Bayern Munich, Hamburg and Borussia Dortmund have claimed European club football's top prize seven times between them. - © getty/ imago
Bayern Munich, Hamburg and Borussia Dortmund have claimed European club football's top prize seven times between them. - © getty/ imago

Bayern Munich, Hamburg and Borussia Dortmund: Germany's European champions


Jürgen Klopp has finally got the monkey off his back in winning the UEFA Champions League, but the former Borussia Dortmund head coach is far from the first German to have conquered Europe. looks back at the three German club sides who have been crowned European champions over the years...

Bayern Munich (2012/13)

After losing the 2012 final on their own patch to Chelsea on penalties, Bayern had a score to settle the following campaign. Jupp Heynckes’ side topped Group F ahead of Valencia, BATE Borisov and Lille before scraping past Arsenal on away goals in the last 16.

There were no fine margins involved en route to the final, though, as Bayern routed Juventus 4-0 and shook the European game to its very foundation with a 7-0 aggregate demolition of Lionel Messi’s Barcelona.

Bundesliga rivals Dortmund, coached at the time by Klopp, played their part in a thrilling final at Wembley Stadium - the first ever between two German sides - but Bayern prevailed 2-1 thanks to Arjen Robben’s redemptive late winner.

A 3-2 win in the DFB Cup final a week later saw the Reds complete an unprecedented treble.

Watch: Bayern's 2012/13 treble-winning team

Key men

Philipp Lahm

The homegrown talent made exceptionally good with his local team, Philipp Lahm set a captain’s example en route to Wembley.

Bayern’s skipper started and finished all but one of his side’s 12 matches, chipping in with five assists, including three in the 6-1 rout of Group F rivals Lille.

He lifted the FIFA World Cup with Germany little over a year later.

Javi Martinez

One of three new faces at Bayern in 2012/13, Javi Martinez asserted an entirely new level of dominance in front of the back four alongside Bastian Schweinsteiger.

He made the dirty work look like an art form, famously pushing Messi from the heights of world stardom to the depths of isolation in the last four.

Six years on, the Spanish battering ram is still ruffling opposition feathers.

Arjen Robben

Like Martinez, Robben played a crucial part against Barcelona, providing a neat finish in the first leg and scoring a trademark left-footed curler in the second.

The Dutchman laid on the opening goal for Mario Mandzukic in the final, before rolling in the winner.

Following the heartbreak of 2012, no one was more relieved or elated when the final whistle blew.

A team with no weak links, Franck Ribery and Arjen Robben combined to score the winning goal in the final against Dortmund. - DFL 2019

Bayern (2000/01)

The class of 2013 weren't the first instance of a Bayern team feasting on the opposition with all the ferocity of a wounded lion.

Twelve years earlier, the class of 2001 were still coming to terms with their agonising 1999 final defeat to Manchester United when they pipped Paris Saint-Germain to top spot in Group F.

Ottmar Hitzfeld’s ensemble were the only German team left in the competition as they ploughed through the field in the now defunct second group stage to set up a showdown with old foes Man Utd.

Bayern duly lay the ghost of 99 to rest with a comfortable 3-1 aggregate win - a scoreline they repeated to oust defending champions Real Madrid in the last four.

Giovane Elber scored in both ties, but Oliver Kahn was the hero of the final at Milan’s San Siro, saving three Valencia penalties in the decisive shoot-out after the game had ended 1-1 after 120 minutes.

Kahn was mobbed by the red shirts, but showed his softer side when he broke character to console distraught opposite number, Santiago Canizares, who had crumpled to the ground in floods of tears. The gesture earned 'The Titan' the UEFA Fair Play award, while Hitzfeld celebrated his second European crown as a coach.

Oliver Kahn (l.) knows what it's like to lose and win Champions League finals. - imago/Uwe Kraft

Key men

Oliver Kahn

Kahn conceded just 10 goals and kept nine clean sheets in 16 games as Bayern claimed their fourth European crown.

He made two quite brilliant saves in the knockout rounds to thwart Man United’s Ryan Giggs and Real’s Luis Figo, before cementing his status as an all-time goalkeeping great in the final.

Stefan Effenberg

From 'The Titan' to 'The Tiger', Stefan Effenberg was the driving force behind Bayern’s European success in 2001.

Fuelled by a burning desire to succeed and brimming with self-belief, club captain 'Effe' scored in the final to cancel out Gaizka Mendieta’s early penalty, and fired in Bayern’s fourth spot-kick in the decisive shootout.

Giovane Elber

"We had Kahn at the back, [Stefan] Effenberg in the middle and me up front," Giovane Elber recalled of Bayern’s formidable 2001 Champions League winners.

The Brazilian striker had been substituted off prior to the penalty shootout against Valencia, but he more than contributed to his side’s European success, netting six times on the way to the final. Only Real's Raul Gonzalez scored more (seven).

Kahn, Stefan Effenberg and Giovane Elber formed the spine of Bayern's 2001 Champions League winners. - DFL

Borussia Dortmund (1996/97)

Victorious with Bayern in the noughties, Hitzfeld’s first Champions League title came in the Dortmund dugout in 1997.

Reigning Bundesliga champions and Germany’s only representative in the then 16-club competition, BVB finished second behind Atletico Madrid on goal difference in Group B, but in doing so avoided 95 winners and the previous year’s beaten finalists, Ajax, in the quarter-finals.

Instead, the Black-Yellows took out France’s Auxerre (4-1 on agg.) before securing a pair of 1-0 victories over Sir Alex Ferguson’s Man Utd in the semi-finals to set up a final with holders Juventus.

Jürgen Kohler, Andreas Möller and Paulo Sousa had all played for the Italians against Dortmund in a two-legged UEFA Cup final humbling four years earlier, but there was to be no repeat showing.

Eighteen-year-old substitute Lars Ricken scored the pick of the goals with an audacious chip over the head of Angelo Peruzzi as BVB ran out 3-1 winners to become the first German side to get their hands on 'old big ears' in the competition’s revamped guise as the Champions League.

Victory was all the sweeter, coming as it did at the home of Bundesliga rivals, Bayern.

Lars Ricken scored within five minutes of Juve's Alessandro Del Piero and less than 20 seconds after joining the action as a sub. - imago sportfotodienst

Key men

Matthias Sammer

Matthias Sammer showed exactly why he had been awarded the 1996 Ballon d’Or in what turned out to be his final hurrah as a player.

The BVB captain was everywhere in Munich, as one might expect from one of the greatest sweepers of all time, snapping into tackles, attacking with menace and rendering Zinedine Zidane largely irrelevant.

He would play just three more times for Dortmund after a routine operation to repair knee ligaments threatened the amputation of his leg and ended his career.

Lars Ricken

Despite scoring his third goal of the competition in the previous round, Ricken had no complaints about being dropping to the bench for the final.

"I’d been sitting on the bench for 70 minutes, studying the game and I noticed that Peruzzi was always positioned far from his goal," he remembered. "I turned to [team-mate] Heiko Herrlich and said: 'If I come on, the first thing I’m going to do is shoot, no matter where I am.' That stayed in the back of my mind."

One outrageous chip later, and Ricken had his place in Dortmund folklore.

Karl-Heinz Riedle

Serie A experience with Lazio may have helped as Karl-Heinz Riddle add to his three league goals against Juventus, as well as two earlier tournament strikes, with a first-half brace in Munich.

His first - a close-range finish under pressure from a ruck of blue shirts - was striker’s instinct at its finest, while his second - a thumping header from Möller’s corner - was classic 'Air Riedle'.

BVB captain Matthias Sammer was imperious in the 1997 Champions League final. - DFL 2019

Hamburg (1982/83)

Juventus should have know better, having come a cropper against so-called German underdogs in 1983.

A team including Paulo Rossi, Michel Platini and Dino Zoff were supposed to brush aside unfancied Hamburg in Athens, but the gods conspired against Giovanni Trapattoni’s men as they became victims of their own Greek tragedy.

Future managerial whip-cracker Felix Magath scored the only goal after just eight minutes as Juve joined Dynamo Berlin, Olympiakos, Dynamo Kviv and Real Sociedad on the Red Shorts’ list of continental conquests.

The triumph was the jewel in a golden era for the Dinos, who - coached by legendary Austrian coach Ernst Happel - also claimed their third Bundesliga title in the space of five years that season.

Hamburg's 1983 European Cup saviour Felix Magath went on to win the Bundesliga as a coach with Bayern and Wolfsburg. - imago

Key men

Ditmar Jakobs

Ditmar Jakobs’ name is associated with one of the happiest and saddest moments in Hamburg history.

Jakobs played in every game of the 1983 European Cup, scoring in the semi-final against Sociedad, but his career was abruptly ended six years later.

After making a successful goal-line clearance in a Bundesliga match against Werder Bremen, a broken carabiner became lodged in the defender’s back and had to be removed using a scalpel. Sadly, he suffered nerve damage in the process and never played again.

Lars Bastrup

Lars Bastrup was HSV’s top scorer in the 1983 European Cup, netting in the last-16 second leg win over Olympiakos before putting the Red Shorts in control of their last-eight meeting with Dynamo Kyiv with a first-leg hat-trick.

The Dane might have added to his tally had he not been taken off just shy of the hour in the final after breaking his jaw in a challenge with the notoriously uncompromising Claudio Gentille.

Felix Magath

Long before Magath the authoritarian coach, there was Magath the elegant playmaker.

He made the centre of the park his playground, but scored the biggest goal of his career from a wider role. Picking the ball up about 30 yards out, Magath outfoxed Roberto Bettega, raced to the corner of the penalty box and unleashed a curving shot that left the great Zoff with no chance.

A self-professed chess fanatic, Magath delivered checkmate in style.

Don't be fooled by the mullets and moustaches: this Hamburg team could play a bit too. - DFL 2019

Bayern (1974-76)

Speaking of halcyon days, it was in the mid-1970s that Bayern cemented their status as a bona fide European football powerhouse.

The first German outfit to lift the European Cup in 1974 after forcing a final replay against Atletico Madrid courtesy of a last-gasp Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck goal, they went on to defend the title twice with wins over Leeds United and Saint-Etienne.

The likes of Franz Beckenbauer, Gerd Müller, Sepp Maier were the standout names for an omnipotent ensemble that also provided the backbone of West Germany’s 1972 UEFA European Championship and 1974 FIFA World Cup triumphs.

For many, the 70s vintage - coached by Udo Lattek and later Dettmer Cramer - are the very best Bayern ever.

Gerd Müller (c.) lifted three European Cups with Bayern, scoring in the 1974 and 1975 finals. - imago/Colorsport

Key men

Sepp Maier

Lauded for his interpretation of the role of goalkeeper and famed for his agility, Maier was an indispensable member of Bayern’s triumphant Euro rockers.

Die Katze von Anzing – 'The Cat from Anzig' - was consistency personified, shipping just eight goals across the Bavarians' 1975 and 1976 European Cup wins, whilst keeping nine clean sheets.

There might not have been a Kahn or Manuel Neuer without him.

Franz Beckenbauer

Reinventing the role of libero (sweeper), Beckenbauer’s name became synonymous with success during Bayern’s three-year reign as kings of Europe.

Assured, creative, tactically astute, a natural leader and widely regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever, it’s no wonder Der Kaiser was handed the captain’s armband for all three finals.

Gerd Müller

The archetypal centre forward, Müller scored a staggering 34 goals in 35 European Cup games, with 18 of his strikes falling inside the golden era in question.

Two came in the final second leg against Atletico in 1974, and he was also on target a year later against Leeds. His secret?

"You need to be able to score blind. It really helps if you can shoot at the goal without looking."

A team for the ages, Bayern Munich won three successive European Cups with Maier, Beckenbauer and Müller at the heart of the side. - DFL 2019