In an ever-changing world, FC Bayern Munchen refuses to comply. In fact, they’re the exact opposite by being the definition of absolute consistency. They have been champions of the Bundesliga for the past 10 years and finished in the top three for the past 14 years. This level of dominance is unheard of and has never been seen before.
Before Bayern, the Boston Celtics were known as the best dynasty after winning eight NBA championships in a row from 1959 to 1966. Now, 9 and 10-year-olds have never known anything except Bayren’s dominance in the German league. To give this feat more context, their first title during this remarkable streak in 2013 took place at the same time as the following events: the Harlem Shake was a viral trend, Apple released the iPhone 5s, Flappy Bird still existed and Taylor Swift started her The Red Tour. I do not define myself as a Swifty, but could Taylor Swift’s newest The Eras tour signify the end of Bayern’s reign? If you are a German soccer fan, you sure hope so.
During the streak, Borussia Dortmund has finished in second place six times. Although most of the title races have not been particularly close, it does make German soccer fans wonder what a world without Bayern would look like. However, this year could be the year everything changes.
After matchday 26, Bayern currently holds a two-point advantage over Dortmund. During that week, Dortmund turned in an unimpressive performance against Bayern and lost their position as league leaders. After just 50 minutes, Bayern jumped out to a commanding 4-0 lead, and Dortmund was never able to recover. Since they have no upcoming games coming this season, Bayern now controls their destiny. The famous rivalry between the two clubs, Der Klassiker, has been dominated by Bayern winning 68 times out of 133 tries.
Although history has not been kind to Dortmund, this year could be their year. However, their window to return as Bundesliga champions is extremely tight. Dortmund is known for its development system because they have produced some of the most talented young players on the planet.
Instead of stockpiling these players, they are often sold to larger European Squads like Manchester City, Real Madrid or even Bayern. The starting 11 they currently have is the perfect mixture of experienced leadership and exciting young talent. Players like Mats Hummels, Giovanni Reyna, Marco Reus and Jude Bellingham are amongst the best at the position and have a questionable future at the club.
In addition to having a championship-worthy roster to compete against, Bayern also has to worry about utilizing its depth to play in multiple competitions simultaneously. Teams are rarely able to secure a treble because it requires perfect performances in short spans of time against some of the best teams in the world.
Bayern will have their hands full in the UEFA Champions League with their tie against Manchester City. In addition to that, they faced off against other top-ranking German Squads in the DFB Cup until recently getting knocked out by SC Freiburg. Their tricky schedule doesn’t end there either. In four of their last eight league matches, they will face a squad currently sitting in the top half of the table.
Dortmund is not the only team Bayern has to look out for. They are the complete opposite to the normal standard of squad fans usually see challenging for the title. Only being in the top flight since 2019, Union Berlin has some of the most dedicated fans who built the stadium themselves and have even donated blood for the club to get extra funds. They have also shown progress each season in the Bundesliga by finishing higher each season compared to the last.
Despite all of this recent success, those who run the club still thrive off the small club atmosphere because they are aware of their origin. After the Berlin Wall was constructed, Union Berlin became the team that the working class resonated with, and it has survived generations. A team with passion and support like this and nothing to lose is certainly a dark horse candidate to dethrone the kings.
For all of these reasons and more, this year’s title race in Germany will be the most exciting one we’ve seen this decade. It would be a fitting end to see the German giants fall the same way they began: during a Taylor Swift concert tour.
Jackson Wedin is a senior writing about some of the larger soccer events globally in his column, “Death, Taxes and Soccer,” which runs every other Thursday.