Can A German Club Win The Champions League Next Season?
Six teams classified for European tournaments in this season’s Bundesliga: The first four for the Champions League and the next two places for the Europa League (by the time this article was posted). Let’s take a look at the first four and try to see if they can make a great campaign in European ground next season.
The Bavarians giants are a well known team in the continent, having won five Champions League in the past (the last one being with the treble in 2012-13), one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Supercup. They also won two International Cups (in 1976 and 2001) and one Club World Cup (2013). Bayern is the German Club with most intercontinental titles, in fact.
Despite being the last non-Spanish club to win a Champions League, Die Rotten still have not found a way to get their finals ticket again. Since 2012-13, they have collected a couple quarter and semifinals, showing the loss of performance in that stage compared to other clubs. Anyway, they never should be disregarded as favorites to win the tournament. Next season they need to seek a way of stopping the Spanish clubs in having success against them since only the giants from this country have eliminated the Bavarians the last times.
Although the Ruhr-based club is one of the biggest in Germany, they never managed a big success in the continent. To their account goes one UEFA CUP in 1997 and a Champions League semifinal in 2011, when Manchester United beat them.
For next season, when they play Champions League football once again, the plan seems to make a steady campaign. That is, make great games against the eventual “big dog” who goes against them in the group stage and then make it to the knockout phase. By this point afterward it seems that there is only an advantage for them, as reaching at least the round of 16 already shows the great team they have built.
In the other case, if they end up falling for the Europa League, there is still a chance for The Royal Blues to save their European campaign. They do not leave to be desired in comparison to other clubs who normally compete in this tournament, so aiming for at least a semifinal seems to be a very good ambition for the club.
The newcomer in Europe. Hoffenheim never reached any continental competition, meaning this is an unknown ground for them (Except the two defeats in the playoffs for Liverpool, last season). They base this fact as they disadvantage as well as their advantage since other teams will not know much how they play.
Die Kraichgauer’s luck is yet to be tested, in the group stage. If they manage to get a more equilibrated group, it could mean a chance out of it. However, to battle one or two teams who are used to all the pressure, they endure in Europe is a completely different thing. It will be a very hard, and whatever the outcome is, it is going to be a good one for Hoffenheim, who will have a chance to improve the club’s ambition and point of view.
BVB’s season started really well but went on a big downfall until the summer break. After that, they could not find themselves back on track once again, eventually finishing in fourth place after a series of average performances, just enough for them to catch a Champions League spot.
The 1997 European Champions did not have a successful European walk last season either. Falling off for the Europa League after very bad matches in the Champions, they still could not pass the round of 16, with RB Salzburg beating them 2-1 on aggregate. To complete the deal, direct rivals RB Leipzig managed to make a better turn than the bees, going until the quarterfinals.
Dortmund need to rearrange their focus for next season: Is their objective doing well once again in the Bundesliga? Or are they going to set their strongest forces on Champions League, redeeming themselves by making a better campaign on the group stage? It seems like they could not find their focus last season and that culminated in a bad performance in every competition they were.