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Club ethos over riches works for winning machines Bayern Munich

| 03.10.2013

Bayern Munich doled out Manchester City the perfect footballing lesson on the pitch during their 3-1 Champions League chastening, though the English club have even more to learn off the pitch in the way that the German club is run.

After delivering Manuel Pellegrini’s side a comprehensive masterclass in Group D, it’s no surprise to see Bayern as short as 11/4 with Ladbrokes to become the first team to retain their Champions League trophy since the competition’s transformation to its current guise.

Of the 11 starters on both teams at the Etihad, Bayern Munich were able to call upon four players who rose through the ranks, compared to just one for the hosts.

Even though the error-strewn Joe Hart was purchased as a teenager, the England stopper still cost the champions an initial fee of £600,000 from Shrewsbury, while Micah Richards – who looked a rabbit in the headlights on just his second appearance of the season at right-back – represented the only City academy player on the pitch.

In stark contrast four of Bayern’s biggest stars and best performers on the night all hailed from their youth system, having cost the club precisely nothing in transfer fees.

Skipper Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Toni Kroos and scorer of the last goal Thomas Muller were all hand reared in the Bayern mould.

The influence of this quartet cannot be underestimated either. Lahm expertly repelled the hosts from just in front of the back four, while Schweinsteiger and Kroos bossed the central areas and Muller’s role as false number nine not only produced a fine individual goal, but the work rate he displayed in hassling City’s defenders when in possession, was outstanding.

Perhaps the most galling stat of the night for City though, aside from the 81 per cent to 65 per cent pass completion rate in favour of the visitors, was that Bayern’s starting XI cost roughly £87m compared to just over £200m’s worth in the home dressing room.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.