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Review of 2014, part 2

World Cup heroes inspire breezy start

There was very little time for the double winners to rest on their laurels and bask in the afterglow of success, as 14 Bayern men were involved in the World Cup in Brazil, with no fewer than half of them finishing as world champions. And despite the briefest of pre-seasons, the men from Munich and their clutch of new signings opened the 2014/15 campaign with plenty of panache. In the second instalment of our three-part review of the year, fcbayern.de looks back at the period from June to September.

JUNE

FCB II’s promotion agony: The FC Bayern reserves come heartbreakingly close to securing a yearned-for spot in the national third division. In the second leg of the promotion play-off against Fortuna Köln at the Grünwalder Stadium in Munich, Erik ten Hag’s young team concede a crucial goal in the fourth minute of stoppage time and are condemned to another season in the regional fourth tier. 

World Cup in Brazil: Bayern supply 14 players to the global showpiece, a total equalled only by Manchester United. It would have been more if Franck Ribéry had not suffered the pain of missing out on the tournament due to a long-term back injury.

JULY

Bayern’s magnificent seven: Germany win the World Cup thanks to Mario Götze’s extra-time winner in the Final against Argentina in Rio. Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Manuel Neuer, Thomas Müller, Jérôme Boateng and Toni Kroos also make significant contributions to the historic success. A few days after the tournament, Lahm announces his retirement form international football.

Robben named Bayern Player of the Season: Arjen Robben, one of the best players at the World Cup despite the Netherlands’ semi-final exit, is named FC Bayern Player of the Season 2013/14 in the annual fans’ poll. The flying Dutchman takes 30.9 percent of the vote and comfortably tops the charts ahead of Thomas Müller (17.4) and Philipp Lahm (15.1). 

AUGUST

Audi Summer Tour USA: FC Bayern break new ground in late July with a training camp in the USA and the opening of an office in New York. The squad travel on to Portland in early August to contest the annual MLS All-Star Game. FCB are defeated 2-1, but the focus is on the club’s world champions, who rejoin their team-mates in Portland to a heroes’ reception.

Comings and goings: As always, the summer sees a number of squad changes. Toni Kroos and Mario Mandzukic depart for Madrid, the midfielder to Real and the Croat striker to Atlético, with Diego Contento joining Bordeaux and Julian Green moving to Hamburg. Daniel van Buyten ends his playing career. The FCB squad is strengthened by the arrival of Robert Lewandowski from Dortmund, star midfielder Xabi Alonso from Real, and centre-back Mehdi Benatia from AS Roma. Juan Bernat, Pepe Reina, Sebastian Rode and Sinan Kurt also sign for Munich.

Super Cup defeat: Dortmund are in better form on the day in the domestic curtain-raiser and beat injury-hit Bayern 2-0 on their home turf. Far worse from a Bayern point of view is the torn cruciate ligament suffered by Javi Martínez, who is ruled out for the rest of the calendar year.

Bundesliga restart: Forty days after the World Cup Final, Bayern return to Bundesliga action in a hard-fought 2-1 home victory over VfL Wolfsburg. Holger Badstuber celebrates his league comeback after a 629-day layoff, and young Gianluca Gaudino makes his Bundesliga debut. 

SEPTEMBER

Champions League opener: The new campaign in Europe’s elite club competition starts with a real highlight as Jérôme Boateng blasts a stunning winner to earn Bayern a last-gasp 1-0 home win over Manchester City. FCB also prevail in a behind-closed-doors tie away to CSKA Moscow to seal a perfect start to the group stage.

Fire alarm in Moscow: The night before the match hardly goes smoothly as the players are forced to evacuate their hotel on Red Square in the Russian capital due to a fire alarm. The team and staff spend an hour sheltering in a nearby restaurant before the all-clear sounds.

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