Top 7 Bayern Munich Biggest Rivals

Bayern Munich, founded in 1900, is Germany’s most successful football club. They dominate German football, winning 33 national titles and 20 national cups.

Even Internationally, they’ve won six UEFA Champions League titles, making them one of Europe’s most decorated clubs. In 2020, the club achieved the “sextuple” winning all major trophies in a calendar year. This team has been brilliant all year if you ask me. But.,

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Who Are Bayern Munich’s Biggest Rivals?

1. 1860 Munich

Bayern Munich’s main local rival is 1860 Munich, a football club based in Munich, Germany. This rivalry started In the early 20th century when both clubs were established.

Despite Bayern’s later dominance, 1860 Munich had its prime in the 1950s and was controversially selected for the inaugural Bundesliga season in 1963.

This selection made the rivalry more Intense, as Bayern had to start in the second tier. Over the years, the two clubs experienced contrasting fortunes, with Bayern rising to become one of Europe’s elite clubs while 1860 Munich fluctuated between divisions.

Bayern has shown support for 1860 Munich during periods of financial difficulty, regardless of the intense competition on the field. Since the 1970s, Bayern Munich has been dominating, winning multiple domestic and European titles.

In contrast, 1860 Munich struggled to maintain consistency and spent several seasons in lower divisions. Again, the rivalry intensified when both clubs moved to the Allianz Arena, with 1860 Munich’s relegation to the 2. Fußball-Bundesliga dampening the competitive matches between the two.

In recent years, 1860 Munich faced further challenges, including financial difficulties and relegation to the Regionalliga Bayern. Despite these setbacks, the club has returned to its traditional grounds at the Stadion an der Grünwalder Straße, where matches against Bayern Munich II are now played.

2. 1. FC Nürnberg

One of Bayern Munich’s main rivals is 1. FC Nürnberg. This rivalry is established in the history and geography of Bavaria, Germany. The matches between these two teams are often referred to as the Bavarian derby.

Back then when both clubs were competing in the same league, during this time, Nürnberg enjoyed considerable success, winning five championships in the 1920s and establishing itself as Germany’s record champion.

Despite Nürnberg’s early dominance, Bayern Munich gradually emerged as a formidable force in German football. In 1987, Bayern won their tenth championship, surpassing Nürnberg’s tally, and becoming one of the country’s most successful clubs.

With Bayern Munich boasting 29 German titles and Nürnberg with nine, the matches between these two clubs are not only significant in terms of local pride but also in German football history.

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3. Kaiserslautern

Among Bayern Munich’s fiercest competitors is Kaiserslautern. The rivalry between Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern arises from several factors, most notably a match in 1973.

During this encounter, Bayern Munich suffered a surprising defeat, losing 7-4 despite initially leading 4-1. This unexpected turn of events left a lasting impression and boosted the competitive spirit between the two clubs.

Additionally, Bayern Munich and Kaiserslautern have often found themselves vying for top honors in German football, particularly in the Bundesliga.

The competition for championship titles has intensified the rivalry over the years, as both clubs strive for dominance on the national stage.

Another factor contributing to the rivalry is the historical connection between the cities of Munich and Kaiserslautern. The city of Kaiserslautern, located in the Palatinate region, was once part of Bavaria until the conclusion of World War II.

4. Borussia Dortmund

Another of Bayern Munich’s biggest rivals is Borussia Dortmund. The rivalry between these two German football clubs began to intensify in the 1990s.

Borussia Dortmund dealt blows to Bayern Munich by winning successive Bundesliga titles in 1994/95 and 1995/96. This success was followed by Dortmund’s victory in the 1997 Champions League final, which took place on Bayern’s home ground.

While both clubs recorded success in domestic and European competitions in the early 2000s, Dortmund faced financial difficulties. In 2004, Bayern Munich provided Dortmund with a €2 million loan, helping them avoid bankruptcy and strengthening the ties between the clubs.

Under the management of Jurgen Klopp, Borussia Dortmund put together a formidable team, featuring players like Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski, Shinji Kagawa, and Mats Hummels. This squad secured consecutive Bundesliga titles in 2011 and 2012 to boost the intensity of the rivalry with Bayern Munich.

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5. Werder Bremen

While not as intense as it once was, Bayern Munich and Werder Bremen have a notable rivalry in German football. This rivalry can be traced back to a match on April 12, 1980, where Bayern defeated Bremen 7-0.

At the time, Bremen was struggling, and this defeat highlighted the vast difference between the two clubs. Following Bremen’s relegation in 1980, they underwent a remarkable transformation.

After a coaching change and some key decisions off the field, Bremen quickly returned to the top flight and began challenging for silverware regularly. Their rise was the beginning of their rivalry with Bayern.

The rivalry intensified in 1985 when a controversial incident involving Bayern’s Klaus Augenthaler and Bremen’s Rudi Voller sparked tensions between the clubs. This incident, along with other clashes, makes Bremen’s reputation as the underdog fighting against Bayern’s dominance.

One of the most memorable encounters between the two clubs was in April 1986 when Bremen had the chance to secure their first league title in over two decades.

Despite a dramatic match that included a missed penalty by Bremen’s Michael Kutzop, Bayern claimed the title. Under the leadership of Otto Rehhagel, Bremen recorded success in the late 1980s and early 1990s, including Bundesliga titles and domestic cups.

6. Real Madrid

Bayern Munich’s biggest rivals in international club football are considered to be Real Madrid. This rivalry, often referred to as the European Clásico, has become one of the most frequently played matches in the history of the UEFA Champions League.

With a total of 26 meetings, both teams have fiercely contested each other’s dominance on the European stage. The tie between Bayern Munich and Real Madrid is closely contested, with Madrid supporters often dubbing Bayern the “Bestia negra” or “Black Beast” due to their formidable performances against Madrid.

Despite numerous encounters, notably in the Champions League semi-finals and quarter-finals, the two clubs have never met in the final of the competition.

Both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid boast outstanding success in their respective domestic leagues, with Real Madrid winning 70 domestic trophies and Bayern Munich securing 69.

Internationally, Bayern has claimed 14 titles, including 6 UEFA Champions League victories, while Real Madrid is the most successful club in Europe with 29 international trophies, including a record 14 UEFA Champions League titles.

In head-to-head encounters, Real Madrid has emerged victorious 12 times, while Bayern Munich has clinched 11 victories, with 3 draws. Cristiano Ronaldo holds the record for most goals in this fixture, having scored 9 times.

Memorable matches between these giants include the 2011-12 and 2013-14 Champions League semi-finals, where Bayern Munich and Real Madrid faced off in an exciting clash, and Madrid emerged victorious in both instances.

Additionally, legendary figures such as Iker Casillas and Cristiano Ronaldo made a fantastic impression on this historic rivalry, with Casillas making the most appearances and Ronaldo being the top scorer.

Moreover, the ties between the two clubs extend beyond the pitch, with players like Arjen Robben, Toni Kroos, and Xabi Alonso having represented both Bayern Munich and Real Madrid during their careers, alongside managers such as Jupp Heynckes and Carlo Ancelotti, who have led both clubs to Champions League glory.

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7. Manchester United

One of Bayern Munich’s biggest rivals at the international level is Manchester United. This rivalry is noticed by memorable encounters such as the 1999 Champions League final in Barcelona, often called “that night” by commentator Clive Tyldesley.

Despite the two clubs’ success in their respective domestic leagues, the history between Manchester United and Bayern Munich is brief. Their first meeting occurred during a group stage match in Munich on September 30, 1998, ending in a draw.

The return fixture in December of that year also concluded in a draw, with Bayern advancing as group winners and United progressing as one of the best two runners-up.

However, United secured a major victory in the 1999 Champions League final, winning their second European title with late goals from substitutes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Teddy Sheringham. Bayern gained revenge two years later, defeating United in the quarter-finals of the Champions League.

The rivalry experienced a break until 2010 when Bayern eliminated United in the Champions League quarter-finals, with Arjen Robben’s decisive goal securing their way to the semi-finals.

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