Bundesliga

Bundesliga 2007-08: Brilliant Bayern win with best-ever defensive record

 
9:57am on Friday 20th September 2019
By
Martin Macdonald

Bayern Munich led the Bundesliga table from week one to week 34 to win the league by 10 points over Werder Bremen, setting a new record for least goals conceded in the process.

Bremen had been close to Bayern in the Hinrunde, but stumbled a little after the winter break to finish just two points ahead of third-placed Schalke.

Borussia Dortmund’s woes continued with a dismal 13th-placed finish, but they were well clear of the relegation zone by the end of the campaign, as Nurnberg, Hansa Rostock, and Duisburg all went down.

CHANGES

After taking over from Felix Magath in the second half of the previous season, Ottmar Hitzfeld took charge of Bayern Munich for the full 2007-08, having previously coached them from 1998 to 2004. He was given a huge financial backing from the club, allowing him to sign Franck Ribery from Marseille for €26 million, as well as Germany international striker Miroslav Klose and Italy’s Luca Toni. Ze Roberto also arrived from Santos for €9.5m.

Bayern did not make much back in transfer fees, with Owen Hargreaves joining Manchester United for €17m, but both Claudio Pizarro and Hasan Salihamidzic were allowed to leave for free, to Chelsea and Juventus respectively.

Magath had taken over at Wolfsburg and turned them from relegation candidates to European contenders, finishing fifth to qualify for the UEFA Cup. Their campaign was helped by the additions of Edin Dzeko, Diego Bengalio, and top scorer Grafite.

Despite ending up in third position, Schalke sacked coach Mirko Slomka during the season, replacing him with former players Mike Buskens and Youri Mulder, who won five of the six games they oversaw. Schalke’s big signing was Croatian teenager Ivan Rakitic, who they signed for €5m from Basel.

Borussia Dortmund’s most expensive transfer also came from Basel, with Mladen Petric joining for €3.5m, while Jakub ‘Kuba’ Blaszczykowski was a €3m addition from Wilsa Krakow. Defender Christoph Metzelder left on a free transfer to join Real Madrid.

Bayer Leverkusen brought in Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal as a €5.2m signing from Colo Colo, with Hamburg spending over €1m on unproven centre-back Jerome Boateng from Hertha Berlin.

Mesut Ozil was a €5m newcomer at Werder Bremen, despite only being 19 years of age, while Carlos Alberto was bought for just under €8m as Bremen spent the €15m they received from the sale of Klose to Bayern.

SUMMARY

Bayern Munich went to the top of the table on Matchday 1 thanks to a 3-0 win over Hansa Rostock, and eight wins in their first 12 games ensured they were never unseated at the top of the table.

Their only defeats all season came against Stuttgart and Energie Cottbus, going unbeaten at the Allianz Arena. Toni and Ribery proved to be phenomenal signings, with Toni scoring 24 goals and Ribery 11. The French winger also added eight assists.

Bayern were also fantastic at the back, setting a new record for goals conceded, with just 21 shots beating Oliver Kahn and Michael Rensing all season.

Bundesliga Player of the Year, Franck Ribery

Werder Bremen were not as effective up front without star striker Miroslav Klose (who ended up with 10 goals in 27 games for Bayern), but mounted a strong challenge in the first half of the campaign. However, they fell away a little in the second half of the season, with Schalke also failing to maintain pressure on the leaders.

Hamburg, Wolfsburg, and Stuttgart all qualified for Europe thanks to their league positions, meaning Bayer Leverkusen missed out by a point and ensured Michael Skibbe would not be kept on for next season. Dortmund had a terrible season by their standards, but ended up in the UEFA Cup thanks to their participation in the DFB-Pokal final against Bayern. Thomas Doll was also dismissed at the end of the year.

Duisburg and Hansa Rostock already looked relegated by the winter break, with the other position likely to be decided by Arminia Bielefeld or Nurnberg. A 2-0 defeat to Schalke on the final day meant that Nurnberg did not get enough points to stay up.

PLAYER OF THE SEASON

FRANCK RIBERY

Ribery hit the ground running after his transfer from Marseille, winning Player of the Month for August, and continued to impress for the rest of the campaign.

MANAGER OF THE SEASON

OTTMAR HITZFELD

The veteran manager’s return to Munich was a successful one, bringing him his fifth league title with the club and a third DFB-Pokal.

TOP GOALSCORER

LUCA TONI - 24 GOALS

Another summer signing for Hitzfeld, the Italian striker showed he was number one in attack for Bayern Munich with 24 league goals.

TEAM OF THE SEASON

KAHN; MERTESACKER, LUCIO, DEMICHELIS; MARCELINHO, ROLFES, DIEGO, ZE ROBERTO, RIBERY; TONI, GOMEZ

MOST EXPENSIVE TRANSFER

Franck Ribery

Marseille to BAYERN

€26m

KEY MOMENT OF THE SEASON

Werder Bremen finished second in the table, but showed they were at most second-best after just two games when they suffered a 4-0 humbling at home to Bayern Munich. New signing Ribery opened the scoring with a penalty and Bayern never looked back.

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