Few of these players remained for all of Bayern's historic 11 Bundesliga titles in a row

Where are they now? The last Bayern Munich side that failed to win the Bundesliga

It’s been so long since Bayern Munich last failed to win the Bundesliga title that we almost can’t remember a time that they weren’t the champions of Germany.

Barack Obama was still president the last time another club in the German top flight lifted that shiny shield.

Jurgen Klopp’s unforgettable Borussia Dortmund side finished eight points clear at the summit of the table in 2011-12, and Bayern failed to pick up any silverware that year, agonisingly ending up runners-up on all three fronts.

But it’s looking increasingly likely that Bayern will fail to make it 12 Bundesliga titles in a row this year. They’ve fallen eight points behind Xabi Alonso’s unbeaten Bayer Leverkusen.

We’ve taken a look back at Bayern Munich’s XI from the final day of the 2011-12 season, a 4-1 away victory over Lukas Podolski’s Cologne, and checked in on where they’ve ended up 12 years later.

GK: Manuel Neuer

One of two players in that squad that remains at the Allianz Arena today, Neuer has been Bayern’s No.1 throughout their historic 11-in-a-row.

In November, the 37-year-old signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at Bayern until 2025.

RB: Philipp Lahm

The legendary right-back adapted to a new midfield role in his latter years under Pep Guardiola and finally hung up his boots after 15 years as a first-team regular at Bayern in 2017.

Since retiring, Lahm has written regular columns in The Guardian, offering his take on modern football. He’s also working as an ambassador and ‘tournament director’ for the upcoming Euro 2024 in Germany.

CB: Anatoliy Tymoshchuk

Ukraine’s all-time most-capped footballer is a figure of controversy in his home country, having signed for Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg when he left Bayern after the treble triumph of 2013.

Tymoshchuk retired in 2016 after a short stint with Kazakh outfit Kairat before returning to Zenit as an assistant coach in 2017.

In 2022, the Ukrainian FA stripped him of all of his state awards and honorary titles following the defender’s silence on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. He’s since fallen out with his former team-mates.

“I asked him, ‘How do you sleep at night?'” Yarmolenko told Zorya Londonsk.

“He replied, ‘I don’t sleep.’

“Then he called me. I told him, ‘You used to be a role model for me, now you’re nothing.’ Then he told me to f*ck off and I told him the same and that’s that.”

CB: Jerome Boateng

Boateng’s debut season at Bayern might have ended trophyless, but he went on to win nine successive Bundesliga titles and two trebles during his decade-long stay in Bavaria.

The German World Cup winner spent two years at Lyon and almost returned to Bayern after training with Thomas Tuchel’s squad earlier in the season.

But the move was protested vociferously by Bayern’s fans following allegations of domestic abuse and the club opted against re-signing the defender.

He’s since signed for Serie A outfit Salernitana.

QUIZ: Can you name every player Bayern Munich have signed from the Premier League?

LB: Diego Contento

The Munich-born academy graduate left in 2014, having failed to ever make it beyond the fringes of Bayern’s first-team squad.

He later represented Bordeaux, Fortuna Dusseldorf and lower-league SV Sandhausen. Contento announced his retirement last year, but he hadn’t played professionally since 2021.

CM: Toni Kroos (David Alaba, ’69)

One of the most decorated footballers in the history of German football, Kroos played a starring role in the 2012-13 treble and left for Real Madrid a year later.

The midfielder might have missed out on Bayern’s continued domestic domination,  but he’s won a further four Champions Leagues and three La Liga titles with Los Blancos.

Alaba left Bayern on a free in 2021 and has already won everything there is to win alongside Kroos at Real Madrid, although he’s currently spending an extended spell on the sidelines after tearing his ACL in December.

CM: Bastian Schweinsteiger

At this point, the best was very much yet to come for Schweinsteiger, who peaked as a leading man of Bayern’s 2012-13 treble and Germany’s 2014 World Cup.

He was only 30 when he signed for Manchester United in 2015, but he could never quite replicate those peaks. He made 18 largely forgettable league appearances in 18 months at Old Trafford and saw out his career with MLS side Chicago Fire.

Nowadays he’s working as an analyst for German station ARD.

FWR: Arjen Robben (Rafinha, ’76)

The Dutch winger notched 144 goals and 101 assists in 309 appearances for Bayern – he won everything there was to win with the club, multiple times over, and is undoubtedly one of the club’s all-time greats.

He announced his retirement in 2019, only to return a year later with a short stint at boyhood club FC Groningen. Robben eventually retired for good in 2021 and recently made headlines for running the Rotterdam marathon in under three hours.

Brazilian right-back Rafinha stayed at Bayern until 2019, winning seven league titles before departing for Flamengo. He’s still playing back in Brazil, at the age of 38, for Sao Paulo.

CAM: Thomas Muller

Alongside Neuer, the other member of Bayern’s 2011-12 squad that remains at the club. The Bavarian forward is a proper one-club man, having first joined Bayern’s youth ranks as a 10-year-old.

Muller is now into his 16th season and has made 693 appearances, which sees him closing in on Sepp Maier’s all-time record of appearances (706) for the club.

The 34-year-old has known little but success at Bayern but he was left ranting and raving in the aftermath of their recent 3-0 defeat to league leaders Leverkusen.

Leverkusen's head coach Xabi Alonso gestures during the German Bundesliga soccer match between Bayer 04 Leverkusen and FC Bayern Munich at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany, Saturday, Feb. 10, 2024.

READ: Xabi Alonso is the truth: He conquered Bayern and broke Thomas Muller’s brain in the process

FWL: Franck Ribery (Holger Badstuber, ’71)

Like Robben, prime Ribery set standards that are almost impossible for very good wingers like Leroy Sane and Serge Gnabry to live up to today.

The Frenchman can consider himself incredibly unfortunate not to have won the Ballon d’Or after shining in the 2013 treble, a victim of the vote being split between too many exceptional Bayern candidates.

He left Bayern alongside Robben in 2019, but he went on to enjoy a wonderful late-career stint with Fiorentina, eventually calling it a day at Salernitana in 2022.

Dependable squad player Badstuber left Bayern in 2017 and spent three years at Stuttgart before a final stint with Swiss club FC Luzern in 2021.

He’s kept a low profile since retiring, but occasionally pops up in the German media to muse on how his former employers are getting on.

ST: Mario Gomez

Mr. Zuverlassig – Mr. Reliable to you and me – earned that nickname by registering a very respectable tally of 113 goals in 174 appearances for Bayern, including a career-best 41 in all competitions in 2011-12.

The club have had more complete forwards over the years, and it’s no coincidence that Gomez left when Guardiola arrived in 2013, but few have been more brutally effective at sticking it in the onion bag.

Gomez retired at the age of 35 in 2020. He’s now working as a technical director for Red Bull Soccer.

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