Bayern Munich won the Bundesliga with the lowest points total in the three-point era, overtaking Schalke on the second last day of the season to record their third successive title win. Bayern finished on 63 points, with a draw on their final game with Hamburg ensuring they finished just one point clear of Schalke.
The last four minutes of the season proved extremely dramatic as Bayern fell behind to Hamburg in the 90th minute, handing the title temporarily to Schalke, before Patrik Andersson levelled in the fourth minute of stoppage time. The goal was the only goal Andersson scored during his two-year stint in Munich.
Bayern Munich added a French flavour to their lineup, bringing in Monaco’s Willy Sagnol for 15 million DM with Alou Diarra arriving on a free transfer. Switzerland international Ciriaco Sforza ended his second spell at Kaiserslautern to move back to Bayern Munich. He had not been a success during his first stint at the club, and the second try was not much better.
Matthias Sammer was appointed permanent Borussia Dortmund boss on July 1, 2000, his first coaching job after retiring just a year before. He improved BVB in his first season, helping them bounce back from a disappointing 11th place in the previous campaign. The addition of Sunday Oliseh and Tomas Rosicky improved the midfield, while unheard of defender Christoph Metzelder made the step up from Preussen Munster.
Bayer Leverkusen invested heavily in a new young backline, signing Brazilian centre-back Lucio and Argentine Diego Placente for a total outlay of more than 30 million DM. Marquinhos was signed from Avai in Brazil as well as a young Bulgarian striker called Dimitar Berbatov. Midfielder Emerson was sold to Roma for 36m DM.
After going down to the last game in the 1999-2000 season, the 2000-01 season went one step further, as it was decided in the final minutes of the campaign, with Bayern Munich once again stumbling over the line to take the title.
Schalke looked to have lifted the trophy, winning 5-3 against Unterhaching (who had denied Leverkusen the title on the last day a year earlier), moving ahead of Bayern on goal difference as the Bavarians trailed against Hamburg. Schalke were champions at full-time in their match, but saw news come through that Patrik Andersson had scored for Munich with the last kick of the game to earn a draw and go to 63 points - one more than Schalke’s final tally.
The late drama saw Schalke named “Champion of Hearts” by the German media and fans, while a documentary film was produced titled “Four Minute Champions” for German television.
S04’s season was not a total disappointment as they qualified for the Champions League and also lifted the DFB-Pokal. Their European qualification meant that the runners-up of the trophy were entered into the UEFA Cup for the following season: third-tier side Union Berlin.
Borussia Dortmund and Bayer Leverkusen earned places in the top four on the last day of the season, pipping Hertha Berlin and Freiburg who qualified for the UEFA Cup, while Wolfsburg and 1860 Munich advanced to the Intertoto Cup.
Bochum returned to the 2. Bundesliga after just one season, picking up 27 points, with Eintracht Frankfurt and Unterhaching joining them in the relegation zone.
PLAYER OF THE SEASON
As well as finishing as top scorer with 22 goals, Danish forward Ebbe Sand turned provider for 10 more, meaning he was involved in almost half of Schalke’s 65 league goals as they finished runners-up to Bayern Munich.
MANAGER OF THE SEASON
Schalke were champions for four minutes on the final day of the season until Bayern Munich scored a late equaliser in their game with Hamburg. Despite not winning the title, the season was a success for Stevens, who guided the Gelsenkirchen side to the Champions League for the first time and lifted the DFB-Pokal.
EBBE SAND, SERGEJ BARBAREZ - 22 GOALS
The Torjagerkanone was shared for the 2000-01 season as both Schalke forward Ebbe Sand and Hamburg’s Bosnian striker Sergej Barbarez finished the season with 22 goals.
TEAM OF THE SEASON
RECK; WALDOCH, NOWOTNY, KOHLER; MOLLER, KEHL, BARBAREZ, LOTTNER, SCHOLL; SAND, PIZARRO
MOST EXPENSIVE TRANSFER
Sparta Prague to DORTMUND
KEY MOMENT OF THE SEASON
Patrik Andersson’s stoppage time strike against Hamburg came so late for Bayern Munich, Schalke were already celebrating the title, thinking that they had won the league. A delay in the Bayern game caused Schalke to become champions for four minutes until Andersson struck to end the game and decide the title.