Germany boss Joachim Low has backed Bayern Munich to follow up their startling Bundesliga triumph by ruling Europe again in the Champions League and paving the way for a World Cup triumph.
Bayern clinched domestic league glory last night when a 3-1 victory at Hertha Berlin meant that, with seven rounds of games to go, they cannot be caught.
No team has ever won the Bundesliga with so much of the season still to be played out, and the shield was a third piece of silverware for Pep Guardiola in his first season with Bayern, after previous Super Cup and Club World Cup successes.
Last season they landed the core treble of Bundesliga, DFB Pokal (German cup) and Champions League, and they remain firmly on course for a repeat.
Kaiserslautern of the Bundesliga’s second tier await in the cup semi-finals, while Manchester United are the team Bayern must tackle in the Champions League quarter-finals. Given United’s poor Barclays Premier League form, which has seen them suffer 3-0 humblings to Liverpool and Manchester City in their last two home league outings, Bayern should have little to fear.
Low wants to see German football make a clean sweep of trophies, including his team on their mission to Brazil in the summer.
“To win the title at such an early stage is an unbelievable achievement by Bayern,” Low said.
“Congratulations to Bayern, and above all to coach Pep Guardiola. He has improved the team even further, and you can see his mark on their dominance and ball possession.
“I’m naturally happy for our national team players at Bayern – the title should give them a further boost. We have another greater goal together this year. Bayern have every chance of repeating their success of last season.”
Bayern boss Guardiola saw goals from Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze and Franck Ribery get the champagne flowing in Berlin.
The former Barcelona head coach said on Bayern’s website: “I’m pleased we’ve done it. Another trophy for this club is important. Congratulations to everyone on this massive season.
“Many, many thanks to the club for the opportunity to be here and coach these outstanding players.”
Bayern have won 25 of 27 Bundesliga matches this season, drawing the other two, and goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said: “It’s still a bit cold outdoors in March, but everyone can see we’re on fire and determined to win every match.”