three points clear of Werder Bremen at the top of the table. Four days earlier, Hitzfeld's team seal a spot in the DFB Cup quarter-finals with a 5-2 win over third division Wuppertaler SV.

27 February: Bayern edge through to the Cup semi-finals after a thrilling 120-minute quarter-final fight with city rivals TSV 1860, although a Franck Ribéry penalty in stoppage time at the end of extra-time is the only goal separating the sides.

1 March: A Miroslav Klose strike hands Bayern their first-ever Bundesliga victory at Schalke's Veltins Arena. With 22 games played, FCB now lead the league standings by four points from Werder Bremen.

25 March: A week after a 2-0 defeat to Energie Cottbus, which would prove Bayern's solitary loss in the second half of the domestic season, Munich beat third-placed Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 to pull seven points clear of new second-placed rivals Hamburg. Four days earlier, Bayern book a place in the Cup final with a 2-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg.

10 April: The UEFA Cup quarter-final return goes down in history as the Miracle of Getafe. After a 1-1 draw in Munich, Franck Ribéry scores a minute from the end to send the tie into extra-time. The ten-man Spaniards somehow take a 3-1 lead, but Luca Toni strikes on 115 and 120 minutes to send Bayern into the semis on away goals. "I've been to Manchester, Madrid, Barcelona and everywhere that matters in the Champions League, but I've never seen anything like this. When we meet up again in ten years' time, we won't talk about Barcelona and the defeat to Manchester United in the 1999 Champions League final, we'll talk about Getafe,“ a near-delirious Oliver Kahn comments at the final whistle.

19 April: FCB claim the DFB Cup with a 2-1 extra-time victory over Borussia Dortmund in Berlin, Luca Toni netting both goals. It is Bayern's 14th triumph in the domestic knockout competition.

1 May: Bayern fall 5-1 on aggregate to eventual winners Zenit St. Petersburg and exit the UEFA Cup at the semi-final stage. "Our opponents were in fantastic shape today, fresher and fitter than us, whereas our tanks looked a little empty,“ acknowledges chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge. Bayern had previously overcome Aberdeen (7-3 on aggregate), RSC Anderlecht (6-2 on aggregate) and Getafe (4-4, on away goals) in the knockout rounds.

4 May: A goalless draw in Wolfsburg is enough to seal a 21st German championship. With just three games left, FCB are ten points clear of second-placed Werder Bremen.