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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 February 2021

Six trophies for Hansi Flick's Bayern - and surely a personal honour to come

Flick enjoyed the best debut season in football history

Bayern Munich’s victory in the Club World Cup in Qatar was their sixth trophy in 12 months - a European achievement matched only by Pep Guardiola's Barcelona in 2009.

Behind this extraordinary success is manager Hansi Flick, who will go down in history as Man of the Year in 2020 even if, to the surprise of many, he only finished second behind Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp as Fifa’s coach of the year.

In 2020 he won the Champions League, the Bundesliga, the German Cup, the German Super Cup and the European Super Cup and now the Club World Cup.

When Flick took over Bayern's reins in November 2019, the club was in crisis. In less than a year, he transformed the Bavarians and enjoyed the best debut season in football history.

Bayern looked helpless when capitulating 5-1 against Eintracht Frankfurt in November 2019. Morale was shaken, Bayern's rivals looked strong and Niko Kovac was fired.

Flick, as his replacement, was expected to just stabilise the German giants before a long-term solution was found. Instead, he made Bayern the best team in Europe.

No one imagined that Flick would engineer the best debut season as a coach the world has ever seen.

The signs were there when he mastered a 4-0 rout against Borussia Dortmund in the Bundesliga in his first game, delighting the club's hierarchy and their most fervent fans.

High pressure, short, smart passes, productive possession and quick transitions to hurt teams on the counterattack have become Bayern's hallmarks. It has been scary to see them tear the opposition apart - both at home and abroad.

Flick transformed the club with confidence in Bayern's old guard - Thomas Muller, Manuel Neuer and Jerome Boateng all enjoyed a resurgence.

There was trust in younger players, with Joshua Kimmich employed in his favourite midfield role and Alphonso Davies given the opportunity to become the most dangerous left-back in the world.

Robert Lewandowski was voted Best Fifa Men’s Player, and Neuer was elected Fifa's Best Male Goalkeeper.

The team continues to dominate in the Bundesliga and later in February they will face Lazio in the Champions League last 16, after an excellent group stage which saw five victories and a draw.

Flick's management is unparalleled in German football, and perhaps is matched only across Europe by the human touch that Liverpool experienced under Klopp.

In terms of debut seasons, 2020 for Flick was arguably the greatest of modern times. Better than the treble seasons at Barcelona of Pep Guardiola in 2008/09 and Luis Enrique in 2014/15.

He might not have won the best coach award in 2020, I am sure he will win in 2021. It is just a matter of waiting another 10 months.

Published: February 15, 2021 12:57 PM

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