Bayern Munich Profile

Major Honours Bundesliga (32), DFB Pokal (20), Champions League (6), Europa League (1), UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (1), FIFA Club World Cup (2)
Year Founded 1900

German legends, European conquerors and global icons - Planet Sport profiles one of the world’s biggest soccer clubs.

Bayern Munich are Germany's most successful football club. They are based in Munich, Bavaria, and play their home matches at the 75,000 capacity Allianz Arena. Bayern won the treble (DFB-Pokal, Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League) in 2012/13 and 2019/20.

Bayern are coached by Julian Nagelsmann who replaced Hansi Flick, who previously led the German side to their 2019/20 treble. The club's president is Herbert Hainer and former legendary goalkeeper Oliver Kahn is the CEO.

Nagelsmann led Bayern to the Bundesliga title at the first time of asking, topping the table with 77 points ahead of Borussia Dortmund in the 2021/22 season. It was Bayern's tenth consecutive Bundesliga.

In 2008, Bayern Munich had approximately 151,000 official members, but by 2018, that figure had nearly doubled to around 291,000.

The club is followed around the world but they tend to be strongly disliked by Bundesliga fans. The hatred is unsurprising given their success however, Bayern's road to the top was not an easy one.

Bayern won their 32nd national title in 2022, but 30 of those have come since 1968/69, a season which ended a 37-year title drought.

In more recent times, a Bayern team containing the likes of Thomas Muller and Manuel Neuer has been one of the most difficult to beat not only in Germany but in all of Europe.

Formation and early history

Bayern Munich were formed in 1900 by a group of 11 players led by Franz John, breaking away from MTV Munchen and its conservative gymnasts. They struggled to make an impact outside of their region and had to wait until 1932 to win their first national title.

Bayern endured severe financial difficulties in the 1950s and were on the verge of bankruptcy before industrialist Roland Endler provided much-needed financial stability. In 1962, building contractor Wilhelm Neudecker took over as president of the club, paving the way for Bayern's rise to become one of the world's leading clubs.

Nevertheless, Bayern missed out on an invite to join the newly formed Bundesliga in 1963. Rivals 1860 Munich gained a place on the strength of their first place in the Oberliga Sud, one of five regional leagues forming the top level of soccer in West Germany. Bayern finished third that season and had to wait two further years before being admitted to the Bundesliga.

Club legends: Gerd Muller, Franz Beckenbauer, Ottmar Hitzfeld

Striker Gerd Muller joined Bayern Munich in 1964 with the club still outside the Bundesliga. They gained admission after winning their regional league in 1965 and went on to claim four Bundesliga titles together.

Muller and Bayern were German champions in 1968/69, 1971/72, 1972/73 and 1973/74. The last of these triumphs came in the same year as a European Cup victory for the club. They also went on to defend their continental title in 1974/75 and 1975/76.

Bayern Munich, May 1975, European Cup Final,

Muller left Bayern Munich in 1979. His total of 365 Bundesliga goals for the club remains intact today, with no other player in the history of German soccer coming close to matching his goalscoring achievements.

Franz Beckenbauer was an equally influential player during Bayern's era of unprecedented success in the 1970s but at the other end of the pitch. The defender was nicknamed 'Der Kaiser'.

Ottmar Hitzfeld was a particularly successful coach for Bayern over the course of two spells (from 1998 to 2004 and 2007 to 2008). During this time, Hitzfeld won 14 major trophies including five Bundesliga titles and the 2000/01 Champions League.

Bayern Munich's rivals

Apart from the local rivalry with 1860 Munich, Bayern have no shortage of foes, largely because of how competitive they are on several fronts.

They have a major rivalry with Borussia Dortmund which was re-ignited in the modern era by Dortmund's back-to-back Bundesliga title wins in 2010/11 and 2011/12 under Jurgen Klopp. Bayern provoked hostility from Dortmund supporters by signing the likes of Mats Hummels, Mario Gotze and Robert Lewandowski from the Ruhr-based club.

The rivalry with Manchester United also runs deep as Bayern were on the verge of winning the 1998/99 Champions League final against the Red Devils before an iconic comeback from Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

Bayern Munich, 1999, Champions League Final, Mario Basler

Bayern also have a longstanding European rivalry with Real Madrid, the most successful club in the history of the Champions League - an accolade Bayern badly crave.

Jupp Heynckes era

Jupp Heynckes is one of Bayern's most successful managers having guided them to their treble success in 2012/13. He first presided over Bayern from 1987-1991 before further spells in 2009 (as a caretaker), 2011-2013 and 2017-18.

Heynckes won FIFA's coach of the year prize for Bayern's successes in 2013. That year they lifted the Champions League with a 2-1 win over fierce rivals Borussia Dortmund, while also winning the Bundesliga and the German Cup. A year earlier, Bayern lost the Champions League final to Chelsea on home turf.

Bayern Munich, Jupp Heynckes, May 2013, Champions League

Apart from his stints at Bayern, Heynckes was a player and manager for Borussia Monchengladbach and also briefly resided in the managerial hotseat at Real Madrid.

Heynckes led Real Madrid to the 1997/98 Champions League title but was sacked a week later. Bayern, however, have shown a greater degree of consistency in celebrating Heynckes.

"Jupp made himself immortal," said chairman Rummenigge of the 2013 treble-winning coach. "Jupp was a fantastic coach. But Jupp is, above all, a wonderful human being, a gentleman, a role model."

Heynckes' most recent stint in charge at Bayern saw him take the reins for just under a season in 2017/18 following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti as head coach.

Recent major signings

Arjen Robben joining from Real Madrid proved crucial to Bayern's success throughout the 2010s as he remained a steady performer for the Bavarian giants. He struck up a quality partnership with Franck Ribery, another winger.

More recently, Bayern have signed crucial players in former Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski and Manchester City winger Leroy Sane.

Bayern Munich, Robert Lewandowski, December 2020

Bayern are famous for not being shy spending their money in the transfer window and are always in the market for the best talent available.

The signing of Mario Gotze from Borussia Dortmund in 2013 sparked outrage, but Gotze did not fare as well at Bayern as he had at Dortmund.

Bayern Munich's value

Bayern Munich are the fourth highest earning soccer club in the world, having reportedly raked in €660.1million in 2020. This figure also makes them the largest sports club in the whole of Germany. Forbes rated Bayern's team value at approximately $3.024billion at the close of 2020.

Bayern Munich News