Munich - Proclaiming a tectonic shift in the make-up of continental football’s cultural landscape is a daring assertion at the best of times, but watching FC Bayern Munich batter FC Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund overcome Real Madrid in the UEFA Champions League, you couldn’t help but feel the earth tremor.

A combined final score of 11-3 in those two-legged ties paints a masterpiece of German perfectionism and signals a significant changing of the guard. La Liga’s kingship is over; this is Bundesliga territory now.

Style and substance


Bayern not only played Barca off the park, but for the most part they did so with style and substance in a performance worthy, at the very least, of the final 7-0 aggregate score line. And with the incredibly gifted Mario Götze and ex-Barca tactician Pep Guardiola set to join the ship in the summer, the Bavarians only look like they’re going to get better.

Like Barca, Jose Mourinho’s Madrid simply couldn’t contend with Dortmund’s awe-inspiring brand of counter-attacking football, but perhaps we shouldn’t be all that surprised by the end result. After all, something very special has been brewing in Germany for a long time now - and we’re not just talking about the country’s favourite tipple.

From the bottom up, German football has it all: the most animated and appreciated fan bases, modern stadiums with affordable seating and a grassroots structure that since the debacle of Euro 2000 has produced some of the most exciting home-grown talent ever to grace the game - all underpinned by unbelievably shrewd finances and governance.

The stage is set


Only now, though, is the German master plan beginning to bear fruit. Indeed, after La Liga’s faltering duo failed to swing the return semi-final legs on Spanish soil in their favour, it’s not another instalment of El Clásico that football fans can look forward to at Wembley on Saturday night, but der Klassiker instead - the first ever all-German affair in European Cup and Champions League history.

Speaking of which, there’s also the little matter of a dress rehearsal between Germany’s triumphant two this coming weekend, but if that’s not enough proof to show that this past week or so has been more than just a fleeting moment in the sun for German football, Bayern and Dortmund will at least have the stage to themselves in London to show the world exactly what the Bundesliga is all about.

Christopher Mayer-Lodge