Celebrating FCB ‘not done yet’
By anyone’s standards Bayern have just completed a truly exceptional Bundesliga season, finishing with 90 of a possible 102 points, 94 goals scored and only 23 conceded, and with the best attack and best defence both home and away. Pep Guardiola’s men set a host of records on their way to the club’s 24th national championship and wrapped up the title after 27 of the 34 matches, an earlier point in time than ever before in the 51-year history of the Bundesliga. The mood at the party following a 1–0 victory over VfB Stuttgart in the last league fixture was appropriately good.
“You can never take winning the league for granted and it’s never boring. The championship is basically the most difficult and most honest title,” Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said in his speech to some 450 invited guests at Munich’s Postpalast. “Just look at the table where we finished 19 points clear. We won the league after only 27 matches and set a new Bundesliga record, so à la bonne heure,“ the FCB chairman enthused.
Rummenigge described the total of 90 points, the second best in league history after the treble winning 2012/13 season’s 91, as “extraordinary,” especially as he had been very sceptical prior to the campaign. “I had no idea how it would go this season,” he admitted. Winning the historic treble the previous year could have been a burden, “but I’m amazingly and pleasantly surprised at what’s happened. The team has been incredibly motivated and willing throughout the season.“
Former striker Rummenigge explicitly praised Guardiola, who succeeded Jupp Heynckes as head coach last summer. “It’s not normal for a team that’s just won the treble to stride clear like this, play such wonderful football and win the German championship after 27 matches,” the chairman declared, describing the 43-year-old Spaniard as “a magnificent person and a superb fit to our club.”
‘We’re not done yet’
Guardiola won the Spanish league three times with Barcelona but was visibly proud and delighted at collecting the German equivalent for the first time. “For the people here winning the league after last year’s treble is a minor thing, and it’s the club’s 24th. But it’s my first so it’s very special,” commented Guardiola. “It may have looked easy, but this is a tough league to win,” he continued, before his debut on the Munich Town Hall balcony for the traditional party and trophy presentation.
“We’re totally proud about what we’ve won so far,” agreed Claudio Pizarro, scorer of the last-minute winner against Stuttgart to seal FCB’s 29th league win of term. “It’s been an unbelievable season so far and we deserve the title,” added right-back Rafinha. His fellow Brazilian Dante said: “We’ve worked very, very hard this season. But we’re not done yet.“
Rummenigge also turned his attention to next Saturday’s cup final in Berlin. “It’ll be tough against Borussia Dortmund, but I’m looking forward to the match,” the chairman said. Winning the double would be a big challenge, he continued, “and it would be wonderful if we can do it. It would turn a good season into a very, very good one. And it would be good for the Bavarian soul.”