How Hansi Flick's Bayern Munich compares to Jupp Heynckes' 2013 treble winners
Bayern Munich have won a second Bundesliga, DFB Cup and UEFA Champions League treble in seven years, but how does Hansi Flick's crop of talent compare to Jupp Heynckes' class of 2013?
bundesliga.com compares them to their illustrious predecessors…
Watch: Bayern's 2019/20 title journey
This starts off quite easily, with Manuel Neuer still standing between the posts of the record champions. Though it may not have seemed plausible seven years ago, when Neuer was already well on his way to redefining the sweeper-keeper role, and was widely regarded as the world's best custodian, the 34-year-old has gained another dimension in terms of experience and presence.
Not only does Neuer continue to build from the back, following a now widely-used blueprint that he drew up over the past 15 years, he is giving greater assurance to those before him with an enhanced understanding of the game, while his shot-stopping continues to be world class.
Speaking of those stood in front of him, Jerome Boateng and David Alaba were divided by Dante in 2013, but they are now joined by the hip in the heart of the Bayern defence, delving into their wealth of experience to keep the tightest of ships.
Boateng's season has been nothing short of remarkable, particularly when contextualised by the fact he was deemed surplus to requirements a year ago. Not one to wilt under negative judgement, Boateng knuckled down and seized his opportunity - in the shape of injuries to Niklas Süle and Lucas Hernandez - to prove his critics wrong and deliver arguably one of his best seasons in a Bayern shirt.
The 31-year-old's partnership with Alaba has been so solid, it has yet to leak a single defeat since they were paired together as a regular fixture by Flick, while the trademark pass from deep which paved the way for Arjen Robben's winning goal in the 2013 final has been refined to regularity down the years.
Where Bayern may have lost the services of one of the game's best ever full-backs in Philipp Lahm, they have gained in the dynamism of Alphonso Davies. Granted, both have contrasting qualities, with Lahm shifting from full-back to midfielder and back, while Davies' trajectory is following the opposite path, with a move from the wing to defence, but the Canadian international is already showing signs he could eventually fill a chapter as long as Lahm's in Bayern's history books.
Watch: Bayern's much-improved defence under Flick
His 'roadrunner' pace has provided an added weapon in Bayern's attacks this season, while this speed has enabled him to remedy any defensive lapses that he also continues to work on improving. Filling Lahm's shoes in a more comparable fashion, meanwhile, is Joshua Kimmich, who – due to an injury to Benjamin Pavard – looks set to conclude the campaign at right full-back having impressed in front of the defence.
Had Kimmich been at the stage of his career he is at now back in 2013, it would have been a toss-up between him and Lahm for a starting berth, and that says it all.
Bastian Schweinsteiger and Javi Martinez held things together for Heynckes' Bayern, but in Leon Goretzka and Thiago Alcantara, Flick can feel he has comparable quality in that department. Goretzka, in particular, has been in some of the best form of his career so far since action resumed in May, scoring three and setting up four as Bayern marched to the title.
Where Flick's team perhaps has an edge over Heynckes' is in the balance he gains from having a slightly more attack-minded midfielder in Goretzka with the more anchored Thiago. Both can see and play that game-opening pass, but Goretzka – perhaps more so than Schweinsteiger in 2013 – knows where the gaps are to add further attacking support, and few pose more of a threat coming from deep than the former Schalke man.
Thomas Müller is one player to have benefitted greatly from Goretzka's presence, with the pair's connectivity culminating quite often – in fact, very often – in an assist to a goal. With 21 assists, Müller set a new Bundesliga record in 2019/20 and the 30-year-old has positively thrived under Flick, delivering his best season stats since 2016 with a contribution to 29 of Bayern's 100 goals.
That latter figure was just one shy of their own Bundesliga record from 1971/72, as they went into triple digits for only the second time in history, and two more than the 98 scored by Heynckes' Bayern in 2012/13. Advantage Flick.
Watch: All of Müller's goals and assists in 2019/20
Thirty four of those goals – equating to a third – were scored by one man alone, however. Robert Lewandowski has just enjoyed the best season of his career, winning his fifth Torjägerkanone and, were it not for the cancellation of this year's Ballon d'Or prize, arguably earning him the gong as the best player on the planet.
With 15 goals, he finished as the Champions League's top-scorer this season, just two shy of Cristiano Ronaldo's single-season competition record. If you were to ask any coach who they would choose to lead their attack, the Pole's name would inevitably slip straight off the tongue.
While Heynckes was able to spread the goalscoring burden across the shoulders of Mario Mandzukic, Mario Gomez and Claudio Pizarro, Flick needs only one man to rely on in firing Bayern to a treble.
Add to all that the devilish wingmen Serge Gnabry and Kingsley Coman – with 16 and 15 goals and assists between them in 2019/20 showing they have taken the mantle of Bayern's new Robbery – and you can see how Flick boasts a side who could easily go shoulder to shoulder with their 2013 peers - and have now matched their feat out on the field.
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