Bayern Munich have picked up another Bundesliga title on Sunday, and once again, they did it well before the end of the season. History shows that the Bavarians do love to seal the league title early.
It's happened again. Bayern Munich are Bundesliga champions, and once again they've sealed it well before the final day of the season on matchday 30. Oddly though, the moment title number 25 was sealed didn't come after Bastian Schweinsteiger's winner against Hertha Berlin, but when Gladbach prevented Wolfsburg from picking up the three points they needed the following day.
The 2014/15 title is the Bavarian's fifth "early" title. Werder Bremen are the only team to come close to matching Bayern’s dominance of a season, when they sealed the trophy on matchday 31 in 1987/88.
This season doesn’t quite match Bayern's 2013/14 campaign, when the team wrapped up the Bundesliga title in March on matchday 27. Facing Hertha, as they were this weekend, Toni Kroos, Mario Götze and Franck Ribery scored that day to give Bayern an unsurmountable 25-point lead on second-placed Borussia Dortmund. Not only was it the earliest ever league win, it was also the fastest title win in any of Europe's top five leagues. On top of that, Bayern had six players (Mandzukic, Ribery, Robben, Götze, Pizarro, Müller) that season with 10 or more Bundesliga goals, which was more than any other team in the league. It was, quite simply, a historical performance.
A point to prove
Naturally, Pep had to beat the record set the year before by Bayern when they sealed that historic treble under Jupp Heynckes. In the 2012/13 Bundesliga season, it was a Bastian Schweinsteiger back-heel flick (and not David Alaba, who uncharacteristically missed from the spot) in Frankfurt on matchday 28 that secured the title for Bayern. That year they were "only" 20 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund with six games to play, but it was their first title for three years.
A decade earlier, Bayern claimed the title back off Borussia Dortmund on matchday 30 as well. Goals from Giovane Elber and Claudio Pizarro sealed the club's 18th title a good 13 points ahead of none other than Stuttgart, who, like Pizarro used to be pretty good. Ottmar Hitzfeld was the man in the dugout in the 2002/03 season, one that saw Bayern also lift the German Cup to seal the Bavarians' fourth ever domestic double.
The golden era
While all of these seasons and accompanying records are mighty impressive, the 1972/73 season was perhaps the greatest of the lot. In truth, the 1970s in general was a fairly magical era for Bayern - they can still brag about lifting three consecutive European Cups during that decade - and on matchday 30 in 1973, they also won the league early. A 6-0 hammering of Kaiserslautern left the chasing pack of Cologne, Gladbach and Wuppertal (imagine that today) out of time. Uli Hoeness bagged the opener after five minutes, before Gerd Müller scored the other five in front of 28,000 in the Munich Olympiastadion. Müller had a habit of scoring bags of goals - the striker finished with 36 goals that season - four less than the single-season record he set in 1971/72.
Lead by Germany's greatest ever manager, Udo Lattek who sadly passed away in January 2015, the '72 Bayern Munich squad (pictured above) had just as many stars as the modern one. With the likes of Müller, Franz Beckenbauer, Paul Breitner and Sepp Maier, it sounded a little similar to Guardiola's current crop, albeit a little less Spanish.
Everyone other than Bayern groans at the club's dominance, but the continuous record-breaking speaks for itself. If no one can test them domestically, then history shows that they will just better themselves, individually or collectively.