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Mia San Mia (We Are Who We Are)

2001: A Space Odyssey

The unfortunate events of the last few seasons have had many nostalgic Bayern fans looking back to better times. Times when the Rekordmeister was raking in the trophies and glory, times when Europe’s finest trembled at the name “Bayern”, times when legends were born. While many have accused the current squad of lacking aggression, winning mentality, hunger and, well, balls, the class of 2001 is now lauded for having those exact same things. Bayern fans today yearn for the days of Kahn, Scholl and Effenberg, despite the abundance of riches that strut their stuff weekly at the Allianz Arena. Below is a little trip back to that magical season of 2000/2001.

Bayern’s team photo for the 2000/2001 season

Bayern’s team photo for the 2000/2001 season, Hitzfeld’s on the far right

Because we are playing Manchester United I appealed to referee Herbert Fandel to let tonight’s game run until the 90th minute and then to end it immediately

Beckenbauer after Bayern’s 3-1 (Zickler 2x, Santa Cruz) friendly victory over Manchester United in August of 2000, it was the beginning of a successful season

This is such bitter news, I was in such good form, and ready to go all out.

Jens Jeremies on the knee ligament damage that sidelined him for the first few months of the season

Mehmet Scholl

The man who wore the #7 before Ribery: Mehmet Scholl opened the scoring in both Bayern’s Bundesliga and Champions League campaigns. Bayern won versus Hertha and Helsingborg 4-1 and 3-1, respectively.

Bayern was in Group F along with PSG, Rosenborg and Helsingborg. They finished top of the first group stage. The group included 3-1 wins over Rosenborg and Helsingborg as well as a 2-0 win over PSG.

If Uli knew what he was starting and what would be written about it, he would not have done it. I don’t think he intended to harm Christoph

Franz Beckenbauer on Hoeness’ claims that DFB candidate Christoph Daum had potentially used drugs. It turned out that Hoeness was right.

Bayern came from 2-0 down at Highbury to draw with Arsenal. Michael Tarnat and Mehmet Scholl scored in the second half, Scholl slipped right after taking the free kick that leveled the scores. Ass kickers Effenberg and Jeremies clashed with Henry and Grimandi after the game.

 Bayern have shown for 30 years that they always come through when the pressure is on.

Karl Heinz Rummenigge after the hard earned draw with Arsenal

Bayer Leverkusen was leading the league by November.

I say bravo for the team’s character. They took some risks after going 2-1 down and were rewarded. That was a win for our fans.

Schalke coach Huub Stevens praised his side after the Gelsinkirchen team came back to beat Bayern. Hertha failed to turn their two point lead into a five point lead on the same day after they lost 2-0 to Dortmund.

Bayern were once again first after the end of the second group stage in March. Some of the results included a draw and a win versus Arsenal and a 3-0 loss to Lyon.

We’ve slapped a 10,000-mark fine on him to bring him to his senses.

Mr. Gaspart will be getting another stiff letter from us, he should keep his hands off our players.

Uli Hoeness after fining Sammy Kuffour in March for talking to a Barcelona representative. Hoeness also lambasted the then Barcelona supremo for trying to pull off the same move that Barca pulled off a decade later with Fabregas.

It won’t make any difference to the result but it certainly adds to the glamour and the excitement of the game

Manchester United general secretary Kenneth Merrett on his team’s imminent tie with Bayern.

Bayern’s starting line-up for the game versus United at Old Trafford. Bayern won 1-0 courtesy of an 85th minute Paulo Sergio goal.

We’re just not good enough. We’ve showed we’re not a great team, we’re average. It’s bad to admit, but it’s a fact.

United captain Roy Keane after his team’s 2-1 loss to Bayern in Munich. Elber and Scholl scored for Bayern in the second leg to cap off the 3-1 aggregate win.

Meanwhile in the Bundesliga, Schalke had just thumped Bayern 3-1 in Munich on Easter Saturday 2001. Jancker scored for Bayern three minutes in, but Ebbe Sand won Schalke the game with his hat-trick. This game also turned around the goal difference in Schalke’s favor, which almost lost Bayern the title a month later. Bayern’s Bundesliga hopes were hanging by a thread since this was the third game in a row where Bayern had failed to win.

Real Madrid kick-off what is the biggest match of the season for both clubs, quite possibly ever, in the history of the universe if you believe the hype.

The Guardian’s commentary on the first leg of the semi final between Bayern and Real Madrid in Madrid, a 54th minute Elber strike won the game for Bayern in Spain.

Full-time. Bayern have done it, they’re in the final, it’s victory against Valencia at the San Siro or bust – the Olympic Stadium erupts, foundations in downtown Munich rattle, Beckenbauer smiles. English clubs will be left asking one question after all this – how the hell did we miss this boy Hargreaves?

The Guardian after Bayern won 2-1 in Munich to make it to the final in Milan versus Valencia. The euphoria after the win is not dissimilar to that after the win against Madrid 11 years later.


Bayern headed into the last game day of the 2000/2001 Bundesliga with a three point lead over Schalke. Following the 3-1 loss to Schalke in week 29, Bayern had beaten Freiburg, Frankfurt, Leverkusen and Kaiserslautern consecutively. While Bayern had more points, Schalke had a better goal difference. This meant that if Schalke won on week 34 and Bayern lost, Schalke would be German champions for the first time since 1958. On the afternoon of May 19, 2001, a date that 11 years later caused much suffering for Bayern and its fans, week 34 began. Schalke were playing Unterhaching at home and managed a 5-3 win. Meanwhile in Hamburg, Sergej Barbarez handed the hosts the lead in the 90th minute. Bayern had screwed it up at the last step, the title was going to Schalke. Jubilant festivities had erupted in Gelsinkirchen as Schalke fans began celebrating their newly won title. Three minutes into injury time in Hamburg however, Bayern managed to win a free kick inside the penalty box. Captain Effenberg, youngster Hargreaves and center-back Andersson stood up to take the kick. Goalkeeper Oliver Kahn rushed up and stood next to Hamburg keeper Schober; this was the final chance. In a last bid to save their faltering Bundesliga campaign, Effenberg and Hargreaves moved out of the way, Andersson began his charge and blasted it at the horde of players bunched together just meters in front of him. The ball took a deflection off one of the many players in front of the goal, but that didn’t stop it from reaching the back of the net and giving Bayern the title right out of their Schalke rivals’ hands.

I thought it was all over. A normal side could not come back after such a blow.

Uli Hoeness on Bayern

At everything they attempt, they are blessed with luck. They seem to have the pope in their trouser pockets.

Klaus Fischer on Bayern

It was a rocky Bundesliga campaign for Bayern, but it had a dream ending.

Bundesliga Table for the 2000/2001 season

Once the enfant terrible of German soccer, Stefan Effenberg has mellowed to become the inspiration of an awe-inspiring Bayern Munich side.

Sports Illustrated on Bayern captain Effenberg shortly before the Champions League Final on May 23, 2001. Bayern would face Valencia.

Formations for the Champions League final versus Valencia. Hargreaves took the place of the suspended Jens Jeremies.

A quarter of a century is a long time, but I am an optimist.

Coach Ottmar Hitzfeld before the game

The game started out roughly for Bayern, who conceded a 3rd minute penalty thanks to a handball by Andersson, who was the hero only four nights earlier. Mendieta didn’t hesitate to put Valencia in the lead after he slotted the ball into the bottom corner to Kahn’s right. It was a nightmare start. The Rekordmeister had a chance to redeem themselves, however, when Angloma conceded a penalty in the seventh minute after a foul on Effenberg. Scholl, who had opened the scoring in Bayern’s European campaign back in September of 2000, blasted it down the middle. The ball struck Valencia keeper Canizares’ legs and flew out of bounds, Scholl had missed. As they had showed four days earlier in Hamburg, Bayern remained composed and persistent. An Elber effort was blocked by Canizares, but in the 50th minute, a Valencia handball gave Bayern a penalty. This time Effenberg stepped up and made no mistake as he placed his shot to Canizares’ left; Bayern 1, Valencia 1. The game went on tensely for 70 more minutes, and then it was time for penalties. Paulo Sergio, who had come on for Scholl in extra time, stepped up first for Bayern, but blasted it over the bar. A bad start. Valencia captain Mendieta gave his team the lead in penalties with a cool effort. Zickler, who had come on for Elber, and Salihamdzic both scored for Bayern while Zahovic missed for Valencia. Bundesliga hero Andersson stepped up for Bayern, but his shot went straight into the arms of Canizares, giving Valencia the advantage. Carboni stepped up and shot for the Spanish giants, but Kahn, who had dived to his left, managed to deflect the shot with his right arm onto the crossbar. A jubilant Kahn grabbed hold of the ball, shouted at it and slammed it to the floor: things were even again. Stefan Effenberg, Bixente Lizarzu and Thomas Linke all scored for Bayern, while Ruben Baraja and Kily Gonzalez netted for Valencia. It was Mauricio Pellegrino’s turn to shoot. Mauricio Pellegrino placed the star-studded ball on top of the white spot in the 18-yard box and began his run up. He decided to blast the ball to Kahn’s right, but the Bayern legend anticipated his decision and dove to the right, diverting the ball and handing Bayern their first Champions League title in 25 years. Bayern had done it, Bayern had conquered Europe.

This is the best thing that has ever happened to me. It is amazing. We are going to keep going until the morning and then go straight to the Marienplatz.

As long as they don’t do anything illegal, we’ll let them party.

This is the biggest triumph in 25 years.

Basically the city center is completely blocked and it will stay that way for quite some time.

Man of the match Oliver Kahn and mastermind Ottmar Hitzfeld lift the elusive Champions League trophy

After managing to win two very difficult wins in the space of four days, Bayern managed to banish the demons of 1982, 1987 and 1999 and enjoy the most successful Bavarian season in over two decades. That night in Milan and that afternoon four days earlier in Hamburg turned a solid, dominant Bayern side into a legendary one. Players like Kahn, Effenberg and Scholl are untouchables in football discussions today. It remains to be seen whether or not players like Neuer, Lahm and Schweinsteiger will be talked about in the same way ten years from now.

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  • FCBayernMunchen says:

    How could you not mention Beckenbauer calling the team a bunch of veterans after the 3-0 loss to Lyon? 😆

  • AssemFCB says:

    Oh well, it’s kind of hard to fish out quotes like these when they’re 11 years old!