To celebrate their 10th year in existence, the website 90min.com recently released a bunch of articles covering the best of the football world in the past decade. As a team that has won a treble and a sextuple in said decade, Bayern Munich was featured quite a few times. Although some of their choices may raise some eyebrows, it’s still worth looking back over Bayern’s best moments of the decade through a third person’s eyes.
We’ll get the ugliness out of the way first. Only one Bayern Munich player made this top 10 list. Robert Lewandowski had his genius recognized by placing third in the list, only behind Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. Having unfairly missed out on the Ballon d’Or last year due to the award’s cancellation, Lewandowski has been a strong striker throughout the decade, with his goalscoring prowess blowing up particularly in the past two years. With his goals leading Bayern to a historic sextuple last season, it is only natural that the current best player in the world makes this list.
However, there are a fair few Bayern players who could have a decent argument to make this list. Manuel Neuer and Thomas Müller, both key members of Bayern’s two trebles and Germany’s World Cup win, they could both have a shout. The likes of Franck Ribéry and Arjen Robben could do the same, considering how deadly they were all decade. Philipp Lahm, maybe? Are all these players worse than Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, and Gareth Bale? You decide.
The best eleven of the decade shines a bit more light on Bayern Munich and its henchmen. Three of the eleven players on this team proudly don Bavarian red, or did once, in one’s case.
Manuel Neuer takes the goalkeeper gloves, and for good reason. No other goalkeeper has achieved more than he has in the past decade. A treble, a sextuple, and a World Cup. What’s more, he single-handedly revolutionized the goalkeeping position to the point that fancy footwork is now considered a key trait for any good goalkeeper nowadays. Bottom line is, Neuer has been the best goalkeeper in the world all decade, and no brainwashed fan can say otherwise.
The aforementioned Philipp Lahm also makes an appearance at right back. An argument could perhaps be made for Dani Alves, but Lahm takes the cake because of his performances during Bayern’s first treble in 2013, and Germany’s World Cup win a year later. As underappreciated as he was, it’s good to see Lahm getting the recognition he deserves. He was always a reliable player no matter where he played on the pitch, and to this day, he remains one of Bayern and Germany’s best ever captains.
Robert Lewandowski takes the no. 9 spot ahead of the likes of Luis Suarez and Karim Benzema for one reason: no other striker has scored more goals this decade than the Pole. Lewandowski has enjoyed immense success even from his Dortmund days, and once he joined Bayern, he just kept getting better and better. Will he get rewarded with the Ballon d’Or this year? One can only hope.
Bayern won two Champions Leagues in the past decade, so it was only natural that at least one of their victories had to make this list. No. 10 on this particular list was none other than Arjen Robben’s winning goal against Borussia Dortmund in the 2013 final. This final has a fond spot in every Bayern fan’s heart, not least because of Robben’s dramatic redemption arc leading back to his heartbreak in the 2012 final. Plus, that final was quite a spectacle on its own, one of the best, if not the best, Champions League finals of all time. Fluid attacking football, great goalkeeping, pressure on pressure, and last minute drama, what more can you ask for?
Surprisingly enough, not a single moment from Bayern’s 100% winning run in the 2019/20 Champions League made this list, not even the massacre of FC Barcelona in the quarterfinals. No. 1 on this list, meanwhile, was Barcelona’s 6-1 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in 2017. Perhaps the author was a Barcelona fan…?
It’s tough to pick just ten games from the hundreds that took place over the past ten years. However, among those tough choices, one Bayern game and one Germany game made the final cut.
In fourth place on the list is Bayern’s 8-2 destruction of Barcelona in the 2019/20 Champions League. The normally two-legged quarterfinals were played as one leg in a neutral location(Lisbon) due to the COVID pandemic. Barcelona fans will probably be glad that it was just one leg, because lord knows what kind of aggregate result would have awaited their hapless side had there been one more game to play.
Goals from Thomas Müller (twice), Ivan Perišić, and Serge Gnabry had the Bavarians up 4-1 at halftime, and further goals from Joshua Kimmich, Robert Lewandowski, and Barcelona loanee Philippe Coutinho put the icing on one of Bayern’s best ever European nights. Bayern would go ahead to beat Olympique Lyon in the semifinals before defeating Paris Saint-Germain in the final to complete a perfect Champions League campaign, not to mention the club’s second treble.
The most memorable game of the decade, meanwhile, went to another drubbing, this time the German national team and its 7-1 win over Brazil in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Hosts Brazil were looking to win their sixth World Cup in their backyard, but their dreams were shattered by the ruthless Germans, who put five goals past them in the opening half hour.
Müller opened the scoring through a corner, and Miroslav Klose broke the all-time World Cup top scorer record with Germany’s second. Bayern alum Toni Kroos bagged a brace in the space of less than 90 seconds to put Germany four up, and Sami Khedira scored Germany’s fifth minutes later to put the game beyond reach. A slight attempt at a Brazilian comeback was smothered by Manuel Neuer in the second half, and Germany scored twice more through substitute Andre Schürrle. Having duly dispatched Brazil in the semifinals, Germany went on to win their fourth World Cup with a 1-0 win over Argentina in the final.
Fun fact: Hansi Flick was in charge of both these wins, having been assistant coach during the World Cup and manager during Bayern’s treble. Neuer, Müller, and Jérôme Boateng were also present in both games.
So these are 90min’s picks for the top 10s of the decade. Do you agree or disagree with their choices, and what was your favorite Bayern or Germany memory from the last ten years? Let us know in the comments!