For some time it has simply been a case of where and when FC Bayern München would secure their 23rd league title. Jupp Heynckes' side have dominated the Bundesliga all season, having led the way since week one, and enjoyed a commanding lead over their rivals for much of the campaign.
However, settling the championship after the 28th round of matches is a first. The quickest a team had previously sewn up the league was in week 30, a feat Bayern achieved in 1972/73 and 2002/03.
That, though, is not the only top-flight record the Bavarians have set this term. The 1-0 victory at Eintracht Frankfurt on Saturday that confirmed them as champions was their 11th in succession, a sequence no club had previously managed in 50 years of the Bundesliga. Furthermore, it was Bayern's 13th away win in 2012/13 − the previous high watermark was 11.
If that is impressive, the following bests are also still within reach of Heynckes' all-conquering squad:
– most points in a season (81, Borussia Dortmund, 2011/12)
– most wins (25, Dortmund, 2011/12; Bayern, 1972/73)
– fewest goals conceded (21, Bayern, 2007/08)
Having finished runners-up to Dortmund in each of the last two years, Bayern made reclaiming the Bundesliga shield their primary objective, one that was reached much earlier than even Heynckes expected. "I'm extremely happy right now," he said.
"Obviously it's a very emotional moment for me, because it has been 23 years since I last won the Bundesliga title [also as Bayern coach]. It was a lot warmer back then, however − I've never won the Bundesliga when it was this cold, neither as a player nor as a manager."
For nine players in the squad this is their first Bundesliga crown, but there will be no excessive partying − Bayern still have the second leg of their UEFA Champions League quarter-final tie against Juvetus, which they lead 2-0, to negotiate on Wednesday. "We aren't done yet," warned captain Philipp Lahm. "There's still a long way [to go] and we still have big goals to achieve."
President Uli Hoeness, meanwhile, said the players and staff "will have a glass of champagne on our flight back to Munich" before attention turns to their trip to Turin. "Our goal is to win the Champions League," he explained. "The DFB Cup is a great competition, but the Champions League is the best in the world and we want to win it."
David Alaba, who struck the upright against Eintracht with a first-half penalty, added: "We have worked hard for this and we are happy that we have achieved one of our goals. We deserve to be here and the joy among the team is tremendous. However, we have a very tough game on Wednesday and we need to start focusing on that."
One of the nine players for whom this is their maiden German title, goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said: "Until now, I've only held a replica trophy made out of cardboard in the dressing room. That was a good feeling, but we are obviously looking forward to getting our hands on the real thing. We know that we still have two very important competitions left and we want to achieve as much success as possible."
Thomas Müller added: "It feels strange having won the championship this early. It's a great moment, because all the hard work has paid off and no one can take that away from us. We have set a few records this season, but we want to continue playing the same way. There are some real highlights coming up for us and that should ensure we remain sensible [in our outlook]."
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