Success for Bayern Munich determined by Champions League

muellerSuccess in sports, as it is in life, is relative.

When it comes to certain teams and franchises, there are expectations that have to be met for any given season to be considered a success.

This is why last season was considered so great for Crystal Palace who finished 11th in the Premier League on 45 points, while being a noted failure for Manchester United despite finishing in 7th, 22 points ahead of Palace.

So with the Bundesliga season kicking off for Bayern Munich today at 2:30 against Wolfsburg at the Allianz Arena, the question comes to mind. What does Bayern have to do for its season to be considered a success.

Just a year removed from its historic treble, winning the Bundesliga, Champions League and DFB-Pokal, in 2012-13, the 2013-14 season was a disappointment for the German giants.

Last season Bayern took home four trophies, including its second consecutive Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal. The Bundesliga in particular was where the side impressed, winning the league with more than a month remaining and cruising to a 19-point cushion at the top.

But with new manager Pep Guardiola at the helm, and what is considered one of the strongest squads in Europe, a bid for a second-straight Champions League win was denied by Real Madrid in the semifinals, 5-0 on aggregate.

Madrid would go on to win the title against cross-town rivals Atletico Madrid, while Bayern were left to answer questions over the summer.

Now heading into this season, expectations are just as high, with anything less than a treble likely being considered a failure.

Guardiola is still in charge, and remains one of the best coaches in the world. A number of players are coming back from a World Cup victory with the German national team, and the squad has been strengthened even more than it already was in the summer transfer window.

Brought in this summer from rivals Borussia Dortmund, 26-year-old Robert Lewandowski is considered one of the world’s top strikers, and should be a move that makes the rich richer.

Even if it does improve the squad immensely, there is still no guarantee that Bayern can repeat on its success from 2012-13. Madrid, at least up front, looks markedly improved with the additions of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez, and will be one of the front runners for the Champions League.

Not to mention the improvement of Barcelona (added Luis Suarez) and Chelsea (added Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa), and the threat of PSG and Manchester City also looms.

Bayern will win the Bundesliga, pending an unexpected act of God. The club will also likely hold onto DFB-Pokal again, although the trophy is the least important of those that make up the treble.

Success this season will be determined by the Champions League for Guardiola’s squad. Whether or not there will be success, remains to be seen.