With Leroy Sane on board and a treble of Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League under their belts, Bayern Munich could hardly look stronger going into 2020/21…
Bayern romped to a record eighth consecutive Bundesliga title last term. Fourth when Hansi Flick succeeded Niko Kovac as coach last November, the former Germany assistant steered Bayern to a 4-0 Klassiker victory over Borussia Dortmund in his first game. It was to prove a mere portent of what was to come.
Watch: Highlights of Bayern's 4-0 win over Dortmund
The record German champions ended up defending their 29th Bundesliga title by 13 points, and they completed their second ever continental treble for good measure, beating Bayer Leverkusen 4-2 in the DFB Cup final before Kingsley Coman's header against former club Paris Saint-Germain saw them lift the UEFA Champions League trophy with a 1-0 win in Lisbon.
Thomas Müller overtook Kevin de Bruyne for the single-season assist record domestically with 21; Robert Lewandowski won his fourth Torjägerkanone in five years and would surely have won the cancelled Ballon d'Or too having top-scored in every competition he featured in; while the rise of Canadian youngster Alphonso Davies - from promising winger to world-class left-back - was another high.
Bayern made perhaps the signing of the summer - in the Bundesliga and indeed beyond - in persuading Leroy Sane to swap Manchester City for Bavaria in June. The Schalke-honed left-footer could make his competitive debut against his first club on the opening day.
Watch: Sane's first presser as a Bayern player
Other arrivals look to be ones for the future. Goalkeeper Alexander Nübel has joined directly from Schalke and will provide back-up for a Manuel Neuer who is still the best in the business. Tanguy Nianzou, an 18-year-old centre-back signed from PSG, looks another shrewd acquisition.
What to expect
Teams often struggle to stay hungry after winning it all, but Bayern have such a fine blend of youthful promise and experience, that it shouldn't be a problem. Neuer's 34; Davies is 19; both are world class. Sane has Serge Gnabry, Coman and Ivan Perisic for company in the wide areas. Bayern are two-deep in every position.
Dortmund and RB Leipzig might pose some stiff competition, but anything less than another title win would be a disappointment at the Allianz Arena. Another run to the business end of European competition is another minimum requirement.
Fun fact to impress your friends with
Bayern may now be the record German champions, but it was city rivals 1860 Munich who represented Bavaria in the first ever Bundesliga season in 1963, Die Löwen having won the Oberliga-Süd in the final year before the regional leagues were consolidated.
Bayern soon put together a team boasting Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller and Sepp Maier, though, and with that axis achieved promotion to the top-flight in 1965 before going on to lift the European Cup three times in a row in the 1970s.