Love it or hate it, FC Bayern Munich kept its place at the top of German football for decades. As such, the team plays in the newest and most impressive stadium in Germany and draws the most gifted players. Its list of numerous domestic and international titles since it was founded in Bavaria in 1900 is long, and seems to be getting longer by the year.
In 2005, Bayern left Olympiastadium, it’s home since 1979, for the new, state of the art Allianz Arena, which was built for the 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany and has a capacity of 71,000. The outer walls of the stadium are shaped like a car tire, covered with a stunning, unique glass exterior, with the ability to light up in Bayern-red during home games.
Bayern is the most successful club in Bundesliga history, having won the domestic title a record 27 times. The club also holds the record for the most DFB-Pokal (German cup) titles, having won it 18 times, as well as seven German Supercups and six League Cups. In addition, Bayern has won the UEFA Champions League five times.
Along the years, many German legends have played for the Bavarians, including Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Muller (Bayern's goal leader, with 525 goals in 15 seasons), Sepp Maier and current club president Uli Hoeness, all in the glorious days of the '70's, in which it won the European Champions Cup for three consecutive years. During the 80’s and 90’s. it was time for Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Lothar Matthäus and goalkeeper Oliver Kahn (who holds the record for most games played for Bayern, with 632 games in 14 seasons), to shine. All of them, of course, were German internationals.
The club’s biggest rivalry in the local league is Borussia Dortmund. The two sides met in the 2013 UEFA Champions League final, which Bayern won 2-1. Internationally, Bayern has developed a fierce rivalry with Spanish giants Real Madrid, which it met on 33 occasions in European competitions.
Bayern took part in what is regarded as one of the greatest football games ever, when it met Manchester United in the Champions League final in 1999. After leading for most of the match 1-0, United scored two goals in a span of three minutes in extra time to win it all, leaving Bayern's players heartbroken.
The 2012-2013 season is regarded as the greatest ever season in club’s history, as Bayern became the first German side to win a treble. It was Jupp Heynckes’ last season with the club as a manager, as Bayern won the Champions League, the Bundesliga title and the DFB-Pokal Cup.
By the end of the 2016-17 season, long standing team and Germany captain Philipp Lahm, the player who has won every possible title with Bayern and the national team, announced his departure from the game, symbolling an end of an era. Looking forward, Bayern, the leading force in German football, still possesses a host of world class players, including Javi Martinez, Arjen Robben, Frank Ribéry, Thomas Müller and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. This nucleus allows the club to chase every possible tournament and trophy available.
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