The year 2014 did not come with the heroic narrative that the previous year brought about, but the story that unfolded was still one to write home about. Bayern Munich reinforced their reputation as raptors of Europe, and was a major part of a summer showcase in Brazil that featured its own set of twist and turns.
Bayern played 53 matches and eleven friendlies, and each of them contributed to another fullfilling feature. There are a few, though, that do stand out from the rest, even if it did not necessarily involve the club. Here are the five result that defined the club's narrative in 2014.
#1: A Bundesliga title in the Olympiastadion (3-1 win to Hertha Berlin, March 25)
The result appeared as a regular run-of-the-mill victory, but it was one that rewrote many unthinkable records. It could also be the silent kiss of death that deflated what was a solid follow up to the best season in club history. The players lost a cutting edge after that, and Guardiola twisted the side to the point where it all unraveled. That cast a mixed shadow of fondness and fury over this result, a scenario that could come about again with the pace of this Bundesliga.
#2: The bombardment from Los Blancos (0-4 loss to Real Madrid, April 29)
Bayern were walking a tight rope once they won the title, balancing complacency and competitiveness as they cruised through competitions. They eventually slipped and fell, and the drop that lasted 90 minutes ended in a thud that the club is probably still feeling. It was the best football representation of a slap in the face, and it came from Bayern's biggest rival. Even another unbeaten start has not washed away the sour taste of that Champions League semifinal defeat.
#3: Bayern's World Cup (Germany's 1-0 win over Argentina, July 13)
The bang that the Nationalelf finished the World Cup with had Bayern written all over it. The final against Argentina was one of the only matches in the competition where all seven Bayern representatives took the field, and one petite youngster, Mario Götze, was the one who made the difference. It was the perfect consolation for those players who were hoping for a second treble, and the competition as a whole greatly enhanced the profile of several players.
#4: A misfire in the States (1-2 loss to MLS All-Stars, August 6)
A trip designed to enhance the global profile of the club ended in disgust rather than delight. A rushed schedule and brief meet and greets culminated in dodgy fouls from their opponent and a handshake refusal that reverberated through the footballing world. Rarely does a friendly have any meaning, but this one brought to light a half-hearted effort at global exposure into the United States. While the experience was a great tourism opportunity for some of the players, it was a miscalculated promotional nightmare that the club probably wishes to repress.
#5: The ransacking in Rome (7-1 win over AS Roma, October 21)
Even though they have participated in the later stages of the Champions League in four of the last five years, Bayern needed a result to prove that they were the alpha dogs of Europe. That came in their third group-of-death match in Rome, where Bayern made a side under Caesar look like a side under Nero. It highlighted a Hinrunde that once again put Bayern in the drivers seat,