Strange as it may sound today, the current German, European and world champions were not even members of the country's first national top flight back in 1963. They soon rectified that, however, and their first truly golden era saw them crowned champions of Europe three years running in the mid-1970s. In the eyes of many, the current squad has the potential to eclipse even that great side of Beckenbauer, (Gerd) Müller and Co. But what has made FC Bayern so consistently successful down the years? bundesliga.com has rounded up a few likely pointers...
Anyone who joins FC Bayern can expect to have three words drilled into their psyche from the moment they step through the record champions' illustrious doors: Mia San Mia. The Bavarian variation of Wir sind wir (We are who we are), Bayern's adopted club motto has become synonymous with success far beyond its traditional linguistic boundaries and these days adorns the collars of their famous red shirts.
After joining FCB in 1964 from TSV Nördlingen, Gerd 'der Bomber' Müller helped lay the foundations that took Bayern to the very top of the European game for the first time. After gaining promotion to the Bundesliga in the striker's first season at the club they went on to claim a string of titles, including four Bundesliga championships, four DFB Cups and three successive European crowns. All in all, in 14 years at the club, Müller scored 567 competitive goals. Of course, he's not to be confused with the modern-day Thomas Müller.
Bayern took another big step forward in 1972 when the International Olympic Committee (IOC) donated the Olympiastadion to the Bavarian club. Up until then, the Reds had been sharing the Grünwalder Stadion with city rivals 1860 Munich. They put their own stamp on their new home in no uncertain fashion with a title-clinching 5-1 win against FC Schalke 04 in their debut game there, and for more than 30 years the Olympiastadion would remain an FC Bayern stronghold, until the opening of the magnificent Allianz Arena in 2005.
As a club steeped in tradition, success and sound financial management, Bayern know more than most when it comes to recruiting new suitors. jumped at the chance to join the club last year, even though it meant leaving behind boyhood side Borussia Dortmund, and he will soon be joined in the Bavarian capital by former team-mate . Make no mistake about it: Bayern only ever buy the best.
FC Bayern personified, honorary president Franz Beckenbauer and chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge live and breathe their beloved club. Voted in at the top level back in 1991, these two living club legends have rarely been far from the action ever since and both have been as influential off the pitch down the years as they once were on it. Other legendary figures such as Gerd Müller and Sepp Maier have also returned to the club to work upstairs following decades of on-pitch success.
It starts at the very top and everyone new to the club gets to experience it from day one: this is an environment totally geared towards success. The Reds raise the bar high, but not to an unrealistic level. They sign or cultivate players who can consistently produce the goods, despite that tremendous burden of expectation - players who, in fact, positively thrive under pressure.
That particular psychological capacity in turn goes a long way to explaining Bayern's long-established reputation for earning 'flukey' late victories. A team fully imbued with a winning mentality and resolutely confident of their ability to turn things around at any point are, almost by default, going to do just that on a more regular basis than is the norm - here they are winning the Bundesliga title in 2001 with the last kick of the season. Not that the men from Munich have exactly needed much luck lately...
12 teams have earned the privilege of lifting the coveted Meisterschale over the course of the Bundesliga's 51 seasons to date and FC Bayern have done so more often than anyone else, by a country mile. The latest title is their 23rd since the inception of Germany's national top flight in 1963, and 24th national championship overall. By way of comparison, the two sides with the second-most championship belts, Borussia Dortmund and their Mönchengladbach namesakes, have won five apiece.
Check out FC Bayern's ten best goals on the way to the 2013/14 title courtesy of the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel: