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Review of 2015, part 1

Record wins, comebacks and league titles

2015 was another action-packed year at FC Bayern Munich. Part one of this review by fcbayern.de looks at the period from January to June.

JANUARY

Neuer World Goalkeeper number one again: Manuel Neuer is voted the World’s Best Goalkeeper by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS) for the second year in succession - way ahead of Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois. Neuer later goes to Zurich for the FIFA Ballon d’Or awards ceremony where he is ranked third behind Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Third place is certainly an honour. Impressively, four FC Bayern players feature in the top six in this vote (Neuer, Robben, Müller, Lahm).

Allianz Arena extended: The capacity at FC Bayern’s ground is increased by 4,000 to 75,000 for domestic fixtures. The Arena holds 70,000 for European games.

First defeat of the season: After remaining unbeaten in the first half of the season Bayern lose the first league game of the year 4-1 at second-placed VfL Wolfsburg. FCB maintain a comfortable lead at the top of the table (eight points).

FEBRUARY

Götze Goalscorer of the Year: The 2014 World Cup win lives on. Mario Götze’s legendary 113th-minute winner in the Final against Argentina is voted Goal of the Season. An FC Bayern player wins the award for a tenth time since its inception in 1971.

Biggest win in 30 years: On Bundesliga Matchday 21 FC Bayern hammer Hamburg SV in a crushing 8-0 win at the Allianz Arena. The previous biggest win for Bayern in Germany’s top flight was over 30 years ago. Holger Badstuber makes another comeback 154 days after a serious thigh injury.

FC Bayern celebrates birthday: 115 years old, a ripe old age. FC Bayern celebrate the club’s latest milestone with a 4-1 home win against FC Köln.

MARCH

Goal fest against Shakhtar: A goalless draw in the first leg is followed by a fantastic 7-0 victory in the return at the Allianz Arena. The biggest Champions League win in the club’s history precedes a quarter-final against FC Porto.

Robben injured: One of the most important players at FC Bayern suffers a torn stomach muscle in a 2-0 league defeat to Gladbach - just before the crucial phase of the season. Robben fights his way back but picks up a calf injury on the day of his comeback and does not play again in the 2014/15 campaign.

APRIL

Thiago’s comeback: Thiago will not forget 4 April in a hurry. After a year on the sidelines due to a knee injury the midfielder makes his long-awaited comeback away to Borussia Dortmund. It is the first appearance for Thiago since 29 March 2014.

The next CL goal fest: After Shakhtar it is the turn of FC Porto to feel the full force of the Reds at home in Munich. The Portuguese are in the driving seat after a 3-1 win in the first leg but FCB turn the tables at home with a 6-1 mauling to progress to the Champions League semi-finals for the fourth year in succession. A showdown with FC Barcelona awaits.

Cup exit against Dortmund: Bayern are knocked out of the DFB Cup at the semi-final stage. It is 1-1 after 120 minutes against Borussia Dortmund but Lady Luck deserts FCB. Not one of the penalties ends up in the Dortmund net.

League title number 25: FC Bayern seal German league title number 25 on 26 April - without playing. After a 1-0 win against Hertha Berlin on the Saturday nearest rivals Wolfsburg lose at Gladbach on the Sunday. Bayern cannot be caught in the title race.

MAY

Martínez comeback: The next long-term injury absentee returns. After 262 days out injured with a torn cruciate Javi Martínez is back in action at Bayer Leverkusen. However, he cannot prevent a 2-0 defeat. Bayern are already champions of Germany at this point.

Women lift league title: Incredible but true. The FC Bayern women’s team win the German title again for the first time in 39 years. In a nail-biting finish the FCB women (on 56 points) win the Allianz Women’s Bundesliga on the final matchday ahead of VfL Wolfsburg (55) and FFC Frankfurt (53).

CL exit against Barcelona: In a repeat of the previous campaign the Champions League journey ends at the semi-final stage. The setback of a 3-0 first leg defeat in Barcelona is followed a week later by an impressive 3-2 victory at the Allianz Arena but that is not good enough. Barça go on to beat Juventus in the Final.

Champions party: It’s party time in Munich after the last league game against Mainz! Champions of Germany, plus two last-four appearances in the  Champions League and the DFB Cup - the 2014/15 campaign is a success. After the league trophy is presented at the Allianz Arena Bayern celebrate late into the night at the Postpalast and the next day they are on the Town Hall balcony… alongside the women’s team, marking German football’s first-ever ‘mixed double’.

JUNE

First transfers: There are no major tournaments in 2015 and the players are away on holiday. At the same time, the club management are busy making plans for the new season. June announcements: Sven Ulreich joins the club from VfB Stuttgart as the reserve keeper. Mitchell Weiser (Hertha Berlin) and Pepe Reina (Napoli) leave FC Bayern.