There was no written agreement. They never officially said anything. However, when the ball started rolling at the Allianz Arena on Tuesday afternoon, the contract between Bayern Munich and every supporter was signed, sealed, and delivered.
WE'RE GOING TO THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL.
It's a little outrageous to think about it like that, but every Bayern supporter believed that somehow this team was going to overcome a 0-3 deficit and knock Barcelona out of the UEFA Champions League. This team, missing three of the top fifteen players in world football, was going to pull of the Munich Miracle.
There were many Bayern supporters were enraged after the first leg. Unable to understand exactly how a team like Bayern could lose away from home to Barcelona by that scoreline. It seemed to be that people just didn't understand how big a loss players like Arjen Robben, Franck Ribery, David Alaba, and Holger Badstuber are to a team. In a comparison, how well would Barcelona have done at the Allianz Arena without Lionel Messi, Neymar, Andres Iniesta, and Gerard Pique going against a full strength FC Bayern? It's likely that they also would've found themselves chasing a 0-3 deficit back in Barcelona for the second leg.
Hope, however, is a universal concept. Everyone knows the feeling. It's prevalent in sport. Regardless of your place in the sporting landscape, there's always a target that everyone is chasing. After several years of falling behind the rest of Europe's elite, FC Bayern could finally see that target at the beginning of this decade. Then, in 2013, Bayern Munich fulfilled the wishes of their fans and lifted the Champions League trophy at Wembley Stadium. FC Bayern were Champions of Europe.
There are two things to learn about hope. The first is that it's delicate. In the seventh minute of Tuesday's contest, Mehdi Benatia gave that hope a jolt. Pep Guardiola's side only needed to grab two more goals in the remaining 83 minutes, and they would force an extra time period. This tie wasn't over. Then, Neymar happened. When FC Barcelona paid €130 million for Neymar a few seasons ago, they expected this impact in these massive games. Just like that, Barcelona put Bayern behind the eight ball once again. The hosts would need five second half goals to win the tie.
See, here's the second and most important thing about hope. Hope is resilient. The Südkurve was loud and pushed FC Bayern forward, almost as if saying, "Come on, boys! It's only five goals!" Bayern were still going to do this. They gave it their all, grabbing two goals in the process, but the five were not meant to be. The players left the field with their heads held high. They left it all on the field. Everyone could see. Everyone was proud.
In four months time, Bayern Munich will enter the 2015-2016 Champions League. When the ball starts rolling, hope will reign, and FCB will be expected to win everything once again.