It’s not always easy being a fan of Bayern Munich. To fans of other clubs, this seems like a slap in the face (which, in some cases it probably is). However, to be a follower of one of the most successful clubs in the world comes with the expectation of dominance in everything.
While we have experienced the highs of the Champions League Final victory at Wembley in 2013, there have been many crushing relatively low points over the last decade which we can look back on with horror.
These are the 10 worst moments of the last decade for Bayern Munich:
10. The Mint Kit
Okay, let’s start off with something simple. We may have had high expectations going into the 2018-19 season, but one thing is for certain: we didn’t expect our kits to look like this.
From the purple Real Madrid-esque accents, to the Qatar Airways patch, to the shade of green, this kit was a disaster. It was painful to watch Bayern play in it and they even performed poorly to back it up. The kit even led to protests in the Südkurve from Bayern’s own fans. Overall, it was just an eyesore and they should never bring this kit back.
9. The Carlo Ancelotti Debacle of 2017
While the 2016/17 season was overall a decent one for Bayern, the poor form in the Pokal and the Champions League (which we’ll get to later) was too bad to ignore. This left then-manager Carlo Ancelotti in hot water with the board and fans. The following season began with a 4-1-1 record in the Bundesliga over the first six games. In the Champions League, however, Bayern had a less fortunate record. Following a 3-1 win over Anderlecht, Bayern was blown out of Paris losing to PSG 3-0. The next day, Ancelotti was sacked in what some believe was a premature move. The club brought back Jupp Heynckes a few weeks later, but it didn’t produce any better results than the previous year. Ancelotti then moved to Napoli before being sacked and now manages at Everton.
8. Bayern Purchases Renato Sanches for €35 million from Benfica
A player once thought to be one of the brightest young stars in Europe was not able to stand out at the Stern des Südens. The 18-year-old had an amazing summer in 2016, winning the European Championship with Portugal and taking home the award for Best Young Player at the tournament. Hoping to jump on the hype, Bayern signed him from Benfica for a €35 million fee. That season, he also won the UEFA Golden Boy award over Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford.
But that may have been his high point while wearing a Bayern uniform. He failed to contribute to the score sheet in his first season with the club despite over 25 appearances. The following season saw Sanches loaned to Premier League side Swansea City. He still failed to make a major impact over his 15 appearances for the Swans. In the 2018/19 season, he scored his first goal for Bayern against his former club in the Champions League. His frustration at a lack of playing time combined with his unprofessionalism (see: complaining after a win) meant the club ran out of patience. He was sold to Lille in the beginning of the 2019-20 season for €20 million, a loss for the club.
7. The 2010/11 Campaign
Just one year after reaching the Champions League Final, Bayern went through their worst season of this decade. After topping Group E of that year’s edition of the UEFA Champions League, they met Inter Milan in the Round of 16. After beating I Nerazzurri in Milan 1-0 in the first leg, a quick goal from Samuel Eto’o and two later goals from Wesley Sneijder and Goran Pandev saw Inter go through on away goals.
The DFB Pokal was an even bigger shock. After outscoring their opponents by a combined scoreline of 12-4, Die Roten played host to Schalke in the semifinals. The close game was opened when a 15’ goal from Raúl (yes, that Raúl) gave Schalke an early 1-0 lead. It was the only goal of the game and saw the previous year’s Pokalmeister get knocked out early.
Now, moving on to Bayern’s most disappointing league form this season. The seven losses Bayern suffered that season was their worst mark in the decade (a number they would match the next season). Two losses to eventual champions Dortmund were compounded by further losses to Hannover, Köln, Schalke, Mainz and Kaiserslautern. Even more frustrating were draws suffered to lower-half teams such as Werder Bremen, Wolfsburg and Eintracht Frankfurt. The result saw Bayern finish third in the table, only three points behind Bayer Leverkusen, the lowest finish of the decade for the Bavarians.
6. 2015 UCL semifinals — MSN owns the Bayern back line
A highly anticipated semifinal between the Bavarian giants and FC Barcelona was amplified before the game even kicked off. Manuel Neuer, fresh off his World Cup victory over Argentina the year prior, promised to keep Lionel Messi silent and to “show him who’s boss.”
What happened next is the ultimate definition of schadenfreude for the “Little Flea.”
His first goal on the night was a wonderful Robben-esque effort where he cut in from the right and beat Neuer at the near post.
His next goal is considered by many to be an international war crime.
It’s said that Jerome Boateng never walked again after Messi stole his ankles.
A Neymar goal in stoppage time meant that Barça sealed a 3-0 win at the Camp Nou.
Not even a three-goal effort from Bayern in the second leg could help as two goals from Neymar gave Barcelona a 5-3 win on aggregate, spurring them on to win the Champions League Final in Berlin.
5. 2012: The Year We Couldn’t Beat Borussia Dortmund
Neither in the league, nor in the table, nor in the Pokal final could the 2011/12 Bayern Munich team beat Borussia Dortmund.
The two league losses were close-fought 1-0 efforts.
When the teams met in November 2011, Bayern was top of the table, having suffered two losses, to Borussia Mönchengladbach and Hannover 96. Dortmund was a close second and entered the Allianz Arena having just annihilated Wolfsburg 5-1. A 65’ goal from Mario Götze helped the Black and Yellow to 1st place in the league as Bayern dropped to 3rd.
The meeting in April was Bayern’s last chance to reclaim the league title. Die Roten were in 2nd behind Dortmund with only four games to go in the season. Robert Lewandowski ended any hopes of redemption in the 77’ minute and Dortmund won their second league title in a row.
But that wasn’t the last Bayern would see of the Schwarzgelben that season. The two met in Berlin for the final of the Pokal just eight days before the Finale dahoam. Unlike their league meetings, this was far more decisive. A 5-2 masterclass from Dortmund featured two penalty kicks for each side and a hat trick from Lewandowski. Just like the year before, Bayern’s title-less streak continued.
4. Toni Kroos leaves Munich for Real Madrid
The loss of an academy player can often lead to disastrous results for the parent club. In this case, the consequences were worse than we could imagine.
Toni Kroos was an integral part of a midfield three of Javi Martinez, Bastian Schweinsteiger and himself during the treble winning side of 2012-13 and was a key contributor the following season as well. His time in Bavaria was dotted with both failure and success, the latter coming around the time he left the club.
Kroos left for Los Blancos, signing a six-year deal for a fee reported to be in the 25-30 million euro range, which now looks like absolute robbery. Toni went on to win three Champions League titles, often doing so beating his former club, one La Liga title and four FIFA Club World Cups. He’s often been named to World XI and Team of the Year lists while with Real, and will probably go down as one of the best German players to ever put on the white kit of Madrid.
3. 2010 Champions League final loss to Internazionale Milan
The road to the Santiago Bernabéu was a tough one for both sides.
In a year that Bayern impressed in the Bundesliga, their Champions League campaign was rockier than expected. They finished second in a tough group behind a scrappy Bordeaux side and just ahead of Juventus. They needed away goals twice to advance through the first two rounds of the knockout stage, beating both Fiorentina and Manchester United by 4-4 aggregate scores. Their semifinal matchup against Lyon was much easier to deal with, as they shut them out 4-0 on aggregate, featuring an Ivica Olić hat-trick in the second leg.
Inter Milan, led by Jose Mourinho, also had a tough go in their group. The team finished second to Barcelona and, after dispatching Chelsea and CSKA Moscow easily, faced Barça again in the UCL semifinals. A 3-1 win in the first leg was tested when Barcelona went up 1-0 in the 84’ of leg two, but Inter held firm to move to the final.
Bayern fielded a team without Franck Ribery, who was serving a three-match suspension while Inter were without Thiago Motta, who was also suspended. Judging by the result, Bayern were hurting more, especially as the replacement for King Franck was Hamit Altıntop. He joined Robben and Olić up top. The midfield consisted of Müller, Schweinsteiger, and captain Mark van Bommel. A back line of Badstuber, Demichilis, van Buyten, and Lahm stood in front of keeper Hans-Jörg Butt. Inter, meanwhile, countered with a team featuring Julio Cesar, Maicon, Zanetti, Sneijder, Eto’o and Milito.
Two goals from Milito were all I Nerazzurri needed to complete the treble and secure the best season in their club’s history.
2. A blind Viktor Kassai knocks Bayern out of the Champions League
The 2017 Champions League quarterfinals between Real Madrid and Bayern were an intense affair from beginning to end. The first leg in Munich ended in a close 2-1 loss. After Arturo Vidal scored early on to give Bayern the lead in the 25’, two Cristiano Ronaldo goals gave Los Blancos a 2-1 win at the Allianz Arena. The team was down, but a one-goal deficit could be overcome if the team played well at the Bernabéu.
Enter Viktor Kassai.
A Lewandowski penalty kick in the 53’ gave Bayern the lead in a close match. But Ronaldo answered quickly in the 76’ and it looked like they would be put through.
Then came this hilarious Sergio Ramos own-goal just two minutes later.
As the game was destined to go to extra time, Bayern had all the momentum in the world when Arturo Vidal put in a beautiful tackle on Marco Asensio that somehow resulted in his second yellow card of the game.
To extra time we went, down a man.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored not one, but two blatantly offside goals that Kassai and the linesman somehow missed.
His first goal in the 105’ may have been a little close, but still I’m not sure how anyone misses this call.
The second one in the 110’ is even more painful because the linesman was right there.
A Marco Asensio goal just two minutes later put the nail in the coffin and Bayern was out of the Champions League. Real went on to win the trophy again.
1. Finale dahoam: Bayern loses to Chelsea on penalties in Munich
Was it going to be anything else?
Bayern topped a tough group featuring Manchester City and Napoli. After defeating Basel 7-1 and Marseille 4-0, Die Roten needed to beat Real Madrid to make it to the final on their home ground. A 2-1 win at home, followed by a 1-2 loss at the Bernabéu (coincidentally also refereed by Viktor Kassai) meant extra time. Extra time bled into penalties.
Neuer came up big, saving efforts from Ronaldo and Kaká as David Alaba and Mario Gomez converted the first two Bayern penalties. Kroos’s shot was saved by Iker Casillas and Xabi Alonso scored making it 2-1. After Casillas blocked Philipp Lahm’s shot, Sergio Ramos hilariously skied his penalty attempt. With Bayern needing a goal to advance, Bastian Schweinsteiger went left and catapulted Die Roten into the final. La Bestia Negra struck again.
Meanwhile, Chelsea, who also topped their group, had a date with their European kryptonite in FC Barcelona. The Blues needed extra time to dispatch of Napoli, but handled Benfica to reach the semifinals. Chelsea only needed a first-half goal from Didier Drogba to win the first leg in London. A closer affair in Catalonia was on the horizon. Barcelona went up quickly with two goals from Busquets and Iniesta. But a Ramires goal in the 45’ would send Chelsea through on away goals. A 90+2’ goal from Fernando Torres, a now iconic one-on-one goal, sealed the deal and set the final match of the season.
The first goal of the game came from Thomas Müller in the 83’, but the high of the goal was immediately brought down by a Drogba goal just five minutes later.
In extra time, Drogba fouled Ribery inside the box and Bayern was awarded a penalty. Arjen Robben stepped up, shot it to the right and watched as Peter Čech saved it.
The game went to penalties. Lahm stepped up and scored, and Juan Mata had his first shot saved by Neuer. 1-0. Then it took a while for someone to miss. Mario Gomez scored to the right and David Luiz followed his lead. Then of all people, Manuel Neuer stepped in to take a penalty, beating Čech, who guessed correctly, to continue the scoring streak. Next was Frank Lampard, who blasted a shot above Neuer’s head.
Then Ivica Olić stepped up. He sent a well-hit shot to the right, but Čech’s hand just met it in time. Ashley Cole’s following penalty tied the shootout at 3-3. With the game on the line, Bastian Schweinsteiger took his turn at the spot. He guessed right, Čech dove and stuck his hand out but the ball rolled off it and hit the post.
It bounced out.
Drogba stepped up, sent Neuer the wrong way, and Chelsea lifted their first Champions League trophy in Bayern’s backyard.