I’m sure everyone reading this can admit the two biggest clubs in Germany are Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich. Although this is the case, Dortmund have been in the shadows of league rivals Munich recently. In the last 50 years the two teams have dominated German Football – Bayern Munich have totalled 24 league titles and Borussia Dortmund have just the 8 titles.
The rivalry between Bayern and Dortmund isn’t exactly a derby, but it is one of the most followed Bundesliga games of the season. In recent years, Dortmund have clawed their way back up to the top and have been the only club to consistently give Bayern a run for their money, even beating them to two consecutive league titles in 2010/11 and 2011/12.
This week Borussia Dortmund defender and captain Mats Hummels has asked the club for him to join Bayern Munich in the summer. This led to a lot of talk that even competing at the very top of domestic football, the attraction of potential Champions League Football is too much and perhaps Dortmund are becoming a feeder club to their German rivals. In this article I’ll be going through some of the players who have made the change from Borussia Dortmund to Bayern Munich.
Even though Dortmund have enjoyed a lot of domestic success in recent years, that hasn’t stopped players making the switch to Munich. Firstly, Mario Gotze joined ‘Der FCB’ when the club triggered the midfielder’s £32 million clause following a season where he scored 10 goals and created 13 goals in the 2012/13 Bundesliga season and the German playmaker formed a formidable trio along with Marco Reus and Robert Lewandowski. Gotze is currently not in favour of departing manager Pep Guardiola. However, a return to the Westfalenstadion could be on the cards this summer with Mario Gotze not settling for a place on the bench at Bayern Munich.
Someone else who has made the move from yellow to red is prolific striker Robert Lewandowski. The Polish star joined Borussia Dortmund in 2010 and although his first season was hit and miss, being second-choice upfront, his next three seasons he averaged 31 goals a season. In 2014, Lewandowski was unwilling to sign a new deal with ‘Die Schwarzgelben’ and ultimately agreed to join rivals Bayern Munich on a pre-contract in January 2014, leaving BVB for free. Ever since he has enjoyed success with the Allianz Arena club, winning the Bundesliga in his first season and looks to be replicating that this season. The 27 year-old has scored 44 goals for Munich in his two seasons so far.
A player some of the elder readers might remember is Torsten Frings. Starting his career at Werder Bremen, the six-foot midfielder moved to Borussia Dortmund for 10 million euros in the summer of 2002. The midfielder lasted two seasons at the Westfalenstadion and joined Munich in 2004, however his Bayern career did not go as planned. Manager Felix Magath was known for playing players out of position and Torsten Frings was a victim of that and although he won the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal titles in the 2004/05 season, Frings was unhappy and returned to Werder Bremen after one season with Bayern Munich.
But what is it that makes players leave Dortmund for fierce rivals Munich? I’m finding it difficult to put my finger on the exact reasoning however I can come up with a number of factors. In the modern era of Football, I’m sure money is a huge reason. Robert Lewandowski wouldn’t sign a new contract with Die Schwarzgelben because of his wage demands, Munich could match those and that is why he made the switch. Perhaps another factor is the actual fact that Bayern Munich are European giants and playing the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona is just too much for some players to stay loyal. Either way, I can see more making the move, such as Marco Reus who could replace the ageing Frank Ribery or Arjen Robben. I’m sure the continuous rivalry between the two clubs won’t fade away any time soon.
Thanks for reading and let me know what your thoughts are on the topic.