‘And the Oscar goes to…': Bayern Munich win Bundesliga title

by James Hunt

Bayern Munich BundesligaThis may have been FC Hollywood, but there was little glitz or glamour about it. No summer blockbusting action; no awards-season drama. No romance, no comedy, no horror.

Bayern have been crowned Champions at the beginning of April, avoiding the typically busy May schedule, but in truth this could have came out in time for Christmas.

Their march to the title has been relentless. They have never looked like slipping up, never been out of character. It’s as if they’ve been portrayed by Daniel Day Lewis, and, inevitably, ‘the Oscar goes to…’

This was the Bundesliga’s 50th season, so it is perhaps fitting that its most celebrated side regain the title. Hollywood has always had a soft spot for sentiment.

It is the 22nd time The Bavarians have been crowned Bundesliga champions – their 23rd league title in total – and their first in three years. It’s also one of their most impressive.

They currently stand an unprecedented 20 points clear of second-placed Borussia Dortmund, who had thwarted them in the previous two seasons.

Always the bride, never the bridesmaid, finishing as runners-up in three competitions last term must have hurt Bayern. This latest marriage was born by lust, not love.

To their credit, Bayern have been absolute box-office, with an unbelievable ensemble cast directed by Jupp Heynckes.

There’ll be no individual awards, no ‘leading player’, for while there have been brilliant individuals, this has ultimately been a team effort.

Like last season, it is a Mario who tops their goalscoring charts. This time, however, it’s Mandzukic, not Gomez; he has 15 whereas the German had 26.

Thomas Muller, who burst onto the scene at the 2010 World Cup, but has often cut a frustrating figure since, has been pivotal: 12 goals and 10 assists.

No matter where you look on the pitch, it’s a roll call to envy, a mix of rising stars and those whose names are already on the Bundesliga walk of fame: David Alaba, Toni Kroos; Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger. The end-credits are certainly worth sitting through.

They have, in typical German fashion, been ruthlessly efficient. The title is theirs with 10 games to spare. They’ve scored 79 goals, and, even more remarkably, conceded just thirteen. A 3-0 win over Greuther Furth in week one gave them top spot, they’ve been there ever since.

As is always the case, a sequel is already planned, albeit with a new director on board – a certain Pep Guardiola – and doubtless a big budget. It’s difficult to see how it can be anything but a success.

For now, though, there is no time to celebrate. There is a post-credits scene to contend with. It is not Nick Fury who awaits, though, but Juventus and the Champions League.

If, as expected, they defeat the Old Lady, then the likelihood is they’ll be playing either Real Madrid, Barcelona or Dotrmund for a place in the final.

The last time they won the league, they lost the final. Last year, they lost both, including the final on their own ground. That was certainly not part of the  This time, they’ll be hoping to write their own script.

They’ve taken the first step on the road to redemption.

Roads? Where they’re going, they don’t need roads…