Bayern Munich have been untouchable in Germany over the past seven seasons in a spell of dominance that has been unheard of, even by their sky-high standards.
Bayern have won the Bundesliga seven times on the bounce in this period under a variety of managers.
This year's title race looks to be a lot tighter than in the past but you'd be brave to bet against Die Bayern making it eight wins in a row. While domestic success has been very consistent, the Bavarians have only won the Champions League once in this period and that was back in 2013.
Some would say this is the easiest managerial job to have in Germany but it can be tough at the top. With a fanbase and board that is very hard to please and big egos in the dressing room, simple isn't a word that applies to FC Hollywood. Here's our ultimate guide to breaking through Bayern's glass ceiling in Football Manager 2020!
TOUGH BUT FAIR: Bayern's expectations are high but understandably so
This new feature has been a big success in FM20. It is both a short-term and long-term set of goals for the club under your direction, as laid out by the board.
It includes play style aims, financial targets, and competition results, with increasing expectations over each year of your tenure.
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Unsurprisingly, Bayern have a lot of requirements when it comes to their club vision. Your style of play will need to be possession-based, clearly Pep Guardiola's legacy is still prevalent at the club.
When it comes to your signings, young and German is what the board is aiming for. Bayern have made a habit of buying the best talent in the Bundesliga, not only to strengthen their own ranks but to weaken the likes of Dortmund, Schalke and Leipzig.
For the competitions, the goals are almost as high as you can get. The board is expecting a domestic double as a minimum, as both the league and DFB-Pokal are expected to be won. In addition, you'll have to make it to at least the semi-finals of the Champions League, no mean feat for any side. Mercifully, the German Supercup isn't regarded as being important.
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Going further forward, the board require you to maintain being on top when it comes to the youth academy at the Allianz Arena. That shouldn't be an issue as Bayern have plenty of money in the bank to invest in these facilities.
Tactical style & formation
MODERN CLASSIC: Bayern have opted for this approach for years and to great effect.
Bayern have a big advantage over most Bundesliga teams in terms of their quality and a sizable superiority over most of the other top sides in the league. You can, therefore, afford to be adventurous with your tactical approach and opt for the Vertical Tiki-taka.
The gengenpress and control possession are the other the preferred tactical options and these can be used in Europe and when facing the top sides in Germany.
Despite not being a recommended formation, the 4-2-3-1 is the best choice for Bayern to line-up. This allows you to have as many of their top players on the pitch at the same time. It also gives your opponents a big headache when it comes to defending as four players attacking their defensive line is difficult to deal with.
Your starting XI should be Manuel Neuer in goal, with a back four of David Alaba, Jerome Boateng, Niklas Sule and Joshua Kimmich.
Thiago and Leon Goretzka are your two central midfielders with Philippe Coutinho as the sole attacking midfielder. Ivan Perisic and Thomas Muller are your wingers who will provide service to your sole striker Robert Lewandowski.
Your seven on the bench should be Sven Ulreich, Javi Martinez, Corentin Tolisso, Alphonso Davies, Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman, Lucas Hernandez and Benjamin Pavard.
Bayern Munich have some of the most talented players in world football at their disposal. the one criticism you could have of this squad is that it is ageing. All of the players in this top five are either in their peak or around the age where they begin to decline.
|Manuel Neuer||GK||33||176/193||20 composure, 20 rushing out, 19 anticipation|
|Robert Lewandowski||ST||30||175/180||20 balance, 19 stamina, 19 natural fitness|
|David Alaba||D (LC), WB (L), M (C)||26||168/174||19 natural fitness, 18 stamina, 18 teamwork|
|Thiago||DM, M/AM (C)||28||167/173||19 technique, 19 first touch, 19 vision|
|Philippe Coutinho||M/AM (LC)||27||165/172||19 technique, 18 dribbling, 18 first touch|
It should be noted that despite not hitting the incredibly high standards he used to, Manuel Neuer is the highest-rated goalkeeper in FM20. The German international will also improve if his form is good, thanks to his brilliant potential ability (PA) of 193!
The above players are all in their late 20's and early 30's, so there will need to be a clearout somtime in the next 5-10 years. However, the calibre of players they have coming through their youth ranks, there might not be a need to being in younger players at great expense to the club.
Bayern's board requires you to maintain their youth facilities as the best in the country during your reign. There's already some top talent in the system upon your arrival, with some having already made their debuts despite being 20 or younger at the start of the game.
Alphonso Davies – CA 2 star (127), PA 5 star (140-170)
FIRST CANADIAN FOOTBALL SUPERSTAR: Davies could become the first player from his country to make it huge.
Canada is a country that has never shone when it comes to football but that could change thanks to Alphonso Davies’ emergence. Despite being only 18, he’s already accumulated 17 caps for the Canucks and broken into the Bayern first team.
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The MLS has a reputation for being a “retirement league” but Davies has shown that young talent is coming through its youth academies, being sold to Bayern Munich in 2017 from the Vancouver Whitecaps for a deal of around £15m.
Davies is the highest-rated Bayern youngster in terms of PA and should be making the odd appearance from the bench in your first season before starting games after Perisic leaves.
Mickael Cuisance – CA 2 star (125), PA 4 star (168)
THIAGO REPLACEMENT: Cuisance could one day replace Thiago as your top central midfielder.
Michael Cuisance is a prime example of Bayern's policy of buying the best young talent from around Germany. The Bavarians bought the Frenchman from Borussia Monchengladbach for around £10 million in the summer.
With a full season already under his belt at a good German top-flight side, Cuisance can perform at the top level, although he’ll do well to break into the first team right away.
With Thiago, Goretzka and Martinez all ahead of him in the pecking order, his appearances will likely be limited to coming off the bench and German cup games.
Adrian Fein – CA 2 star (125), PA 3 star (150)
Adrian Fein will spend the 2019-20 season on loan at Hamburg but should be in and around the Bayern first team once he returns. The German's attributes are already solid for a defensive midfielder (DM) and will only improve as the 20-year-old matures.
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16 balance, 16 composure, 15 strength and 14 passing, amongst others means that Fein will be able to perform when called upon from 2020-21 onwards.
ROCK SOLID: Bayern are in no danger of experiencing financial troubles during your tenure.
Starting transfer budget: £34.5 million
Remaining wage budget: £398,000 a week
Bayern's financial figures and projections are as impressive as you'd expect. As one of the biggest and most-recognisable footballing brands on the planet, the club has a huge stream of revenue able to be spent on maintaining and improving the first-team squad.
Turnover is expected to increase from £700m to £800m which will increase overall profit to £350m by the end of 2021-22. Although overall expenditure will increase to £500m, your transfer budget and bank balance are predicted to go up to £300m and £1.2 billion over the next three seasons, respectively.
Bayern's squad is absolutely stacked with top-level talent but there are a few areas with less strength in-depth than others. The weakest area is probably at right-back as if Josh Kimmich gets injured or is out with a suspension, your replacements aren't great.
Benjamin Pavard is your next best option but after that, choices are thin. A young right-back with plenty of potential is what you'll need then and you'll do well to find a better option than below:
GREAT COVER: Nelson Semedo would be a great addition to the Bayern squad.
Nelson Semedo of Barcelona is a very solid player for any team to opt for at right-back. At 25, he's admittedly not the youngest option but he's ready to go into the Bayern first team from the outset. The Portuguese's CA of 149 and PA of 164 are very impressive values too.
Semedo can probably be purchased for around £35-40m and ask for a wage under £100k per week, so he’s within your budget. His attributes of 17 acceleration, 16 agility and 16 pace make him perfect for an attacking full-back. Semedo is also decent at defending too with stats such as 14 tackling, 15 work rate and 14 teamwork.
If Semedo doesn't sound like the player you're looking for, consider these other players instead:
Like mentioned before, there many areas that require immediate attention for Bayern. If anywhere else is to bee strengthened, it'd probably be best to focus on left-back and attacking midfield centre AM (C).
With Coutinho returning to Barcelona at the end of the season, you'll have to replace the Brazilian for 2020-21. If you can't afford him (Barca paid over £100m, so he won't go for cheap) then other good options include Tottenham's Dele Alli and Real Madrid's Giovanni Lo Celso.
For the left-back spot, Lucas Digne of Everton, Benjamin Mendy of Manchester City and Ben Chilwell of Leicester are good and affordable options.
SECURE FOR NOW: You'll have some work to keep your best players at the club in the long-term.
The contract situation at Bayern for the start of FM20 is predictably solid with most of the club's top players already committed to long-term deals.
Only Coutinho and Perisic will leave at the end of your first season and that's down to them being on loan. You need to focus your efforts on securing the players whose deals expire at the end of 2020-21 during your first season. If they make it to January 2021 without a new contract, they could potentially leave for nothing.
Neuer, Muller, Thiago, Alaba, Boateng and Martinez all have two-year deals from the start of the game. This may sound bad but you're able to use the wage budget to compensate for the increased wage bill, as well as the transfer budget you'll acquire in summer 2020.
Crucially, your young players are all tied to long-term deals of three seasons or more from the start of your FM20 save, which will make your life a lot easier going forward.
Smashing through the glass ceiling
It's hard to set a long-term goal when your club is already winning almost all of the silverware that it can but there is one trophy that's been missing in Munich for most of the past decade.
The Bundesliga title and German cup win are almost expected these days but success on the continent has been hard to come by. Bayern last won the UEFA Champions League back in 2013 and victory in Europe's highest competition would go a long way to pleasing their notoriously difficult fanbase.
You'll have to spend big to do this, that's the reality of modern football, but maintaining the best youth academy in Germany and one of the best in the world will help you massively.
It is debatable whether competition in your domestic league helps or hinders your European campaign but being able to potentially rest your best players for the midweek clashes would be beneficial.
The ultimate goal would be to win the champions league and with one of the biggest budgets and best facilities on the continent at your disposal, this is definitely achievable.
Full Bayern Munich player ratings
|Manuel Neuer||33||GK||SK||Attack||4 star||176/193|
|Joshua Kimmich||24||D/WB (R), DM, M (C)||FB||Defend||3 star||159/169|
|Jerome Boateng||30||D (C)||BPD||Cover||3 star||156/175|
|Niklas Sule||23||D (C)||CD||Defend||3 star||155/165|
|David Alaba||26||D (LC), WB (L), M (C)||FB||Defend||4 star||168/174|
|Thiago||28||DM, M/AM (C)||AP||Support||4 star||167/173|
|Leon Goretzka||24||DM, M/AM (C)||BBM||Support||3 star||150/173|
|Thomas Muller||29||M (R), AM (RC), ST||PF||Attack||3 star||160/168|
|Philippe Coutinho||27||M/AM (LC)||AM||Support||3.5 star||165/172|
|Ivan Perisic||30||M/AM (L)||WB||Support||3 star||154/159|
|Robert Lewandowski||30||ST||PF||Support||4 star||175/180|
|Substitutes & Reserves|
|Sven Ulreich||30||GK||SK||Defend||2.5 star||137/137|
|Corentin Tolisso||24||DM, M/AM (C)||BBM||Support||3 star||152/165|
|Benjamin Pavard||23||D (RC)||BPD||Cover||3 star||148/168|
|Lucas Hernandez||23||D (LC)||FB||Support||3 star||151/170|
|Kingsley Coman||23||M/AM (RL)||W||Support||3 star||153/167|
|Javi Martinez||30||D (C), DM, M (C)||A||Defend||3 star||149/165|
|Serge Gnabry||23||M/AM (RL), ST||IF||Attack||3 star||157/161|
|Alphonso Davies||18||M/AM (RL)||W||Support||2 star||127/140-170|