Fußball-Club Bayern München e.V. commonly known as FC Bayern München, Bayern Munich, or FC Bayern, is a German professional sports club based in Munich, Bavaria. It is best known for its professional football team, which plays in the Bundesliga, the top tier of the German football league system, and is the most successful club in German football history, having won a record 30 national titles and 20 national cups, along with numerous European honors.
FC Bayern was founded in 1900 by 11 football players, led by Franz John. Although Bayern won its first national championship in 1932, the club was not selected for the Bundesliga at its inception in 1963. The club had its period of greatest success in the middle of the 1970s when, under the captaincy of Franz Beckenbauer, it won the European Cup three consecutive times (1974–1976). Overall, Bayern has reached ten European Cup/UEFA Champions League finals, most recently winning their fifth title in 2013 as part of a continental treble. Bayern has also won one UEFA Cup, one European Cup Winners' Cup, one UEFA Super Cup, one FIFA Club World Cup and two Intercontinental Cups, making it one of the most successful European clubs internationally and the only German club to have won both international titles. Since the formation of the Bundesliga, Bayern has been the dominant club in German football, winning 29 titles, including eight consecutively since 2013. The club has traditional local rivalries with 1860 Munich and 1. FC Nürnberg, as well as with Borussia Dortmund since the mid-1990s.
Since the beginning of the 2005–06 season, Bayern has played its home games at the Allianz Arena. Previously the team had played at Munich's Olympiastadion for 33 years. The team colors are red and white, and the team crest shows the white and blue flag of Bavaria. In terms of revenue, Bayern Munich is the biggest sports club in Germany and the fourth highest-earning football club in the world, generating €629.2 million in 2019. For the 2018–19 season, Bayern reported revenue of €750.4 million and an operating profit of €146.1 million. This was Bayern's 27th consecutive year with a profit. In November 2019, Bayern had 293,000 official members and there are 4,499 officially-registered fan clubs with over 358,151 members. The club has other departments for chess, handball, basketball, gymnastics, bowling, table tennis, and senior football with more than 1,100 active members. At the end of the 2018–19 season, Bayern was ranked third in the UEFA club coefficient rankings.
Bayern played its first training games at the Schyrenplatz in the center of Munich. The first official games were held on the Theresienwiese. In 1901, Bayern moved to a field of its own, located in Schwabing at the Clemensstraße. After joining the Münchner Sport-Club (MSC) in 1906, Bayern moved in May 1907 to MSC's ground at the Leopoldstraße. As the crowds gathering for Bayern's home games increased at the beginning of the 1920s, Bayern had to switch to various other premises in Munich.
From 1925, Bayern shared the Grünwalder Stadion with 1860 Munich. Until World War II, the stadium was owned by 1860 Munich and is still colloquially known as Sechz'ger ("Sixties") Stadium. It was destroyed during the war, and efforts to rebuild it resulted in a patchwork. Bayern's record crowd at the Grünwalder Stadion is reported as more than 50,000 in the home game against 1. FC Nürnberg in the 1961–62 season. In the Bundesliga era, the stadium had a maximum capacity of 44,000 which was reached on several occasions, but the capacity has since been reduced to 21,272. As was the case at most of this period's stadiums, the vast majority of the stadium was given over to terracing. Today the second teams of both clubs play in the stadium.
Bayern is one of three professional football clubs in Munich. Bayern's main local rival is 1860 Munich, who was the more successful club in the 1960s, winning a cup and a championship. In the 1970s and 1980s, 1860 Munich moved between the first and the third division. The Munich derby is still a much-anticipated event, getting a lot of extra attention from supporters of both clubs. 1860 Munich is considered more working-class and therefore suffers from a diminishing fan base in a city where the manufacturing sector is declining. Bayern is considered the establishment club, which is reflected by many board members being business leaders and including the former Bavarian minister-president, Edmund Stoiber. Despite the rivalry, Bayern has repeatedly supported 1860 in times of financial disarray.
Since the 1920s, 1. FC Nürnberg has been Bayern's main and traditional rival in Bavaria. Philipp Lahm said that playing Nürnberg is "always special" and is a "heated atmosphere". Both clubs played in the same league in the mid-1920s, but in the 1920s and 1930s, Nürnberg was far more successful, winning five championships in the 1920s, making the club Germany's record champion. Bayern took over the title more than sixty years later, when they won their tenth championship in 1987, thereby surpassing the number of championships won by Nürnberg. The duel between Bayern and Nürnberg is often referred to as the Bavarian Derby.
Bayern also enjoys a strong rivalry with the 1. FC Kaiserslautern, originating in parts from a game in 1973 when Bayern lost 7–4 after leading 4–1, but also from the two clubs competing for German championship honors at various times in the Bundesliga as well as the city of Kaiserslautern together with the surrounding Palatinate having been part of Bavaria until a plebiscite after the end of the Second World War.
Bayern Munich won 2–1 against Borussia Dortmund to win the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League on 25 May 2013
Since the 1970s, Bayern's main rivals have been the clubs who put up the strongest fight against its national dominance. In the 1970s this was Borussia Mönchengladbach, in the 1980s the category expanded to include Hamburger SV. In the 1990s, Borussia Dortmund, Werder Bremen, and Bayer Leverkusen emerged as the most ardent opponents. Recently Borussia Dortmund, Schalke, and Werder Bremen have been the main challengers in the Bundesliga. Recently, Bayern's main Bundesliga challenger has been Borussia Dortmund. Bayern and Dortmund have competed against each other for many Bundesliga titles. They also have played against each other in the DFB-Pokal final in 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2016. The 2–5 loss against Dortmund in 2012 final was Bayern's worst-ever loss in a DFB-Pokal final. Bayern and Dortmund have also played against each other in the DFL-Supercup in 1989, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, and 2017. The height of the competition between the two clubs was when Bayern defeated Dortmund 2–1 in the final of the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League.
Amongst Bayern's chief European rivals are Real Madrid, A.C. Milan, and Manchester United due to many classic wins, draws, and losses. Real Madrid versus Bayern is the match that has historically been played most often in the Champions League/European Cup with 24 matches. Due to Bayern being traditionally hard to beat for Madrid, Madrid supporters often refer to Bayern as the "Bestia Negra" ("Black Beast"). Despite the number of duels, Bayern and Real have never met in the final of a Champions League or European Cup.