Created on 01-01-2015 at 10:00 AM
Record after record tumbled as Bayern forged ahead on their path of success in the final third of 2014, and the new levels of achievement extended to the club’s off-field activities too. A superb year for the Bavarians ended with the Reds spending the winter break atop the Bundesliga for the fourth year in a row with a promising cushion for the second half of the season. In the final instalment of our three-part review of the year, fcbayern.de looks back at the period from October until December.
New injury blow for Thiago: Talented midfielder Thiago suffers a new blow in his bid to regain fitness. The Spaniard had only just resumed team training when he sustained another knee ligament injury, ruling him out for the rest of the year. Just a couple of weeks earlier, Holger Badstuber also fell victim to a serious injury (ruptured tendon).
Record victory in Rome: Notte magica in Rome! Bayern thrash AS Roma 7-1 in the biggest-ever away win in the club’s European history.
Papal audience: Less than 12 hours after the extraordinary triumph at the Stadio Olimpico, the smartly attired Bayern squad leave their team hotel and make their way to the Vatican for the privilege of a private audience with noted football fan Pope Francis.
Cup success in Hamburg: FCB maintain their long run of success in the domestic cup competition with a 3-1 DFB Cup last sixteen victory away to Hamburg, earning a quarter-final at home to Eintracht Braunschweig in March 2015.
BVB beaten: Robert Lewandowski and Arjen Robben hit the target for the Reds in a deserved 2-1 home win over Bundesliga rivals Borussia Dortmund. The victory allows FCB to open up a four-point gap over Wolfsburg after ten games, but November brings more injury misery: captain Philipp Lahm fractures an ankle, and David Alaba sustains knee ligament damage.
FCB wrap up Group E victory: A 2-0 home success against Roma means Bayern can no longer be toppled from the top of Champions League Group E after only four of the six fixtures. It is the first time a German club has won a Champions League group with two games to spare.
Extension for Sammer, Arena paid off in full: Two important developments help Bayern continue to strengthen their position for the future. Sporting director Matthias Sammer agrees a contract extension until 2018, and Karl-Heinz Rummenigge announces a spectacular financial coup: the club initially planned to pay off the outstanding debt incurred in constructing the Allianz Arena over 25 years, “but we’ve paid it off in full after just nine and a half years,” the chairman says.
Schweinsteiger’s comeback: The vice-captain and crowd favourite comes on after 77 minutes of the home meeting with Hoffenheim. The Allianz Arena crowd rises as one to welcome the midfield star. Schweinsteiger had been sidelined since the World Cup with persistent knee problems but now makes his first competitive appearance of the campaign.
AGM presented with superb set of figures: At the club’s Annual General Meeting, deputy chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen announces record turnover of €528.7 million and profit after tax of €16.5 million for the 2013-14 fiscal year. “There’s no question that FC Bayern has never before been based on such strong sporting and commercial foundations,” Dreesen declares. And with a total of 251,315 paid up members, FCB is now the world’s biggest sports club by membership.
Neuer in Ballon d’Or top three: Keeper Manuel Neuer is one of the final three candidates for the Ballon d’Or, the award presented to the best player in the world over the previous year. In the final showdown, the world’s best keeper of 2013 is up against Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid and Lionel Messi of Barcelona. The result will be made known in January 2015.
Donetsk in the Round of 16: FCB complete their Champions League Group E programme with a home win over CSKA Moscow and are drawn to face Shakhtar Donetsk in next year’s Round of 16. It will be the first-ever meeting between Munich and the Ukrainians.
Top spot at Christmas: FCB’s 4-0 win at Augsburg on Matchday 15 means the Reds are certain to be ‘autumn champions’, the unofficial title awarded to the team top of the league at the midpoint of the campaign. In yet another new record, Bayern claim the crown for the fourth season in a row. It is not an official title, but it is a milestone and an important pointer for the rest of the season: in the past, the Reds have gone on to win the league on 16 of the 19 occasions they have been top at the midpoint, so in mathematical terms there is an 84.2 percent chance they will do so again this term.
Robben named Dutch Sports Personality of the Year: “I’m totally overjoyed,” says a proud Arjen Robben after receiving the prestigious award at the Allianz Arena following Bayern’s meeting with Freiburg. It is the first time since the great Ruud Gullit in 1987 that a footballer has won the Dutch Sports Personality of the Year accolade, and it is the crowning glory in a year of personal triumph for the Bayern star.