Commentary

Bayern arrives in Paris for 'Battle of Systems'

With Paris St. Germain having spent about $470 million on the transfer market and Bayern Munich bosses defending its club’s frugality, the German media have dubbed Wednesday’s Champions League clash Experience vs. Transfer Insanity and a Kampf der Systeme – a battle of systems.

Bayern’s most expensive summer signing was 22-year-old French midfielder Corentin Tolisso, who cost $46.2 million.

Paris St. Germain, bankrolled by its Qatari owners, bought Neymar for $260 million and Kylian Mbappe for $195 million (a figure that could rise to $212 million).

Bayern Munich, which won its last of five European Cups in 2013, exited the Champions League last season in the quarterfinals after three straight semifinals exits. PSG is coming off four straight quarterfinal exits and its best showing ever was a 1995 semifinal appearance.

Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge called Wednesday’s game “a meeting between two different cultures.”

“On the one side is a new-rich club, and us, the old rich,” said Rummenigge. “The pressure is mainly on PSG. Whoever spends so much money, must win the Champions League.”

Bayern spent about $100 million on new players last summer, about a fifth of what PSG shelled out.

“Everyone has their own philosophy, including Bayern Munich.” Rummenigge said. “We have been and are successful with ours, on and off the field.”

While even Bayern striker Robert Lewandowski criticized Bayern for not spending more on new talent, Rummenigge and club president Uli Hoeness have defended the way Bayern, winner of the last five Bundesliga titles, runs its business.

“A 100 million euro player is unacceptable for FC Bayern,” Hoeness told Kicker. “There will come a time when all those who have poured out so much money will have to bake smaller bread because the success the investors imagined will not have been attained.

“The investors will have had enough, and then our time will come. Then people will sing our praises because we will have success from our own work and resources.”

Bayern, which recently invested $80 million in its youth academy with the aim of producing its own talent, enters Wednesday’s game after tying VfL Wolfsburg in its last Bundesliga clash and, because of an early-season 2-0 loss to Hoffenheim, is in third place.

"We were slow, not compact enough and had no intensity,” said Bayern coach Carlo Ancelotti after the tie with Wolfsburg. “We'll have to play differently in Paris."

Arjen Robben, asked to address free-spending PSG responded with the “money doesn’t score goals” argument.

“Paris may have spent a few more Euros than we did,” said Bayern's Dutch winger. “That’s one of many differences between the two clubs. But it’s quality that scores goals. Good teams score goals.”

7 comments about "Bayern arrives in Paris for 'Battle of Systems'".
  1. Bob Ashpole, September 26, 2017 at 5:52 p.m.

    Good article Mike. To put this in perspective, Bayern spends plenty. They just look frugal against the excesses of the biggest spending clubs which drives up the cost of player acquisitions for everyone. Bayern is a club run by footballers for footballers.

  2. Othon Castillo, September 26, 2017 at 6:37 p.m.

    "Club run by footballers for footballers", very well said.

  3. frank schoon, September 26, 2017 at 7:44 p.m.

    Bayern has also decided to invest in an new youth academy of $18million. Buying players and spend that much per players like PSG does not mean they play the best quality soccer. As Cruyff states, a team is not made up of the 11 best players but 11 players who the best together in manner that makes each one function in the most optimum manner.

  4. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, September 27, 2017 at 11:41 a.m.

    Cruyff has nothing to do with this but don't you think that spending money helps get 11 players together who can play the best?

  5. Bob Ashpole replied, September 27, 2017 at 12:48 p.m.

    I think coaching has something to do with that, don't you. Seriously money does correlate with match success, but it needs to be intelligent spending to be most effective. More spending is not necessarily going to result in more quality. Distorted wages can sour the locker room. Moreover at these big money clubs, they are competing in multiple competitions and require great depth. 60 plus matches is not unusual if they go deep in the tournaments. They cannot simply win everything by relying on 1 or 2 big dollar stars.

  6. Fire Paul Gardner Now replied, September 27, 2017 at 5:42 p.m.

    Yes but generally speaking better players cost more money. So spending a ton of money helps get better players and it's logical that, in general, having better players helps create a better team. Obviously good coaching is still needed to turn great individuals into a great team.

  7. frank schoon, September 27, 2017 at 1:27 p.m.

    BOB, of course, coaching is 90% of it, the ability to see how each players fits in and few coaches have that ability. For example, Cruyff stated that without Xavi behind Messi, Messi would not have been as effective.This is why teams can buy an expensive player and turned out to be a flop. Bergkamp was a flop when he played for Inter. Henri was not the player he was when he played for Barcelona, or look at Zlatan who played that one year for Barcelona also a flop. Look at the players that Man. Utd, bought like Maria from Real Madrid, and some others who turn out to be a flop.
    Soccer is a team game not a one on one game, if it were than, yeah ,I would say get
    the most expensive,best. What good is to buy a left footed winger for the right wing when you have a 6"5' striker who is excellent header in the air. Of course it all about coaching. Eleven Peles does not make a good team.

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