Bayern Munich have always been a replica of the mighty German national team. At present, out of the 32 registered players, there is a strong presence of 17 local players in the squad and, if you include their former coach Jupp Heynckes, you get a feel of an exclusive German team.
As many of the household names in world football still get allured to the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United, Bayern always depend on home-grown players to form the core of the team.
The result is the emergence of players like current skipper Philipp Lahm, vice-captain Bastian Schweinsteiger, Thomas Muller, Holger Badstuber, Diego Contento and Tony Kroos in the heart of the team. Their rising star David Alaba, though a non-German, is also a product of the club’s youth team.
Bayern’s success has rubbed off on other German clubs who also have followed the Bavarian giants’ youth-based programmes. While other European clubs have marketed themselves across the world, Bayern have always focused on Germany. Last year, as a result of Bayern’s appearance in the Champions League final, its brand value was up 59 per cent.
As far as managing the team is concerned, the 67-year-old Heynckes was mighty successful in keeping everybody in the camp happy with his rotation policy that has delivered impressive results. “The team must stay hungry and greedy. We’ve to carry on the good work,” said the veteran coach.
His rotation policy meant not even Lahm or Schweinsteiger was guaranteed a starting berth. Conversely, some of Heynckes’s foreign recruits like Xherdan Shaqiri, Claudio Pizarro and Anatoliy Tymoshchuk are no bit-part players. And all of them have contributed largely to Bayern’s success. Heynckes did some clever recruitments last season.
He retained most players from last season, but added Brazilian Dante, Spanish World Cup and European Cup winner Javi Martinez and Croat Mario Mandzukic. Besides, the signing of Euro ’96, and Champions League winner Matthias Sammer as the club’s Sporting Director has also given the team an added edge.Published 27 Oct 2013, 23:25 IST