Bayern Munich making it hard for rival clubs to compete domestically
Loyal fans are being tested by international stars seeking fortune and fame elsewhere19 January 2018 | Charlie Laurendi
Sports journalist with special interest in football
Leon Goretzka is a man with a big decision to make. The German international is a free agent in the summer and is being coveted by some of the world’s biggest clubs. Liverpool see him as a direct replacement for the recently departed Phillipe Coutinho to Barcelona. Arsenal may need to replace Mesut Ozil, Juventus are always interested in free agents - which leaves Bayern Munich.
The word in Germany is Schalke's 22 year-old midfielder has already chosen his destination and will move to the Bundesliga champions.
If Goretzka does join Bayern Munich it will be another kick in the guts to Schalke but more significantly German football itself as the Bavarians continue their domestic dominance by pillaging the best players from opposition clubs, usually on free transfers and often German internationals.
In recent history, Bayern Munich have taken the best talent from their rivals as they continue to strive for German and European domination.
In 2011, they paid Schalke £24 million for German international goalkeeper Manuel Neuer. Two years later they purchased Mario Gotze for £36 million. The irony was he played for Borussia Dortmund and missed their Champions League Final that same year against Bayern Munich, with team from the capital winning 2-1.
To rub salt in already infested Borussia Dortmund wounds, Bayern Munich returned to Dortmund and signed Polish striker Robert Lewandowski on a free transfer, meaning the club received no financial remuneration for their biggest asset and a player that scored 101 goals in 185 appearances. On the open market Goretzka could fetch anywhere from £40-60 million, quite reasonable in today’s over inflated player market.
Schalke cannot compete with Bayern Munich in the financial stakes, so to lose the brightest star in German football to the nation’s biggest team and not receive any financial recourse would be heart breaking. Bayern Munich will argue they are playing within the rules of international football.
In 2017, Bayern Munich was ranked 15th in Forbes list of most valuable sports teams with a value of $2.7 billion, the fourth European football team on the list in the top 15. The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys came in at number one with a value of $4.2 billion.
On field, Bayern Munich continue to dominate domestically as well as in the UEFA Champions League.
Bayern Munich have won 27 Bundesliga titles, five in a row, with a sixth title pending, 18 German Cups, and five Champions League trophies. They are the club all Germans love or love to hate.
Their domestic dominance is not too dissimilar to the other major European competitions. Juventus dominate Serie A in Italy, La Liga in Spain is usually a two horse race between Real Madrid and Barcelona. PSG have turned football on its head with its spending power in Ligue 1, France. Whilst in the English Premier League, Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United are the big three, with Leicester City bringing joy to underdog fans the world over with their triumph in 2015-16.
|2017-18||Bayern Munich?||Napoli/Juventus?||Barcelona?||Manchester City?||PSG?|
|2016-17||Bayern Munich||Juventus||Real Madrid||Chelsea||Monaco|
|2015-16||Bayern Munich||Juventus||Barcelona||Leicester City||PSG|
|2014-15||Bayern Munich||Juventus||Atletico Madrid||Chelsea||PSG|
|2013-14||Bayern Munich||Juventus||Barcelona||Manchester City||PSG|
|2012-13||Bayern Munich||Juventus||Barcelona||Manchester United||PSG|
|2011-12||Borussia Dortmund||Juventus||Real Madrid||Manchester City||Montpelier|
Across European football’s five biggest leagues over the past six seasons with 30 championships decided, just 13 different teams have won their domestic league, Leicester City, the most surprising. 2017-18 championships yet to be decided, team mentioned in table most likely to win.
Despite all their success, Bayern Munich don’t take kindly to failure. Legendary Coach Carlo Ancelotti was shown the door earlier this season, due to a poor start in the Champions League and a players led revolt about training methods, after winning the league title in his first year. Ancelotti was replaced by veteran coach Jupp Heynckes, who led Bayern Munich to the treble in 2012-13. Let’s not feel too sorry for the Italian as he is bound to land at one of the European powerhouses he hasn’t coached yet, Arsenal awaits.
With or without Goretzka’s signature, Bayern Munich will continue to be in contention for domestic and European silverware every season. If Goretzka does sign for Bayern Munich he will join an array of German internationals to play for the famous club, including Niklas Sule and Sandro Wagner (Hoffenheim), Mats Hummells (Borussia Dortmund) and Joshua Kimmich (Stuttgart) in recent years.
With Germany heading to Russia to defend the World Cup they won in Brazil four years ago, a decision on Goretzka’s future destination club would have been made.
My bet is he will have joined Bayern Munich, the rich and strong will continue to be rich and strong, and the rest of the Bundesliga will be simply making up numbers to try and compete at the same level, knowing in reality they cannot.
leon goretzka, bayern munich, bundesliga