Müller: Season shaped by sheer will to win
It was just after eight o'clock when the Bayern team bus arrived back at Säbener Strasse and the championship heroes disembarked in a great mood. The players had had around three hours after the 4-1 victory over FC Augsburg to celebrate the sixth championship in a row amongst themselves, as well as with the fans who'd travelled up for the match. Juan Bernat led a victory polonaise while holding up a copy of the championship shield and, later in the dressing-room, everyone toasted the championship while noisily singing 'Campeones, campeones'. Thomas Müller described the dressing-room party: "You open a few bottles of drinks, you listen to music, and dance a little -- but not everyone is good at it."
Back in Munich, some of the players got together for an evening meal. After a dominant Bundesliga season, they had more than earned this finale after their triumphant return from Augsburg. FCB CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge paid tribute to the team: "Just because this is the sixth title in a row we've won, it seems to be devalued. That's not the case though. The team did a great job." The 62-year-old also stressed that the team, in defending the title again have achieved something extraordinary.
The masterpiece in Augsburg was symbolic of the mental strength that's been a distinguishing mark of Bayern's play in the last few months. After Niklas Süle's unlucky own goal in the 18th minute, it took until the 32nd minute for Corentin Tolisso to equalise with Bayern's first shot on goal, kicking off the championship celebrations. From that point on, there was only one team in the match and Bayern kept the home team firmly pegged-back in their own half. James scored before the break following an exquisite back-heeled assist by Bernat, and further goals from Arjen Robben and Sandro Wagner in the second half were simply a logical consequence of the record champions' total dominance.
"It wasn't easy in the first few minutes," Rummenigge observed. "Augsburg were pretty aggressive and put in some hard tackles." The Bayern players got it right though, and, in the chairman's words, "quickly showed them how it's done. It was 'à la bonne heure', I take my hat off to them."
For Müller, the performance provided a boost for the final spurt of the season. "It was great to see how everyone ran themselves ragged again today. This will to win has carried us through the whole season, and we hope it'll carry us a little bit further," the Germany international commented.
Focus now on Sevilla match
This latest title is just the start of Munich's hunt for more trophies in the coming weeks. "This year, we want to win everything that's up for grabs. This team has great ambition," remarked Rummenigge. With the Champions League return leg against FC Sevilla just ahead of them, the title-winning heroes don't have too much time to savour their triumph. Everyone at the club is well aware this season's journey is nowhere near finished. After the small party in Augsburg, the former world-class forward praised the team's attitude: "The players are already concentrating on Wednesday. We absolutely want to get into the semi-finals."
On Sunday morning, the players were absolutely focused on the task in hand. In a short but prominently attended workout, yesterday's subs were back on the pitch and sweating ahead of the upcoming fixture in Europe's elite club competition. The championship will be celebrated in style at the end of the season, and hopefully another trophy or two will be hoisted into the air next to the championship shield on the Town Hall balcony overlooking Marienplatz.