Just yesterday, FC Bayern officially announced the signature of Robert Lewandowski on a free transfer from league rivals Borussia Dortmund. In the meantime, media and football fans around the world launched a scathing attack against Bayern Munich, accusing them of once again employing tactics to turn the Bundesliga into a boring one-horse race.
These accusations against the Bundesliga have long been going on, mostly catalysed by ignorance of what’s going on in the league combined with looking at Champions League results. In fact, in the last 20 years, only 3 German clubs made it to the Champions League final. Dortmund made it in 1997 (won) and 2013 (lost), Leverkusen made it in 2002 (lost) and Bayern made it in 1999 (lost), 2001 (won), 2010 (lost), 2012 (lost) and 2013 (won). So, from the aspect of European competitions, FC Bayern blew their Bundesliga counterparts out of the water. In the Bundesliga, however, the competition has not been so one-sided.
Fuelled by my desire to kill this common misconception of the Bundesliga being boring, I took a look around at the other top leagues in Europe. There, to my lack of surprise I found out that the grass certainly isn’t any greener on the other side. Let’s take a look at the competitiveness of these leagues then.
In order to be as fair as possible, I looked at how the leagues were dominated by a single club since the 1990-1991 season, and also at how many different teams were crowned champions during the last 10 seasons. Here are the results:
|League||# Distinct champions in last 10 seasons||Dominant team since 1990-91|
|Bundesliga||5||Bayern Munich (11 wins)|
|Premier League||4||Manchester United (13 wins)|
|La Liga||3||Barcelona (12 wins)|
|Serie A||3||Juventus*, AC Milan (7 wins)|
This table clearly shows that FC Bayern have indeed been dominating their league, but it’s not to the extent that Manchester United and Barcelona have dominated their respective ones. On the other hand, the Serie A used to be highly competitive with no single club dominating, however in the last 10 seasons there have only been 3 different champions, two of which hail from the city of Milan. The situation is no different in Spain, where Real Madrid and Barcelona have together won the last 9 La Liga titles, with the latter winning 12 titles since 1990-91.
OK, perhaps FC Bayern are really strong this season. Maybe they’ll be even stronger next season with Lewandowski on board. However, the reason they’re dominating the league at the moment is precisly that: they’re great, and they’re dominating on all fronts, including in the Champions League. With all probability, if Bayern could be granted permission to transfer to La Liga or the Premier League, perhaps they’d be dominating there as well. Yes, they’re that good, but that doesn’t make the league any more boring than any of the current top leagues in Europe. But perhaps the haters would have rather that Lewandowski joined Manchester United or Barcelona, because you know, they’re REALLY in need of wins, right?
Share this article!