It has been more than a week since Bayern Munich were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League at the hands of Atletico Madrid. In those nine days, many have pointed to Pep Guardiola as the reason Bayern won't be traveling to Milan at the end of the month. "He should've started Müller in Madrid," "he shouldn't play such a high line," "Bernat shouldn't be starting important games." All are valid arguments and points to make, but maybe none of this even mattered. Maybe Pep and Bayern were doomed from the start. Maybe it was never up to them. Maybe - just maybe - there were other powers at play that none of us have considered here.
According to Snapchat legend DJ Khaled, "They don't want you to win. They don't want you to succeed." And, you know what? He may just be right.
In trying to assign blame, no one ever considered Bayern's kits. The club has won five European Cups in its history, and all have come on the backs of not only great players and coaches but also classic Bayern kits. This year, it's undeniable that the club has great players and a great coach, meaning that the only thing their missing is a classic Bayern kit.
In Bayern's golden years when they won the European Cup three consecutive years (1974, 1975, 1976), they donned these beauties. The classic red with white stripes that I believe most everyone associates with Bayern.
Photo credit: Werner OTTO/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Fast forward thirty years, and the club is back in the UCL final in 2001 against Valencia, one they win in a penalty shootout. The kits they wore that year? Yep, a classic red with white stripes on the sleeves, replicating basically the same exact look from thirty years before.
Photo credit: Alex Livesey/ALLSPORT
To cite more recent times and ones that are still somewhat fresh in our memory, let's take a look at the kits from the 2012/13 final. A classic red with white stripes, once again basically a mirror image of the ones they had in prior title winning years.
Photo credit: Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Certainly, this is not a coincidence, the sample size is just too large at this point: five classic kits, five European championships.
With next years jerseys only somewhat following the guidelines (no stripes on the sleeves, also a collar), it sounds like the club is already set up poorly to win another Champions League. This begs the question:
Can Carlo Ancelotti break the curse and finally lead Bayern to glory without a traditional Bayern kit? We shall see.