Bayern Munich’s long-standing supremacy in Germany faced an unprecedented challenge last season. The Bavarian squad clinched the championship by a narrow margin, their triumph hinging on a mere handful of goals. The title race reached its climax as they ended the campaign with a 15-goal lead over their closest rival, Dortmund, who had amassed 71 points. As a new Bundesliga season commences, the list of contenders aspiring to dethrone Bayern grows, fueled by newfound hope and determination. The collective belief is that it’s attainable – all that remains is to seize the opportunity.
The Bayern led by Thomas Tuchel presented a paradoxical image in the preceding season. They showcased vulnerability that could be exploited, yet stood as a formidable and daunting giant to overcome. The conclusion of the tournament brought about an unprecedented finale, a rarity in a typically less competitive landscape of German football. Beyond German borders, the adage is often quoted – sometimes attributed to Gary Lineker – that football is a game invented by the English where 11 players square off against each other, and the Germans invariably triumph. Within Germany, it could be said that Bayern Munich invariably emerges victorious. Their unassailable dominion over the Bundesliga is unquestionable.
The inception of the German Bundesliga dates back to 1964, and in the years since, Bayern Munich has been crowned champions on an astounding 32 occasions. In the current century, they have secured the title 17 times, an astonishing feat. Their iron grip on the championship extends to the last 11 consecutive editions. This unparalleled hegemony has relegated even formidable competitors like Borussia Dortmund (7 times), RB Leipzig (2 times), Bayer Leverkusen, and Wolfsburg to mere shadows in the past decade.
However, a fresh perspective reveals that Bayern Munich’s stranglehold on victory has begun to wane. The conclusion of the 2022-23 season left an impression that their wins are no longer as effortless as before. A surprise draw for Dortmund on the final matchday opened the door for another celebration in Bavaria. If any further evidence of their vulnerability was required, the beginning of the current campaign has supplied it.