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Sports

Opinion: Bayern dynasty makes for tedious titles

Bayern's record title run has left the Bundesliga with a boredom problem. The one bit of consolation for fans of tight championship races, says DW's Jefferson Chase, is that in sports nothing lasts forever.

There are many adjectives you could use to describe Bayern Munich's record fourth-straight German championship and the 26th in club history. Dramatic isn't one of them.

In retrospect, the 2015-16 season may seem more exciting than it was since the Bavarian behemoths only sealed the title on the penultimate day of the season. But their 2-1 win over Ingolstadt has all the excitement of a formality at the end of a foregone conclusion. For weeks now no one has been under any illusions that the "salad bowl" would end up somewhere other than Munich.

The disadvantages for the Bundesliga of the dynasty Jupp and Pep built are all too apparent. While English football fans were swept away by the story of 5000-to-1 outsiders Leicester winning the Premiership, and Spanish football followers are being treated to a three-way race to wire between Barcelona, Atletico and Real, Bundesliga aficionados had to make do with the fight for fourth place and the relegation battle. Doesn't exactly scream "Switch on the defibrillator," does it?

Like Serie A and the Ligue 1, the Bundesliga has become a one-horse contest. The bad news is: with Bayern's current, relatively young squad and their ability to poach players (Hummels *cough* Hummels) from potential rivals, it's unlikely that Munich's title run is over. You don't need a Shakespearean imagination to picture Neuer, Lewandowski, Müller and Co. adding another two or three German championships to their haul.

The good news is that every dynasty comes to end eventually. Real Madrid won five straight Spanish titles on their way to eight in nine years in the 1960s, as well as becoming champions five times in a row in the late 1980s. Yet the primera división didn't collapse under their regal weight. The stories are similar in professional competitions in a variety of sports around the world.

If anything, the Bundesliga was rather unusual in having never experienced the sort of tedious predictable dynasty we're seeing in Munich right now. Over in Italy, Juventus are on a run of five domestic titles - at the start of the millennium, Olympique Lyon won an amazing seven on the trot in France. In comparison even today's Bundesliga almost looks competitive

Even if it's difficult to envision any team dislodging Bayern from their perch, history suggests that a rival, or perhaps even a group of rivals, will emerge. The sooner, the better for fans of edge-of-your-seats Bundesliga title races.

Traditionalists long and look forward to the days when clubs like Dortmund, Schalke or Mönchengladbach can once again give Bayern a run for their money. Perhaps more likely is that corporate- or privately - sponsored teams will be able to overcome Munich's monetary and other advantages.

But that's a story for another day. Specifically Sunday, when RB Leipzig could clinch promotion to the German first division which Bayern Munich presently have so firmly under their thumb.

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