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Bayern Dominance Creates Boringliga

Even after a loss to Hamburg, the shine on Bayern Munich's record has hardly been smudged. Munich may go down as Germany's most successful team ever, but some fear they're turning the Bundesliga into a dull spectacle.

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Munich celebrating has nearly become a given in the Bundesliga

Bayern churned out a record 15 successive league wins, nine last season and six in the current campaign, before SV Hamburg was able to end their winning streak this weekend. While the win helped second place Hamburg draw closer to Munich in the table, they'll have to hope for Bayern to collapse again before they can takeover at the top.

If SV Hamburg or third-placed Werder Bremen had reached the summit on the same points the German top flight would probably have hailed the unbeaten run, but with Bayern everything is different.

"Everyone fears a boring Bundesliga because Bayern appear to be unbeatable and are just marching away," explained the daily Bild newspaper before Bayern's loss on Saturday.

DFB-Pokalfinale FC Bayern München - FC Schalke 04 p178

Michael Ballack celebrates a German Cup victory

Bayern a league of their own

But, as Hamburg proved, it's up to the players themselves to dethrone the colossal Bavarians if they want a more exciting league, according to West Germany's 1990 World Cup winner Thomas Berthold.

"The other clubs are no longer sparring partners for Bayern," he said. "After 10 games the league could be sewn up and then it becomes dull for the spectators."

Last season Bayern endured their worst start in 25 years and were down in fourth after collecting only 11 points in the first six matches.

Yet they still went on to finish 14 points ahead of Schalke 04 and lift a 19th German championship cup. So what are they capable of this season?

Stefan Effenberg

Stefan Effenberg still has confidence in his former team

Effenberg proved wrong

Stefan Effenberg (photo), a 2001 Champions League winner with Bayern, said he believes the current season is going to be an even bigger procession. Though he originally predicted that his former club wouldn't lose a game all season, he is still convinced of Bayern's supremacy.

"If you look at the league there is no team at Bayern's level," he said. "I predict Bayern will retain their title, and it will be by more than the 16-point advantage in the 2002/03 season."

Schalke 04 posed a brief threat last season but already lie eight points behind so the onus falls on the shoulders of Werder Bremen and SV Hamburg.

"We are not title contenders," declared Hamburg coach Thomas Doll. "Bayern are top and there on merit."

Hamburg are second and just one point behind the tabletoppers from Munich.

Meisterschale für Werder Bremen

Werder Bremen won the German title in 2004

Still plenty to play for

Bremen, only two points behind in third, stole the crown from Bayern in 2004 but did not help their title tilt this season by selling their French defensive star Valerien Ismael to Bayern for eight million euros ($6.6 million).

Even after one loss, it is still hard to see who can even challenge Bayern let alone finish above them but manager Felix Magath insists there is still some spice left in the Bundesliga.

"I do not think the league is threatening to become boring," vowed Magath "The season still has a long way to go and it will still be difficult for us."

German football neutrals will hope so, but Bayern fans are content with letting the dominance continue.

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