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Bay­ern: Cre­at­ing a Global Su­per­club Uli Hesse (Yel­low Jer­sey, £14.99)

As Hesse points out, Bay­ern Mu­nich are a club of con­trasts. On one hand, they em­brace their most fa­mous alumni, like Franz Beck­en­bauer and striker Karl-heinz Rum­menigge, like no other club. Yet there’s a ruth­less side to the Ger­man be­he­moths, ef­fi­ciently de­ployed over a long pe­riod to win co­pi­ous amounts of ti­tles and tro­phies.

As with his su­perb book Tor!, Hesse picks apart some long-held Bay­ern leg­ends. Far from emerg­ing from nowhere in the late 1960s, Bay­ern were a pros­per­ous out­fit dur­ing the 1930s, only to be treated harshly by the Nazis. He also presents fas­ci­nat­ing tales about the club’s ri­valry with Borus­sia Monchenglad­bach in the 1970s and how Beck­en­bauer al­most joined 1860 Mu­nich.

Mean­while, Bay­ern’s un­sung hero is Franz Roth, who found the net for Die Roten in three Euro­pean fi­nals.

This is a su­perbly nu­anced, fast-paced and re­veal­ing read.

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