Hansi Flick was visibly pleased with his team after Bayern Munich’s last gasp win over Bayer Leverkusen in their final game of 2020. Despite going down early in the game to a Patrik Schick volley, a late first half equalizer and a last second winner, both courtesy of Robert Lewandowski, ensured that Bayern would be taking maximum points back to Munich for Christmas.
“It’s the end we all wished for,” Flick told kicker. “We ended a fantastic year for FC Bayern.”
Flick’s side has been shaking a bit in the past few weeks, with the team conceding the first goal seven league games in a row, a record that even the dark days under Jurgen Klinsmann couldn’t match. Klinsmann’s Bayern went down six games in a row in 2009, getting two wins, one draw, and three defeats. This is where things differ tremendously; despite going down in seven games, not in a single one did Flick’s side fail to pick up points. Defeating Borussia Dortmund, Vfb Stuttgart, Vfl Wolfsburg, and Leverkusen, and drawing with Werder Bremen, RB Leipzig, and Union Berlin, Flick’s Bayern has stuttered, yes, but was never defeated.
So what exactly is the secret behind such an indomitable team? Well, Flick says it is down to the mentality of the players. “We trainers have a lot of fun working with the team,” he said. “In addition to their great individual qualities, they have an outstanding mentality and team spirit.”
Sure enough, the team’s spirit has shone through the entire year of 2020. Barring a 0-0 draw with Leipzig in February, Flick’s Bayern went on to win every single game remaining in the season as they cruised to a domestic double. A month later, they were taking names and kicking butts in Lisbon before they became the first European champions of the new decade. Even after all that success, the team’s motivation remained unchanged, as they again went from game to game, winning left and right and picking up a couple of trophies along the way. Only physical fatigue got in their way from time to time, but even that was not enough to stop them. All in all, Bayern won five trophies in the calendar year, while losing just once.
It’s no wonder that Flick went on to express his sincere gratitude to the team that he leads: “It’s so much fun (coaching them). I’m grateful for every day, every hour that we are together. I will never forget in my life what the players and my coaching team gives me.”
The victory in Leverkusen, said Flick, was just another example of the team’s will to win. Just as Leverkusen were looking to settle for a draw, some high pressure from David Alaba and Joshua Kimmich ultimately found Lewandowski with the ball at his feet to score Bayern’s winner. Such pressure would not have been possible without the aforementioned will. The team wanted to win, and they clearly weren’t going to give up until the very end.
“We definitely wanted to get the three points,” said Flick. “The team has the attitude that they really believe until the very end that you will leave the field as a winner. So a huge compliment!”
Hansi Flick’s Bayern have thus become mentality monsters that very little, if anything, can stop in their tracks. The winners will now take a much needed, albeit short, break before getting back into action in early January. More competitions galore, more trophies are there to be won. You better believe that Flick and his troops will be raring to go for them.