Tomorrow will be the 127th game between Bayern Munich and 1. FC Köln. A frequent opponent since Bayern’s first-ever Bundesliga season, FC Köln is one of the more traditional clubs in the modern Bundesliga with one of the most loyal fanbases. The largest city on the Rhine and Germany’s fourth-most populous city, Die Geißböcke does not have the same historical success as Bayern Munich although they are by no means not a successful historical club.
More importantly, the atmosphere at RheinEnergieStadion and faithful Köln supporters is the main reason why I have such a soft spot for them.
This article will go down memory lane and review five historical games between the two German clubs.
FC Köln 6-1 Bayern Munich, 11 December 1965
The first game between FC Köln and Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
Unlike Bayern, Köln was selected as one of the original 16 teams to play in the newly created Bundesliga in 1963. Köln won the first-ever Bundesliga title with ease and played attractive football that saw them scoring in every single game. Köln was close to retaining their title the previous year but ultimately fell short to Werder Bremen.
Bayern’s first season in the Bundesliga was by all means a very successful one. Achieving a third-place finish in the league while also winning the DFB-Pokal, Bayern announced that they would be a new title-challenger in their very first season. Köln only reached 5th place in the 1965/66 but won both of their games against Bayern Munich.
The first game in Köln was one of Bayern Munich’s biggest defeats in Bundesliga history. Second place Bayern was crushed by 4th place Köln in front of a 45,000 crowd at the old Müngersdorfer Stadion and Köln retained their perfect record against Die Roten a few months later after winning with 4-1 in Munich.
Playing in both games for Köln was a man named Wolfgang Overath, Köln’s arguably best player of all-time that was crucial in Germany’s national teams’ successes in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
Bayern Munich 7-0 FC Köln, 15 May 1971
Köln’s heaviest defeat in Bundesliga history.
By 1971, Bayern Munich was the upcoming team in Germany. The legendary 1970s side was about to embark on a three consecutive league and European Cup (Champions League) title run. While Köln was still a good team, Bayern’s team showed their potential by beating Köln with seven goals, five coming in the second half.
This Bayern team included players such as: Sepp Maier, Paul Breitner, Franz Beckenbauer, Uli Hoeness and Gerd Müller.
Bayern Munich 2-1 FC Köln, 19 June 1971 in the DFB-Pokal final
While FC Köln failed to win a Bundesliga title since 1964, the team remained successful in the early 1970s. They managed to reach three DFB-Pokal finals in four seasons, losing all three of them to Kickers Offenbach in 1970, Bayern Munich in 1971, and Borussia Mönchengladbach in 1973.
The final against Bayern in 1971 came only a couple of months after the 7-0 thrashing in Munich. The game at the Neckarstadion in Stuttgart was a much closer affair.
The Bavarians came with 15,000 fans to nearby Stuttgart while the Köln fans were only 5,000 strong. Bayern were clear favorites in the game but conceded within the first 13 minutes. Bayern was shocked but they regained their dominance in the second half after Franz Beckenbauer scores in the 53rd minute.
After, the game was a fantastic rollercoaster for the neutral as it offered one offside goal for both teams as well as a sending off for Bayern’s Herward Koppenhöfer in the 72nd minute. The game went into extra-time and the resilience of the 10-men Bavarians was rewarded after Edgar Schneider scored in the 102nd minute.
After the game, goal scorer Bernd Rupp stated that he will not play a final ever again. He did in 1973, against Köln with his new club Borussia Mönchengladbach.
FC Köln 2-0 Bayern Munich, 14 January 1978
Köln did return to glory in the 1977/78 season after winning the double. Winning the Bundesliga title on goal difference, Köln had a great team that consisted of deadly striker Dieter Müller. Scoring 24 goals, Dieter Müller was crowned as the Bundesliga’s top scorer in 1978 alongside an aging yet deadly Gerd Müller. Dieter Müller currently holds the record of most goals in one goal (six), however, since television cameramen were on strike on that day, there is no known film of Müller’s goals.
Bayern finished 12th place in the 1977/78 season and had fallen from grace since their early-1970s success. The game in Köln epitomized the change of guard in German football.
FC Köln 3-2 Bayern Munich, 5 February 2011
The last time Köln defeated Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.
As the years have gone by, it comes as no surprise that Bayern Munich has increased their superiority against the North Rhine-Westphalia club. The last victory for Köln against Die Roten came against Louis van Gaal’s side in 2011. Mario Gomez and Hamit Altintop scored for Bayern in the first half and it looked like there was going to be yet another Bayern victory. However, Frank Schaefer’s men showed a remarkable come-back and turned the game on its head in the second half, scoring three goals in 18 minutes.
Köln’s recent success came in the 2016/17 season when they qualified for the Europa League. However, Köln in the 21st century has become a club that has found itself in decline. Being relegated five times since the 2000-01 season, Köln is still a club with a rich history and fantastic supporters.
If anyone needs another reason why a ‘Super League’ is an abysmal idea, just look at the passion and support only a club like Köln provides after qualifying for European football for the first time in 25 years: