Losing a second Champions League final in three years would have surely broken the hearts of all the Munich fans and many may worry about the next chance but they need to forget about that and worry more about their domestic situation, where they remain trophy-less for two seasons.
Bayern Munich have always been the powerhouse of Germany, their title might have been threatened time and again by various teams but in the end they prevailed. 22 German league titles and 15 DFB-Pokal titles (German equivalent of FA cup) are enough proof of it.
But the times appear to be changing, in the previous two seasons they have lost the title to Dortmund based Borussians and were also beaten 5-2 in this year’s edition of DFB-Pokal. Borussia Dortmund have shown that their 2010 title was not a one-off by not just successfully defending their crown but by going one step further and doing a league and cup double, that too, even after selling their star player of 2011, Nuri Sahin to Real Madrid.
Success is no stranger to Dortmund, as they have not only won league titles before in 1995 and 1996 but they also went on to win the Champions League in 1997, beating the Zinedine Zidane inspired Juventus in the final which gives enough proof of the golden era the club once enjoyed. But the turn of the millennia produced some great horrors for the (then) recent European champions as their fortunes steadily declined due to poor financial management, and the club frequently flirted with relegation and though they won the Bundesliga once more in 2002, they nearly went bankrupt in 2005. To reduce their debts they had to rename their stadium “Signal Iduna Park” and also sell star players like Thomas Rosicky and David Odonkor. With their financial situation improving ,the club began to rise back from the ashes.
The path was not easy and Dortmund had their worst ever finish in the Bundesliga in 2008 but that did not stop them. With the appointment of Jurgen Klopp, the rebuilding of the team started but the club needed to do this in a more intelligent manner than they did in the past so they discarded the previous policy of spending big in the transfer market which led to their near destruction earlier. If Klopp needed new players he had to develop them, or sell from the existing squad to finance new signings who were usually picked from the bargain bin. But that didn’t deter Klopp, and he bought in players like Mats Hummels, initially on loan and then made the deal permanent for only eight million. It will be considered a bargian given the fact that his current value is easily between 20-25 million. Hummels was not the only one, and in came his current central defence partner Subotic who himself came in a cut-priced deal. Shinji Kagawa who is being linked with a 11 million euro deal with Manchester United was bought for less than a million, two years back. Steal, Isn’t he? And they are just a few examples of Klopp’s genius. There are many others like Robert Lewandowski and Kevin Grosskreutz who spring to our mind. We cannot forget the players like Mario Gotze, who Klopp has developed in the youth academy, but what is more astonishing is the fact that it has been all done at a wage bill of approximately $75 million, which is nearly one-third of Bayern’s.
Even though the club sold their star player, Nuri Sahin, the chairman Watzke has recently said that “they have no intention of becoming a bank”, and to back up his statement they can present the example of Marco Reus whose services the club recently secured for about €17.5 million. The German sensation joins in the Borussians to bolster their already impressive attack.
Interesting fact is that Reus chose Dortmund over Munich, who had themselves shown strong interest in the youngster. It is not the sort of rejection Bayern is used to which shows that the Borusssians’ increasing domination doesn’t limit only to the pitch but has also extended to the transfer market.
So the 5-2 win appears to be a dare to Bayern Munich to come and beat them if they want to recapture their former dominance, because they are here to stay!
– By Pranav Agarwal