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Geschäft Review: Awards for Bayern Munich’s business from the season of 2008/09

A season that would end in disaster, the 2008/09 season is infamous for its agonising lows.

Fiorentina v Bayern Munich - UEFA Champions League Group F Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

The 2008/09 Bayern Munich season was marked by the beginning and end of Jürgen Klinsmann’s tenure in Munich. Ottmar Hitzfeld would leave the club after one year in charge to join the Swiss national team, as would captain Oliver Kahn, leaving a hole between the sticks that the Bavarians just could not replace even if they were to break the world record fee for a goalkeeper (wink wink). Bayern would lose 4-2 to Bayer Leverkusen in the DfB Pokal quarter-finals, lose 5-1 on aggregate to FC Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals — including a 4-0 loss at the Nou Camp — and fall short in the Bundesliga, with VfL Wolfsburg winning the league on the last day of the season despite a late resurgence under caretaker manager Jupp Heynckes.

Before we look at the pick of the bunch, let us first look at the arrivals and departures as a whole.


  • Tim Borowski from Werder Bremen for free
  • Hans-Jörg Butt from SL Benfica for free
  • Massimo Oddo from AC Milan on a one season loan
  • Landon Donovan from LA Galaxy on a six month loan (winter transfer)


  • Marcell Jansen to Hamburg SV for €8m
  • Jan Schlaudraff to Hannover 96 for €2m
  • Markus Steinhöfer to Eintracht Frankfurt for €900k
  • Toni Kroos to Bayer Leverkusen on an eighteen month loan (winter transfer)
  • Sandro Wagner to MSV Duisburg for free
  • Julio dos Santos to Atlético Paranaense for free


  • Thomas Kraft promoted to the first team.
  • Diego Contento, Thomas Müller and Holger Badstuber make their professional debuts.
  • Oliver Kahn and Bernd Dreher retire from football.

Leiterkletterer: Thomas Müller

Bordeaux v FC Bayern Muenchen - UEFA Champions League Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

Thomas Müller is one of the greatest players to ever touch the game of football. He is possibly the last true one club man the sport will ever see. Der Raumdeuter, 228 goals and 246 assists in 633 games for Bayern. Müller has racked up the most assists of any player not named Lionel Messi in the history of football. A two-time Champions League winner, 2010 World Cup Golden Boot and 2014 World Cup winner. Müller is Bayern. Bayern is Müller.

Überschuss: Markus Steinhöfer

1860 Muenchen v Greuther Fuerth - 2. Bundesliga Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Bongarts/Getty Images

Markus Steinhöfer would move to Eintracht Frankfurt for a fee of €900,000 after impressive performances for Bayern Munich II but the feeling being he didn’t have a future in the first team. However, Steinhöfer would fail to make an impact at Frankfurt, beginning a journeyman’s career through FC Kaiserslautern, FC Basel, Real Betis, 1860 Munich, VfR Aalen, Sparta Praha, SV Darmstadt and eventually VfB Eichstätt before retiring in 2019. The fee Bayern got for him would end up being the larger than every other transfer fee he was bought for combined.

Sehr Vermisst: Marcell Jansen

1. FC Koeln v Hamburger SV - Bundesliga Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images

Marcell Jansen would arrive from Borussia Mönchengladbach for a fee of €14m in 2007. After a great season starting at left back for Bayern Munich, Jürgen Klinsmann would fall out with the young German, causing him to want out. He would get his wish, moving to Hamburger SV for a fee of €8m, a €6m loss in just one year. Jansen would impress in Hamburg, drawing the attention clubs like VfL Wolfsburg (who were fresh off of a Bundesliga title at the time) and AC Milan in his tenure in Hamburg. Jansen would retire as a full-time professional in 2015, but is currently registered in Hamburger’s third team in the fifth tier of German football at age 36.

Reue des Käufers: Massimo Oddo

Oddo, Massimo - Football, Defender, FC Bayern Munich, Italy - in action on the ball Photo by Team 2 Sportphoto/ullstein bild via Getty Images

On paper, Bayern Munich didn’t spend a dime this season as they brought in two players for free and one on a season-long loan. Massimo Oddo was that loan, and while it wasn’t a ‘bad’ deal as such, it was the least impactful of the three transfers. Oddo would struggle for game time with Gianluca Zambrotta joining AC Milan, and would do the very same in Munich with Philipp Lahm playing the vast majority of the games.

Neue Legende: Hans-Jörg Butt

Soccer - UEFA Champions League - Bayern Munich vs. FC Barcelona Photo by sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Hans-Jörg Butt joined Bayern Munich from SL Benfica for free at the age of 34. Butt would be a fantastic goalkeeper in his four year tenure, conceding 88 goals in 91 games, as well as notching an assist and a goal from eleven metres. However, we cannot say he was of the same level as Oliver Kahn, and Bayern really needed to dig hard to replace him. I wonder if they ever did.

What do you think of Bayern Munich’s quieter 2008 summer window? Could the Bavarians ever replace Oliver Kahn? Let us know in the forum below.

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