COMMENTARY | Since the European Champion Clubs’ Cup was renamed to the UEFA Champions League in 1992, no team has managed to win the “trophy with the big ears” in consecutive years.
Arguably the best team to win the trophy during this period, Pep Guardiola’s 2010-2011 Barcelona side, was knocked out the following year in the semifinal. Their tiki-taka system was studied by hundreds of teams and fans alike across the world and eventually was figured out and effectively stymied by Jose Mourinho’s Real Madrid. Drawing from Mourinho’s tactics, Roberto Di Matteo put together a game-plan and Chelsea successfully stopped Barcelona in the semifinal of the 2012 Champions League.
So what exactly does it take to win the most prestigious club competition in the world twice in a row? If the strongest club of the last twenty-one years (some may say that specific 2010-2012 Barcelona side were the strongest club side of all time) cannot accomplish it, can anyone?
Bayern Munich’s circumstance coming into the 2013 Champions League is one that no other team since 1992 has shared. The Bavarians are coming off a season in which they won the European Cup with the coach resigning at the end of the season.
The unique circumstance here is that they are being taken over by a coach that already has the Champions League in his CV. Since 1992, no team has won the Champions League one season only to be taken over by a manager that had already won it in his career.
In addition to this, Pep Guardiola has introduced a drastically new style and footballing philosophy to the five time European Cup winners. La Liga has seen tiki-taka become obsolete. The Bundesliga, however, is in prime condition for the overly technical tactic to bear fresh fruit. Bayern’s tecnical players have adopted the new style brilliantly. After a slow start in which the red outfit won by small margins, Bayern have managed to not lose a single match in the Bundesliga this season.
Sure, Guardiola’s side looked lackluster and unmotivated after going up 2-0 on Manchester City in the last round of the group stage. But that loss in concentration will serve as a wake-up call.
Losing v City was a good thing for Bayern as it has NEVER happenend that a team winning ALL 6 group matches also won the CL that season.
– Infostrada Sports (@InfostradaLive) December 11, 2013
Bayern are by far the most well-rounded team in the Champions League, and have depth in squad as well. Don’t be surprised if they are brandishing the cup and heaving Guardiola into the air in celebration next May.