Imagine being able to go all Marty McFly and Doc Brown and fly back in time in the DeLorean to an era where Bayern Munich didn’t win the Bundesliga and the Bavarians were not the all-conquering force in German football. You’d have to go back to 2012- a time when so much was so different. There are young fans, who probably have only ever known the Rekordmeister as the champions. Let’s go back……
If we landed on May 5th, 2012, we would arrive in time for the final matchday of the 2011-12 Bundesliga season. If we landed in Dortmund we would find a BVB side already confirmed as champions under Jürgen Klopp and a 4-0 win over Freiburg saw them finish a full eight points ahead of Bayern, who funnily enough had to travel to Köln on the final day of the season. The Bavarians duly won with a certain Thomas Müller scoring two to relegate the Billy Goats. Mats Hummels was the only player there to celebrate the Meisterschale, who is still now with BVB.
Somethings never change and Hertha Berlin also found themselves relegated at the end of the season, but via a crazy play-off against Fortuna Düsseldorf. The Alte Dame lost the first leg 2-1 and drew the return 2-2. The second leg at the Esprit Arena saw the game interrupted twice in the second half after Hertha fans launches fireworks onto the pitch and then ended in chaos when Fortuna fans stormed the pitch after 94 minutes thinking the game was over. Order was only restored half an hour later and the players had to return to playout the final minutes. King Otto Rehhagel was the Hertha coach back then and the game finished in the 90+30th minute!!
Christian Streich was in his first season at Freiburg having taken over in December 2011 and the Breisgauer would finish 12th with 40 points. Kaiserslautern were the other side relegated having finished bottom of the table. In a reversal of their current fortunes, Schalke took third and qualified for the Champions League, while Hannover finished seventh with Nürnberg in tenth.
Union Berlin were not on anybody’s radar back then with die Eisernen a mid-table side in the 2.Bundesliga under Uwe Neuhaus. RB Leipzig had just finished third in the Regionalliga Nord! Thomas Tuchel had steered Mainz to safety although a certain Marco Reus scored twice against them on the final matchday for Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Bayern’s current sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic was in action for VfL Wolfsburg, while both Lukas Podolski and Michael Ballack played their final matches for Köln and Leverkusen respectively before big moves. Podolski joined Arsenal whereas Ballack retired. At the other end of the spectrum Jude Bellingham was a just an eight-year-old kid who’d just joined Birmingham’s under-age teams.
Bayern Munich would go onto lose the Champions League final Dahoam in the Allianz Arena to Chelsea with the Premier League side breaking Bavarian hearts on penalties after Didier Drogba’s late, late equaliser. Bayern would finish the season trophy-less after Dortmund did the double in the Pokal final with a stunning 5-2 win.
Team of the season:
Leno (Leverkusen), Piszczek (Dortmund), Hummels (Dortmund), Brouwers (Mönchengladbach), S.Bender (Dortmund), Kehl (Dortmund), Blaszczykowskli (Dortmund), Reus (Mönchengladbach) Ribéry (Bayern), Lewandowski (Dortmund), Huntelaar (Schalke)