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[ClevPicks Review]: Why Bundesliga matchup between Gladbach and Bayern so crucial?

Nick Wilhelm

Updated: Sep 08, 2022 05:54

[ClevPicks Review]: Why is the Bundesliga matchup between Borussia Mönchengladbach and Bayern Munich so crucial?

gladbach-vs-bayern

A classic matchup between Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach.

Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach shared the Meisterschale for nine consecutive seasons in the 1970s, making it one of the most intense rivalries in the Bundesliga.

Clevpicks.com transports you back in time to a time when both clubs and the German national team were at their peak.

From Yugoslavia with love

Both teams made their top-flight debuts in 1965 after winning promotions from their respective regional leagues. Bayern had been passed over when the Bundesliga was established two years earlier because 1860 Munich had won the Oberliga Süd the season before and the DFB only permitted one representation per city, but they rapidly adjusted to life in the spotlight.

They finished third in their inaugural season under former Yugoslavia player Zlatko Cajkovski and won the DFB Cup, which paved the way for a UEFA Cup Winners' Cup victory the following year.

Although it was his former Yugoslavia teammate, Branko Zebec, who led the Bavarians to their first Bundesliga championship in 1968/69, Cajkovski formed his team around the amazing "golden trio" of goalkeeper Sepp Maier, sweeper Franz Beckenbauer, and center-forward Gerd Müller. Müller, who has 365 goals overall and is still the Bundesliga's all-time leading scorer, scored 30 goals that year as Bayern won their first national championship—and just their second overall—since 1932.

gerd-muller

Gerd Müller scored all of his record 365 Bundesliga goals for Bayern Munich.

The Foals strike back

Gladbach quickly seized their fair share of the spotlight. They won their first Bundesliga championship in 1969–70 under the direction of the great Hennes Weisweiler, who oversaw coach education at the German Sports University in Cologne and later gave his name to the national coaching institute.

Gladbach was resolutely attacking, earning them the nickname "Foals" they still proudly wear to this day. While Bayern's style was based on strict discipline and a solid defense, with Beckenbauer pulling the strings in the sweeper role he all but invented for himself, Gladbach were resolutely attacking.

Gladbach, especially star playmaker Günter Netzer, had plenty of great acts of their own to equal Bayern. They swept to back-to-back championships in 1970 and 1971 with Berti Vogts, Herbert Wimmer, and Jupp Heynckes as their supporting cast, becoming the first team to successfully defend the Bundesliga Meisterschale.

Heynckes, a future manager of both teams, spent three years at Hannover before returning to his hometown Gladbach in 1970. During a sparkling eight-year career, he scored 168 Bundesliga goals for the squad.

International glory

The two teams kept pushing one another to achieve even higher goals. Müller led Bayern to victory in 1972 with a record-breaking 40 goals, and he added 36 and 30 more as the Bavarians won three straight championships—another first at the time.

In order to assist Germany have an incredible start to the decade, the teams' stars also put their club rivalries to one side. Only five of the 18 members of the German national team for UEFA Euro 1972 played their club football elsewhere, and nine players from Bayern Munich or Borussia Mönchengladbach started the match against the Soviet Union, which Germany won 3-0 thanks to goals from Müller and Wimmer.

Eight players from Bayern and Gladbach took the field at the Olympiastadion in Munich two years later to face the Netherlands in the 1974 FIFA World Cup. With their swashbuckling "Total Football," Johan Cruyff and company were anticipated to win, but despite falling behind in the second minute, Germany won with to goals from Paul Breitner and Thomas Müller. The Bavarians and North Rhine-Westphalians were now reigning supreme not just in their national league but also globally.

1974-world-cup

The 1974 World Cup was won by a West German squad with a lot of quality from Gladbach and Bayern.

Dining at Europe's top table

Naturally, the popularity they had at home soon spread to Europe. In the final replay, Bayern defeated Atletico Madrid 4-0 after needing defender Hans-Georg Schwarzenbeck's 120th-minute equalizer to win the initial championship. This goal is regarded by some as the most significant in the club's history and came many months before the 1974 World Cup. They would go on to defeat Leeds United and Saint-Etienne, respectively, in winning the continent's premier trophy in 1975 and 1976.

Even though Gladbach reclaimed the Bundesliga championship from Bayern in three straight seasons between 1975 and 1977, they were never able to compete with them on the European stage. They competed in the 1977 European Cup final, but Liverpool defeated them 3-1 in Rome. But in the UEFA Cup in 1975 and 1979, they did win the trophy.

Hennes-Weisweiler

As the head coach of Gladbach, Hennes Weisweiler managed 404 competitive games and won three Bundesliga championships.

Going separate ways

The fortunes of both clubs underwent a change at the end of the 1970s. Throughout the 1980s and beyond, Bayern continued to experience unmatched success, but Gladbach was never able to fully replicate the enchantment of their heyday. They came in third place behind VfB Stuttgart on goal differential in 1984, almost missing out on the championship. For the past 40 years, their lone domestic prize has been the DFB Cup from 1995.

One of the final contests between the teams at the time seemed to portend future events. When Bayern went to Gladbach in March 1979, they destroyed their rivals 7-1, with future CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge scoring a hat-trick. It is still the largest win for either team in their history of 107 Bundesliga encounters.

On May 18, 1974, just one day after Bayern defeated Atletico in the European Cup final, there was another remarkable match. It would now be impossible to play on consecutive days, but Udo Lattek's team had to show up after a night of fun and, unfortunately, lost 5-0. However, the Bavarians had already locked up the Bundesliga championship the week before in addition to being the newly crowned European champions. "On the bench, we laughed every time a goal went in," Lattek later reminisced.

bayern

The 1970s saw Bayern win three of their six total European Cup/Champions League championships.

A resurgent rivalry?

Three years later, the Foals traveled to Munich in search of their fifth championship and their first-ever Bundesliga victory away from Bayern, and Lattek was in the Gladbach dugout. In Beckenbauer's final game wearing the Bavarian uniform, they were able to win the league, but a late Hans-Jürgen Wittkamp own goal prevented them from winning. Amazingly, Gladbach did not defeat Bayern in the Bundesliga on the road for the first time until October 1995, some 30 years after their first meeting in the top division.

Gladbach has one of the better recent records versus Bayern, despite the fact that the modern-day rivalry between the two teams has perhaps lost some of its fire. The Foals have frequently proven a thorn in the side of the Bavarians, claiming nine wins (to nine, plus four draws) at the expense of their former rivals since the start of the 2011–12 season. However, they have not stopped the record champions from winning the last 10 Bundesliga titles, bringing their total to an astounding 31.

On the first day of the 2011–12 Bundesliga season, Igor de Camargo handed Gladbach a 1-0 victory with a header over the charging Manuel Neuer. Five months later, Marco Reus and Patrick Herrmann scored as the Foals completed an outstanding hat trick. Since the 2011–12 season, no team has ever defeated Bayern in both league games.

Gladbach defeated Pep Guardiola's club in March 2015 thanks to two goals from Raffael, and they were one of just two teams to defeat Bayern in the league that season. In fact, the only two seasons in which the Foals failed to defeat the Reds were 2013/14 and 2016/17.

The Foals destroyed the formerly unbeatable Bavarians 5-0 in the second round of the legendary DFB Cup match between the old foes early in the 2021/22 season. Bayern suffered its worst loss in a competition since 1978.

Pep-Guardiola

In 2013–14, Bayern lost twice against Gladbach under Pep Guardiola.

A special relationship

Of course, it hasn't always been one-way traffic. On the final day of the 2012–13 season, Bayern came back from a 3-1 deficit after just 10 minutes to defeat Gladbach 4-3 and set a new Bundesliga points record of 91 on their route to a historic triple.

In the 100th Bundesliga matchup between the two teams in April 2018, the Bavarians romped to a 5-1 triumph at Borussia-Park but fell to their rivals 3-0 at home earlier in the year.

Because the name "Klassiker" didn't exist when Beckenbauer, Netzer, Müller, and Heynckes were strutting their stuff in the Bundesliga, for many it will never be the "original Klassiker." The unique rivalry between Bayern Munich and Borussia Mönchengladbach, the two teams that ruled German football in the 1970s, cannot be denied, and long may it endure.

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