Football Manager 2019: Bayern Munich Team Guide, Player Ratings & Tactics

Bayern may be the six-time defending Bundesliga champions, but can you take them back to the top of Europe on FM 19?


Bayern Munich have had a tricky season, but it was always going to be with club saviour Jupp Heynckes departing and being replaced by former player and promising manager Niko Kovac. That said, the club have recovered and are now level on points with a stuttering Borussia Dortmund, and you would be foolish to bet against the quality of Bayern winning a seventh straight Bundesliga title. 

Favourites for the league, cup and one of the front runners in Europe, Bayern Munich are a great side to start your Football Manager 2019 journey on. With some aging players in their squad, there is enough of a challenge here to take Bayern back to being one of the best sides in the world. RealSport gives you the blueprint for success as you take the helm at the Allianz Arena. 

Philosophies

There are a few philosophies you need to follow as Bayern Munich manager, and on the pitch, you must play possession football. You will also need to sign young players for the first team and develop players using the club’s youth system

Expectations

The expectations are high at Bayern, and it won’t be a surprise that you need to win both the Bundesliga and German Cup in your first season in charge. The German Supercup may be marked as unimportant, but in Europe you must reach the semi-finals of the Champions Cup. Targeting a spot in the final will grant you an extra £6 million. 

Tactical style

There are a few options you can choose for your tactical style with Bayern given the attacking talents you have available. With one of your philosophies being to play possession football, it makes sense to go with control possession, but you can also use tiki-taka, vertical tiki-taka or wing-play.  

Formation

The 4-2-3-1 fits perfectly in the control possession tactical style, and with one of the finest number 10s in world football, James Rodriguez, it’s almost a no-brainer. We have tweaked this slightly to have Javi Martinez in a deeper role to offer the back four more protection. Possible alternatives for the formation include a 4-3-3 or a 5-3-2.

Manuel Neuer takes his spot in goal, with the back four in front of the captain involving Joshua Kimmich, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels and David Alaba.

Javi Martinez is in defensive midfield, with Thiago slightly further ahead in a deep lying playmaker role. James Rodriguez is the number 10, operating between Thomas Muller and Franck Ribery whilst marksman Robert Lewandowski is up front.

On the bench go for Sven Ulreich, Niklas Sule, Rafinha, Corentin Tolisso, Leon Goretzka, Kingsley Coman and Serge Gnabry. Due to France winning the World Cup, Tolisso will not have returned from holiday before the German Supercup. 

Key players

Bayern are a world class outfit, with their top players among the best in the world. Some of them are starting to age however, so make sure you line up some youngsters to fill the void in the years ahead. 

Manuel Neuer – CA 4.5 star (186), PA 4.5 star (193)

Despite a couple of years hampered by injury and shaky form, Manuel Neuer is still one of the finest goalkeepers on the planet. Aged 32 however, this could be his last season or two at the top, so you will want him to show the form this season that has help him win six Bundesligas, four German Cups, a Champions League and a World Cup.

On FM, Neuer has stats of 20 rushing out, 20 throwing and 20 composure which build towards a 186 CA. This has fallen slightly from 193, but there is no reason why he can’t get back to those heights. Valued at £60 million and with £250,000 a week wages, could you be tempted to cash in Neuer before his ability drops? 

Robert Lewandowski – CA 4 star (175), PA 4 star (178)

This Bayern side is built around Robert Lewandowski, with the Pole netting 281 goals since arriving in Germany. He does turn 30 at the start of the season, so he is another man who you cannot rely on for the foreseeable future. That won’t stop him racking up the goals in the next two seasons, though. 

Lewandowski has a 175 CA on FM, which is only just off his 178 potential. Abilities of 20 balance, 19 natural fitness and 19 stamina see him valued at £75 million and wages of £275,000 a week. 

David Alaba – CA 4 star (168), PA 4 star (174)

David Alaba is one of the younger stars in Bayern’s side, with the left back still only 26. The Austrian has been one of the best players in his position on the planet ever since he made his breakthrough at Bayern, but we are still waiting for him to kick on. With aging players around him, perhaps it is time for the versatile defender to reach his potential. 

Alaba has stats of 19 natural fitness, 18 stamina and 18 teamwork to give him a CA of 168. This has time to reach his 174 PA, meaning he is valued at £59 million and receives £170,000 a week in wages. 

Young talent

David Alaba, Thomas Muller, Mats Hummels and Toni Kroos are the more recent graduates to have starred for the first team, following in the footsteps of Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger and Franz Beckenbauer. Who are the next crop coming through to take first team spots? 

Alphonso Davies – CA 2 star (127), PA 4-5 star (140-170)

Alphonso Davies arrived in January after starring in his homeland for Vancouver Whitecaps. Eight goals and 10 assists in the MLS created shockwaves for the 17-year-old, with Bayern the first to pounce for the already nine times capped Canadian international. With a 127 CA on Football Manager able to rise to somewhere between 140 and 170, this is a youngster to keep an eye on. 

Joshua Zirkzee – CA 1.5 star (108), PA 3-4 star (140-170)

Not a name you will be familiar with, but Joshua Zirkzee could be one of the contenders to fill Robert Lewandowski’s striking spot in a few years. The 17-year-old Dutchman has netted 16 goals in 19 U17 games, and 17 in 24 U19 matches. He also stands at 193cm tall, making him a great aerial option. The forward has a 108 CA on the game, rising to a potential between 140 and 170. 

Oliver Batista Meier – CA 1.5 star (104), PA 3-4 star (140-170)

A promising German youth international, Oliver Batista Meier has represented Die Maanschaft’s U15, U16 & U17 sides. For Bayern, he is yet to reach the first team, but 33 goals in the youth teams last season for the left winger has surely edged him closer to senior minutes. A 104 CA can rise to a potential between 140 and 170 for the 18-year-old. 

Team report


Strengths

Weaknesses

Dribbling

Formations Faced (4-1-4-1 DM)

Finishing

Overall Depth

Heading

Goalkeeper Depth

Off the ball

Defence Depth

Passing

Attack Depth

Composure

Vision

GK Aerial reach

Decisions

Coaching & Scouting staff

First touch

Technique

Flair

Youth prospects

Balance

Stamina

Agility

Determination

Dynamics

Team Leaders – Thomas Muller (VC), Manuel Neuer (C), Franck Ribery

Highly influential – Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben, David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Mats Hummels, Rafinha, Javi Martinez, Joshua Kimmich, Thiago

The Transfer Market

Starting transfer budget: £99 million

Remaining wage budget: £700,000 a week

Players to sell

With a small squad which is aging in areas, there is no need to sell any of your players, especially with a large budget. The only men you can consider shipping his backup goalkeeper Sven Ulreich to give game time to the young and promising Christian Fruchtl, but that would be a high risk move.  

Renato Sanches is an option to send away on loan, but if you do, he must be replaced, preferably with a defensive midfielder. 

Transfer targets:

New transfer budget: £99 million

Remaining wage budget: £700,000 a week

Backup left back

David Alaba is the only left back in the senior side, following the departure of Juan Bernat to PSG during the summer. Rafinha can fill in there, but you are one injury away in the full backs positions from facing a crisis. 

With Alaba yet to enter his prime, you will want a young left back you can grow to put pressure on the Austrian. Celtic’s Kieran Tierney looks to have outgrown the Scottish Premiership, and if he wants to improve, he must leave and challenge himself. On FM, the Scottish international has a 142 CA which can improve to an incredible 170, and at a price of £27 million he is a must buy. The 21-year-old’s wages start at just £18,000 a week, giving you stats of 19 determination, 17 bravery and 16 leadership. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

CA/
PA

Value

Wage

Ferland Mendy

23

Lyon

France

142/
156

£13m

£24k

Alex Grimaldo

22

Benfica

Spain

147/
163

£17m

£18k

Junior Firpo

21

Real Hispalis

Spain

132/
<140

£2m

£13k

Guilherme Arana

21

Sevilla

Spain

134/
158

£5m

£26k

Ayrton Lucas

21

Spartak Moscow

Brazil

132/
147

£4m

£22k

Future starting striker

As we have already mentioned, you will need a striking alternative in a season or two’s time, with Robert Lewandowski just about to hit 30. With a shortage of forwards in the squad at the moment, you have no options outside of starters Lewandowski and Thomas Muller. This will ease next season with the arrival of youngster Jann-Fiete Arp, but he may be too raw to earn starts.

Andrea Belotti is a man who can offer goals straight off the bat, and aged 24 he is coming towards his prime. The Italian international has been the main man for Torino with his 17 heading, 17 strength and 17 anticipation stats, which help him achieve a 150 CA, which can improve to a potential of 168. 

Alternative options

Player

Age

Club

Country

CA/
PA

Value

Wage

Timo Werner

22

RB Leipzig

Germany

151/
165

£29m

£52k

Patrik Schick

22

Roma

Czech Rep.

141/
164

£13m

£80k

Jean-Kevin Augustin

21

RB Leipzig

France

134/
161

£7m

£68k

Moise Kean

25

Juventus

Italy

138/
146

£3m

£70k

Patrick Cutrone

20

AC Milan

Italy

142/
<140

£14m

£35k

Contracts

Three men have contracts expiring at Bayern Munich, and you are only likely to replace one of them. Rafinha is your back up full back, and although a replacement could be likely next season, you will want to keep the 32-year-old Brazilian on your books for another year.

As for Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery, even though they can still offer quality for you this season, their abilities will drop dramatically this season as they enter the final year or two of their careers. Both could retire come the season’s end.  

Finances

With that transfer budget, it won’t surprise you that Bayern have healthy finances starting with their rapidly increasing bank balance. Turnover is expected to rise than fall after next season, but this could be connected to the aging squad.

Your profits will decrease dramatically after this season, perhaps due to shirt sales, but if you find replacements for Ribery and Robben next summer, and slowly add more youth to this squad, that could all change. 

Back to the top of Europe

It’s a bizarre situation at Bayern, as the club both has a sense of ‘the beginning of the end’ of one chapter and a ‘fresh start’ of a new one. It does mean that you may only be able to compete for the Champions Cup this season and next, but if names like Kingsley Coman, Corentin Tolisso, Leon Goretzka and Serge Gnabry start baring fruit, it can be a seamless transition.

With that big transfer budget, it is important to look to the future, as it would be a serious waste to splash it on players who can only do the business for a handful of seasons. You should not be signing anyone older than 26 as you look to create your own legacy at Bayern Munich, taking them back to the European glory days of old. 

Full Bayern Munich player ratings

Player

Age

Pos

Role

Duty

Role Ability

CA/
PA

Starting lineup

Manuel Neuer

32

GK

SK

Attack
Support

4.5 star

186/
193

Joshua Kimmich

23

DR

WB
FB

Any

3 star

158/
169

Jerome Boateng

29

CD

BPD

Defend
Cover

3.5 star

165/
175

Mats Hummels

29

CD

BPD

Defend
Cover

3.5 star

167/
173

David Alaba

26

DL
WBL

WB
CWB
FB

Any

4 star

168/
174

Javi Martinez

29

DM

Anchor

Defend

3 star

154/
178

Thiago

27

MC

AP
DLP

Any

4 star

167/
173

Thomas Muller

28

ST
AMR

PF
Raumdeuter

Attack

3.5 star

163/
168

James Rodriguez

27

AMC

AM
AP

Support
Attack

3 star

161/
172

Franck Ribery

35

ML

IW
WP
IF

Support
Attack

3 star

154/
178

Robert Lewandowski

29

ST

PF

Attack

4 star

175/
178

Substitutes

Sven Ulreich

29

GK

SK

Defend

2.5 star

137/
137

Niklas Sule

22

DC

CD
NCB
BPD

Defend
Cover

3 star

155/
168

Rafinha

32

DR
WBR

WB
FB
CWB

Any

2.5 star

140/
151

Corentin Tolisso

23

MC

B2B
Mezzala

Support

3 star

152/
165

Leon Goretzka

23

MC

B2B

Support

3 star

150/
173

Kingsley Coman

23

MR
AMR

Winger

Attack

3 star

153/
171

Serge Gnabry

23

AML
ML

IF

Attack
Support

2.5 star

149/
157

Reserves

Arjen Robben

34

AMR
MR

IF

Attack
Support

3 star

151/
180

Renato Sanches

20

MC

Mezzala
B2B

Support
Attack

2.5 star

137/
165

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Alastair Pusinelli

I am RealSport's Editor-in-Chief having covered almost everything across the board on the platform. Starting with content on football and the Chinese Super League, I have expanded into esports and gaming, via a stint as rugby editor.

With RS now focused on gaming and working alongside Gfinity, I led the site's coverage on the football titles of FIFA, Football Manager and PES. This has enabled me to cover official esports events such as the FIFA eWorld Cup, FUT Champions Cups and the Gfinity FIFA Series.

Elsewhere, I have been published in The Sunday Times and Variety magazine, as well as working in the offices of Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Hampshire CCC.

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