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Season review: Germany

Published: Friday 6 June 2014, 11.09CET
The 2013/14 campaign was defined by records – specifically those set by FC Bayern München – as the Bavarian side went 53 games unbeaten en route to winning the Bundesliga in record time.
by Steffen Potter
Season review: Germany
Bayern proved an unstoppable force in the Bundesliga and German Cup ©Getty Images
Published: Friday 6 June 2014, 11.09CET

Season review: Germany

The 2013/14 campaign was defined by records – specifically those set by FC Bayern München – as the Bavarian side went 53 games unbeaten en route to winning the Bundesliga in record time.

The national competitions in Germany were for a long time overshadowed by FC Bayern München's attempt to become the first team to successfully defend the UEFA Champions League title. First, they won the Bundesliga in record time; then, when Josep Guardiola's side lost their European semi-final to Real Madrid CF, their focus went back to the German Cup, where they defeated Borussia Dortmund in the decider to repeat their domestic double of 2012/13.

Champions: FC Bayern München
Never before had the identity of the German champions been known so early. On 25 March, the 27th matchday of the campaign, the Bavarians prevailed 3-1 at Hertha BSC Berlin, wrapping things up with seven games to spare. With the Bundesliga put to bed, Bayern took just one point from the next three league fixtures as they concentrated on Europe, where they were beaten convincingly by Madrid, losing the second leg 4-0 at home. Nevertheless, Guardiola's charges were responsible for some impressive Bundesliga statistics in 2013/14, such as winning 19 matches in succession, ten in a row on the road and not losing in a national record 53 outings.

Cup final: FC Bayern München 2-0 Borussia Dortmund
Bayern emerged triumphant in a repeat of the 2013 UEFA Champions League final and 2012 German Cup showpiece. Guardiola surprised everyone with a back three and though his team dominated large parts of the game, extra time was required to see off the Schwarzgelben. "Two trophies in a year is wonderful," said Bayern's Javi Martínez after goals from Arjen Robben (107) and Thomas Müller (120) settled matters. "Three titles last year, two this year, we continue to make history."

European places*
FC Bayern München – UEFA Champions League group stage
Borussia Dortmund – UEFA Champions League group stage
FC Schalke 04 – UEFA Champions League group stage
Bayer 04 Leverkusen – UEFA Champions League play-offs
VfL Wolfsburg – UEFA Europa League group stage
VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach – UEFA Europa League play-offs
1. FSV Mainz 05 – UEFA Europa League third qualifying round
*Subject to final confirmation by UEFA

Player of the year: Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund)
It may surprise some not to see a Bayern player here, but it was Reus who received the most votes in a poll of Germany's professionals by football magazine Kicker. Having struggled with muscular injuries in the spring, he came back stronger than ever and his goals as well as assists helped BVB to a strong finish, while his double against Madrid in the UEFA Champions League quarter-final return gave the eventual victors an almighty fright.

One to watch: Josip Drmic (1. FC Nürnberg)
Robert Lewandowski ended the campaign as the division's top marksman with 20 goals – Switzerland striker Drmic, who experienced relegation with Nürnberg, managed just three less. His pace, technique and predatory instincts earned the 21-year-old a trip to the FIFA World Cup and a move to Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Not a bad first term in Germany for the former FC Zürich man.

Surprise package: 1. FSV Mainz 05
Though seventh-place finishers Mainz only qualified for Europe thanks to Bayern and Dortmund contesting the cup final, nothing should detract from the performance of Thomas Tuchel's side. A strong second half of the season meant they were always in contention for a European spot, making Tuchel's decision to step down after the final game something of a surprise.

Leading scorer: Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund (20)

Relegated: 1. FC Nürnberg, TSV Eintracht Braunschweig

Promoted: 1. FC Köln, SC Paderborn 07

Number: 53
Between October 2012 and April 2014, Bayern went 53 Bundesliga matches unbeaten. An under-strength team were finally defeated by FC Augsburg with the title long since secured.

Quote
"It was not an easy season, especially mentally. When you have won everything, the year after, as a player, you want to run and give it [your] all. But to focus on a Bundesliga game every week, that is difficult. I am very proud of my players."
Guardiola comments on some of the motivational challenges his squad faced

Last updated: 06/06/14 11.42CET

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