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A painful lesson for Bayern’s league rivals

Bayern Munich celebrating

Kampala, Uganda | XINHUA |   Bayern Munich’s eighth consecutive national title is well deserved. The hidden message behind it, nevertheless, is a painful reminder for the Bavarians’ domestic rivals; it takes more than ambitious announcements to end the 2013 treble winners’ dominance.

Christian Seifert praised the German league’s efforts as football’s pioneers during the challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, having set up a suitable hygiene concept other European leagues followed.

Although some of the 18 German first-tier sides have a reason to complain about their failures, the 57th season has produced several losers and winners aside from record-setting Bayern.

WINNERS

Bayern’s achievements are clear for all to see. They not only scored 100 season goals, but Robert Lewandowski won the golden boot with 34 goals. Thomas Mueller finished with 22 assists, tying the season record. Coach Hansi Flick won his first title and managed to create a successful turnaround for a team struggling in the season’s first half.

Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann established the East-German side among the top 3, outmaneuvering established rivals, Moenchengladbach and Leverkusen. Timo Werner scored remarkable 28 goals before leaving for Premier League side Chelsea.

League newcomer Union Berlin secured its place in the first division with an encouraging attitude. Having kicked Dusseldorf down to the second division on matchday 34, tells the story of impeccable sportsmanship considering the East-Berlin side was safe already.

Champions League qualifier Moenchengladbach proved the team development is progressing steadily, allowing them to take the next step under new coach Marco Rose.

SC Paderborn might have ended the season with relegation, but coach Steffen Baumgart and his squad proved one can still enjoy football when not competing for trophies. The league newcomer earned deep respect as they never gave up.

Bruno Labbadia gave Hertha new hope to possibly turn into a big city club without the help of a prominent name such as Jurgen Klinsmann.

LOSERS

Looking for the season’s biggest loser, one might end up with Schalke 04. An unparalleled fall, after 16 games without a win, seemed to increase doubts about the future of coach David Wagner. Financial turbulence and in-house scandals makes it difficult to see the Royal Blues’ turning things around for next season.

Borussia Dortmund might have ended up second, but couldn’t reach its goal of outpacing Bayern. The Black and Yellows gave evidence that they couldn’t shake off their significant mentality problems, throwing away points against underdog Mainz (2-0) and Hoffenheim (4-0).

“We need to talk about the winner mentality Bayern has, and we haven’t,” said Borussia goalkeeper Roman Burki.

Relegated Dusseldorf proved turmoil in a club’s leadership can spoil an entire season. As much as Bayern deserves to be called a haven of stability, Fortuna deserves to be part of the second-tier next season.

Werder Bremen seems on its way to getting their heads out of a tight spot. If coach Florian Kohfeldt can survive the two relegation games against the third-placed side of the second division, Werder will be one of the season winners. Enditem

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XINHUA

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