Der Klassiker: When North Rhine and Bavaria clash

Der Klassiker, FC Bayern versus Borussia Dortmund. Der Klassiker, Germany’s hottest game of the season. The one every football fan all over the world ping on their calendar as soon as soon as the fixture’s date is published.  

 

We are talking here about a pure sporting rivalry. No politics as in Real Madrid vs FC Barcelona, no social differences as in Boca Juniors versus River Plate, nor religious or sectarian lines division as in Celtic vs Glasgow Rangers. This rivalry is purely based on the on-field success, both on the domestic and international stage.

Winning a combined 22 of the last 26 Bundesliga titles, Bayern and Dortmund are by far both the best teams and clubs in Germany. Therefore, whenever they face each other, the whole world of football put all their focus on that game. A game that is hosted by the 2 teams with the highest average attendance in Europe.

 

Overall statistics

 

Bayern and Dortmund faced each other 125 times: Bayern won 59 times of them scoring 238 goals while Dortmund managed to win 33 games scoring 150 goals.

Titles wise, Bayern has won more Bundesliga titles (29-8), more DFB-Pokal (19-4), more Champions Leagues (5-1), more Europa Leagues (1-0), more UEFA Supercups (2-1), more Club World Cups  (1-0) and more German Supercups (7-6).

 Having won more titles and most importantly more direct oppositions, the Munich side clearly dominates this rivalry but there was a time where Bayern could not deal with Dortmund.

 

Jurgen Klopp’s era

 

 Klopp came to Dortmund with the aim of making them able to compete with Bayern. Not only did he do that, he made them an even better team for quite some time. Five competitive meetings across 2010/11 and 2011/12 saw five Borussia wins as they swept to consecutive Bundesliga titles. The last of those victories even saw them beat the Munich giants 5-2 in the final of the DFB Cup, Lewandowski scoring a hat-trick that day, to claim the club’s first domestic double ever.

 

Bayern, with their winning culture had to fire back. Jupp Heynckes, a Bayern legend, took Bayern to glory and German football to a stage it had never reached before.

 

Bayern’s treble winning season

 

The 2012/2013 season has got to be Bayern’s best ever. Not only did they win the treble, they did it knocking out BVB from the cup and most importantly winning the Champions League final in Wembley by a late and cruel Arjen Robben goal against Dortmund.

 

Dortmund’s financial crisis

 

Back when Borussia Dortmund had won their first ever UEFA Champions League trophy in 1997, the players began demanding higher wages. The club also began shopping for players due to the wealth accumulated from a golden era in the 1990’s. Big money transfers such as Evanilson and Thomas Rosicky left the club spending more than they earned despite being on the stock exchange, partnering with chemical companies, soft drink companies and internet startups. But that was only the beginning of it.

And after the successful 2002 Bundesliga campaign, Dortmund’s ridiculous spending eventually came back to bite them.  During the 2003-2004 campaign, the club had amassed a total debt of 100 million pounds. The club was desperate enough to accept a 2 million pound loan from arch-rivals Bayern Munchen. 

This caused many people at the time to ridicule the rivalry, with some going as far as to say that it was all an act – a show put on for entertainment.

 

Tomorrow’s game

 

Dortmund will be hosting Bayern tomorrow. With 4 points separating the 2 teams and the Bundesliga coming to an end, this has got to be the hottest game of the Bundesliga season.

Both Borussia and Bayern are heading to this game having won their 2 first games after football’s come-back, the two teams seem to be on fire and may just as well give us a fire game tomorrow. One thing is for sure, we will have a clearer image about the identity of this season’s Bundesliga winner.

 

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Sources:

Klopp’s tifo: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/2473989-borussia-dortmund-thank-outgoing-jurgen-klopp-with-incredible-display

Robben’s picture: https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1651594-bayern-munich-vs-dortmund-live-score-and-highlights-for-champions-league-final