Hoeness hirelings Guardiola and Gotze show Bayern's determination to dominate Ã¢ÂÂ and dismantle
Florentino Perez, the Real Madrid president who created the Galactico project that bestrode European football at the beginning of the new millennium, has been described as a "golden tongue and a lucrative contract tucked under his arm".
Yet such a description may better befit a new man, one who has taken over as the man behind the next conveyor belt of world stars, at a club with an insatiable appetite for any and all silverware. This man is Uli Hoeness and he is the genius behind Bayern Munich.
This week Bayern stunned football by signing their biggest rival's greatest talent, Mario GÃÂ¶tze of Borussia Dortmund, offering a fee triggering his contractual release clause. For ÃÂ£31.5m, Bayern have strengthened their own squad, nullified their opponents and ensured domestic superiority.
Of course, superiority isn't enough for the Bavarians. Bayern Munich don't just want success: they crave it. Not just the hyperbolic bravado of fist-pumping after each win, but the silverware and limelight. This is, after all, the club which has embraced the supposedly hurtful nickname of FC Hollywood.
To men like Uli Hoeness, the romance of football was never more than a means to an end: a means to get fans through the turnstiles or tuned in onto TV, and an end to the financial obscurity that limited the Munich side when compared to their European counterparts throughout the decades.
Hoeness at the Barcelona match
As long as the Champions League has existed in all its commercial capacity, gold has been just as important as silverware to the German giants.
For Bayern, success isnÃ¢ÂÂt another Bundesliga title or the challenge of a Champions League campaign, but the fame and fortune that come with continued accomplishment. This is not a club that breeds athletes or candid professionals, but champions and galacticos.
Even the hiring of Pep Guardiola Ã¢ÂÂ a coach whose expertise seems way beyond necessity Ã¢ÂÂ makes perfect sense: where one coach may well achieve the perceived impossible, another still waits in the wings with the reputation and promise of greater things.
When Bayern and Dortmund raced together towards trophies, it inspires lethargic comparisons to the Spanish Primera DivisiÃÂ³n or the Scottish SPL (as it was). Now it might be more appropriate to consider the Bundesliga as one ultimate contender and a number of lesser challengers.
This is far from the first time that Bayern have dismantled their opponents for their own gains. Stuttgart, Wolfsburg and Schalke can all bear testament to the Bavarian's ruthlessness with a chequebook.
GÃÂ¶tze and Guardiola: hirelings
But the manner in which they managed to sway young GÃÂ¶tze Ã¢ÂÂ the fulcrum and embodiment of KloppÃ¢ÂÂs youthful side Ã¢ÂÂ in the very week that Dortmund stood on the cusp of greatness is what will truly leave a sour taste in most mouths.
German football may well be witnessing the dawn of a new age, with a very distinctive Allianz Arena-shaped shadow cast over all the brightest lights of the Bundesliga.
As we saw against Barcelona last night, the gap between good and great is narrow enough to be surmountable with preparation and astute investment. The Catalans may not be merely beaten in the semi-finals, be dethroned as the default favourites for the Champions League every season by the next superpower of European football.
For Tito Vilanova, Bayern's brilliant battalion of superstars is very much in the present, but for the rest of Europe this weekÃ¢ÂÂs news comes with a chilling statement of intent. German football is already all but BayernÃ¢ÂÂs, and Hoeness's galacticos want the same dominance across the continent.
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