Are YOU a young, up-and-coming star who has recently transferred to Bayern Munich? Probably not, but keep reading anyway. Bild were brave enough to deliver us the inside scoop, via a group intrepid explorers who penetrated deep into the dark heart of the Säbener Strasse.
They suffered many losses — one man had his toe bitten off by a horse — but they finally returned to paint a picture of the dystopian nightmare that is the Bayern dressing room.
Thankfully, their findings can be summed up in a neat info-graphic:
The Bayern hierarchy:— Bayern & Germany (@iMiaSanMia) December 16, 2019
• Vice captains
• Future captain
• "Integration minister" Thiago takes care of the integration of foreign players - Alaba of youngsters
• The established (young starters & experienced players)
• The new players: still no big role
Of course, infographics can be difficult and frightening for many people, so we here at Bavarian Football Works decided to decode the information and prepare a handy little survival guide for any potential player or manager looking to join this club.
If Niko Kovac had this guide, he’d still have a job. If Renato Sanches had been given these tips, he’d still be here. Without further ado, here is THE definitive guide to surviving the Säbener Strasse. May the odds be forever in your favor.
The Puppet King: Manuel Neuer
Captain, leader, goalkeeper — but one without real power. Manuel Neuer is thought to rank the highest among the players, not least on account of his performances. He is respected and well-liked in the dressing room.
Currying favor with him will win you some brownie points, but the Kapitän’s power extends only so far. Niko Kovac learned this the hard way — despite Neuer’s continued support, he was booted out of the team. Whether you’re a young player or a coach, spending your time ingratiating yourself with Neuer isn’t worth it. Your effort must be directed elsewhere.
The Puppet Master: Thomas Müller
Bavarian, vice-captain, and masterful interpreter of space, Thomas Müller is regarded by outsiders as the face of Bayern Munich. He’s wacky, jolly, and seems like a swell guy to hang out with. But underneath the facade lies a cold, calculating monster.
When the doors close for training, Müller arrives to the pitch atop the finest horses in all the land (Audi-sponsored, naturally). Kneeling is the appropriate thing to do in this situation. In his first training session, Renato Sanches failed to kneel, and his fate was sealed.
If you’re a coach, DO NOT antagonize this man. He commands legions of fans on Twitter, who will silence all opposition with utmost haste. His wife Lisa is an ancient sorceress of yore, able to manipulate the the winds and media alike to create propaganda for her husband.
Before the great Puppet Master, you can only submit. Supplicate, and pray that he is merciful. Otherwise, you will end up like Mario Götze. What happened to him? The tale is too dark to tell.
The Prince that Was Promised: Joshua Kimmich
Of course, Müller isn’t getting any younger (don’t tell him that, though), and someone must take the throne when he abdicates. That someone is Joshua Kimmich.
As a person, Kimmich is very different from Müller. While he may drive to work in an Audi, and his partner is a lawyer, Josh makes up for it by radiating intensity that burns the air around him. Rooms that Kimmich enters immediately grow warmer by 10 degrees.
Disappoint Josh, and you shall be reduced to ash. According to rumors, that’s what happened to Fiete Arp (RIP). Kimmich came dangerously close to revealing his true powers in the clash with Jerome Boateng in the Bremen game. If you look closely at the pic, you can see Josh charging up his eye-beams.
If you wish to survive, you must learn to befriend this man and gain his trust. However, do not make the mistake of antagonizing those above him to do so. James Rodriguez made that mistake. Müller is still top dog, and Josh can’t challenge him. A balancing act between these two centers of power is required for survival.
The Ministers of Truth and Love: Thiago Alcantara and David Alaba
Of course, if you’re a new player, you will soon have to get acquainted with of the two ministers — Thiago Alcantara or David Alaba.
If you’re a new player, especially a foreigner from another club, direct yourself to the Minister of Truth — Thiago. The Spaniard will be sure to remind you that Bayern Munich is the greatest club in the world, and all who come here must never leave. His conditioning techniques are said to violate the Geneva convention — allegedly, some recruits were made to listen to Stern des Südens 1,500 times on repeat.
If you’re a youngster just being brought into the fold, direct yourself to the Minister of Love — Alaba. Dear David, as he is called, will surely bring you into the fold, teach you the ropes, and show you how things work around here. Since taking over the role from Franck Ribery, Alaba has had a 100% conversion success rate — for evidence, look no further than Alphonso Davies.
Jerome Boateng, Leon Goretzka, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, Niklas Sule, Sven Ulreich, and Javi Martinez form the core “Establishment” of Bayern Munich. These players are useful to have on your side, and they can help you form important connections with the upper tiers of the hierarchy.
Upon arriving in Munich, your goal should be to join the establishment as soon as possible. If you’re a coach, then seek the support of these players to curry favor and gain political power. You will need it when results go south.
A tier reserved for newbies, youngsters, and the French — the Proles are the downtrodden under-caste of Bayern Munich’s hierarchy. They’re the ones who kneel before Muller’s horse, who live in constant fear of being vaporized by Kimmich’s eye-beams.
Ivan Perisic, Lucas Hernandez, Alphonso Davies, Philippe Coutinho — they all occupy this precarious space. All you can do here is try and curry favor with the upper tiers in hope of a swift level-up. Davies, for example, played the game well, and today he’s rising up the ranks as he looks to Alaba for protection. Tolisso, conversely, failed to capitalize on his head start and got leapfrogged by Leon Goretzka in the race to make the Establishment.
The Enigma: Robert Lewandowski
Listed alongside the Puppet Master himself, Robert Lewandowski is an Enigma in the hierarchy. Even Bild could not penetrate the Polish Devil’s secrets. It is said that he bullied the club hierarchy into buying Coutinho, despite knowing the effect such a signing would have on Müller. Such is his power.
May the gods help you if you cross this man.