February 12 – Bayern Munich’s remarkable run of success under Hansi Flick reached another significant milestone on Thursday when they became Club World Cup champions to add to their domestic and European crowns.
Flick, originally appointed on an interim basis in November 2019, has now led Bayern to six titles in nine months as they beat Tigres of Mexico – the first Concacaf club ever to reach the final – 1-0 in Qatar courtesy of Frenchman Benjamin Pavard,’s second-half strike.
Just hours before kick-off, rejuvenated midfielder Thomas Muller tested positive for coronavirus while Jerome Boateng also had to drop out following the death of his former partner. But that didn’t stop Bayern triumphing in front of a socially distanced crowd.
The victory followed Bayern’s haul of the German league and cup, Champions League and European and German Super Cups, all under Flick – the only team to achieve the sextuple since Barcelona in 2009.
An upset was rarely on the cards and it was the eighth year in a row that the European champions had won the trophy, illustrating European football’s huge financial advantage over the rest of the world.
“Six titles in a row is something very special for us,” said Bayern’s world player of the year Robert Lewandowski, who helped set up Pavard’s goal that was initially ruled out for offside but given after VAR intervened. Joshua Kimmich had earlier had a goal disallowed, also by VAR.
“This is a special story. We were desperate to win this title. I think this is one of the biggest achievements in football, how we played will be remembered for a long time.”
The tournament, postponed from December because of Covod-19, was something of a trial run ahead of next year’s World Cup and a limited number of fans were allowed into the Education City Stadium in Al Rayyan.
“In terms of the title, this was a statement,” said the under-stated Flick. “It’s amazing what the team was able to do. It was really impressive how everyone played.”
Egypt’s Al Ahly secured third place with a surprise 3-2 win on penalties over South American champion Palmeiras after the game finished 0-0 after 90 minutes, the best result by an African team at the Club World Cup – the last edition in its current format – since Morocco’s Raja Casablanca lost the 2013 final, also to Bayern.
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